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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Florence, South Carolina » Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #312920

Research Project: MANAGING WATER AVAILABILITY AND QUALITY TO MAINTAIN OR INCREASE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION, CONSERVE NATURAL RESOURCES, AND ENHANCE ENVIRONMENT

Location: Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research

Title: Assessing diversity and phytoremediation potential of seagrass in tropical region

Author
item Paz-alberto, Annie Melinda - CENTRAL LUZON STATE UNIVERSITY
item Pakaigue-hechanova, Marietto - CENTRAL LUZON STATE UNIVERSITY
item Sigua, Gilbert

Submitted to: International Journal of Plant, Animal, and Environmental Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/17/2015
Publication Date: 12/16/2015
Citation: Paz-Alberto, A., Pakaigue-Hechanova, M., Sigua, G.C. 2015. Assessing diversity and phytoremediation potential of seagrass in tropical region. International Journal of Plant, Animal, and Environmental Sciences. 5(4):24-35.

Interpretive Summary: Seagrasses have significant ecological and economical functions by supporting and providing habitats for many coastal living organisms. Seagrass ecosystem is one of the most important resources in the coastal areas and of significant importance to fisheries industry. Losses of living organisms in fresh and marine environment have been reported from most parts of the world due to natural causes such as cyclones, floods and high energy storms. Losses could be as well related to land reclamation, changes in land use, agricultural runoff and oil spills. Seagrasses are specialized marine flowering plants that have adapted to the nearshore environment with heterogeneous landscape structures of shallow-water estuarine and marine ecosystems. This unique feature of seagrass has rendered it to have high phytoremediation potential. Due to the presence of many contaminants in the coastal environments, it is very imperative that plants should be used for phytoremediation of contamination hence, this study was conducted. The main objectives of the study were to determine the current status and diversity of seagrass ecosystem and to assess the phytoremediation potential of seagrass for lead and chromium in tropical region of the Philippines. Diversity of seagrass species in the study area was relatively low and only a few number of species and only a few number of individual per species were present due to environmental degradation caused by natural and human activities. Phytoremediation efficacy of seagrass varied among substrates and seagrass beds in tropical region. Lead and chromium were not present in water while chromium was present in the sediment of the seagrass ecosystem in Candelaria and Masinloc, Zambales, and lead was present only in the sediment of Masinloc, Zambales. Cymodocea rotundata was found to be a good phytoremediator for lead due to high amount of lead absorbed in both seagrass ecosystems.

Technical Abstract: Seagrass ecosystem is one of the most important resources in the coastal areas. Seagrasses support and provide habitats for many coastal organisms in tropical region. Seagrasses are specialized marine flowering plants that have adapted to the nearshore environment with heterogeneous landscape structures of shallow-water estuarine/marine ecosystems. This unique feature of seagrass has rendered it to have high phytoremediation potential. Phytoremediation is a cost-effective plant-based approach and environmentally friendly solution for heavy-metal contaminated sites. The main objectives of the study were to determine the current status and diversity of seagrass ecosystem and to assess the phytoremediation potential of seagrass for lead and chromium in tropical region. Diversity of seagrass species in the study area was relatively low and only a few number of species and only a few number of individual per species were present due to environmental degradation caused by natural and human activities. Using the Shannon Diversity Index, the seagrass beds at Candelaria site had a diversity mean value of 1.6 while the Masinloc site had an average diversity value of 1.1, which indicate that both sites have very low diversity of seagrasses. Phytoremendiation efficacy of seagrass varied among coastal substrates and seagrass beds. Lead and chromium were not present in water while chromium was present in the sediment of the seagrass ecosystem in Candelaria and Masinloc, Zambales and lead was present only in the sediment of Masinloc, Zambales. Cymodocea rotundata was found to be a good phytoremediator for lead due to high amount of lead absorbed in both seagrass ecosystems. Chromium was not absorbed by C. rotundata, T. hemprichii and S. isoetifolium in both seagrass ecosystems.