ASSESSMENT OF THE ECOLOGICAL HABITATS OF BACON DISTRICT, SORSOGON CITY
The ecological habitats of the municipality of Bacon,Sorsogon were assessed using standard sampling techniques to generate data on the present state of the identified habitats. Line intercept method was used to survey the existing coral reefs. Line quadrat method was used to assess the seagrass/seaweed beds while line plot method was used to evaluate the community structure of the mangrove habitat. Fish visual census was employed to assess the diversity and biomass of coral reef fishes.
Corals were found to be thriving along the entire coastal zone of the district but noted to be very extensive in Barangays Osiao, Sto. Niño, San Juan, Caricaran, Sawanga and Buenavista. The status of the coral reefs in the said areas ranged from poor to good live coral cover. Overall mean percentage live coral cover was 40.28% in the whole sampling area indicating a fair live coral cover condition. The reduction in live coral condition can be attributed to both anthropogenic and natural causes. Thirty six species of coral reef fishes were identified in the coral reef stations with varying biomass estimates of 112 to 308 kg/hectare.
Nine species of seagrasses and four species of seaweeds were identified and were observed to be extensively thriving in the sampling areas. The species Syringodiumisoetifolium appeared to be the dominant species of seagrass as far as biomass is concerned. This was followed by Thalassiahemprichii with Halophila minor as the least in terms of biomass. Amongthe seaweeds the species, Halimeda cylindracea appeared to contribute most to the biomass. Ten species of mangrove species were identified alongside with another three associated species. Avicennia marina was present in all the sampling sites for mangrove assessment. Cutting of mangrove trees was observed in most of the sampling stations, especially from Gatbo down to Sta Lucia. Level of perturbation was estimated at level three.The different ecological habitats evaluated were important life support system for the existing fishery in the area especially for the gleaning of macro-invertebrates.
Research and Development Center