Mapping seagrass cost-effectively in the Coral Triangle: Sabah, Malaysia as a case study

Rajamani, Leela, and Marsh, Helene (2015) Mapping seagrass cost-effectively in the Coral Triangle: Sabah, Malaysia as a case study. Pacific Conservation Biology, 21 (2). pp. 113-121.

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Abstract

Knowledge of the distribution and relative abundance of seagrass communities in the Coral Triangle is limited, despite their global significance and the vital ecosystem services they perform for local human populations, threatened species such as dugongs and green turtles, as well as the role of being a globally significant carbon stock. To address this gap and investigate cost-effective methods in data-poor regions, we conducted seagrass mapping near two islands off the coast of Sabah in Malaysia: Banggi Island (7°15'N, 117°12'E) and Mantanani Island (6°43'N, 116° 21'E). We used a staged approach that included: (1) interview surveys, (2) manta tow and spot surveys, and (3) comprehensive transect surveys. Approximately 415 ha and 112 ha of seagrass meadows were mapped off Banggi Island and Mantanani Island respectively. We found 10 species of seagrasses from two families: Halophila ovalis, Halodule uninervis (broadand thin leaf varieties), Thalassia hemprichii, Cymodocea rotundata, Halophila decipiens, Halophila spinulosa, Cymodocea serrulata, Syringodium isoetifolium, Enhalus acoroides and Halophila sp. nov. Our methodology proved cost-effective and the resultant information should be relevant to conservation planners.

Item ID: 44361
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1038-2097
Keywords: Banggi Island, conservation, Mantanani Island
Funders: Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, Malaysia, World Wildlife Fund, Malaysia, Ocean Park Conservation Foundation Hong Kong
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2016 23:14
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 50%
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