Ecology and Biology of Seagrass, Halophila Beccarii Aschers, in Peninsular Malaysia
Zakaria @ Ya, Muta Harah (2001) Ecology and Biology of Seagrass, Halophila Beccarii Aschers, in Peninsular Malaysia. PhD thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.
Distribution, occurrence and habitats of Halophila beccarii Aschers. were surveyed in coastal areas of Peninsular Malaysia. Of the many sites discovered, three were selected for detailed studies on seasonal dynamics involving monthly monitoring of environmental and biological variables. Surveys and monitoring were conducted simultaneously from February 1996 to January 1999. Data sets were analysed with multiple linear regression analysis for correlation between environmental and biological variables. Halophila beccarii was recorded at six sites in Terengganu: Sungai Kemaman, Chukai, Telaga Simpul, Sungai Paka Lagoon, Sungai Paka bridge-river bank of Sungai Paka and Sungai Paka shoal; four sites in Kelantan: Pengkalan Nangka Lagoon. Pengkalan Nangka shoal, Kampung Baru Nelayan- Kampung Sungai Tanjung and Pantai Baru Lagoon and two sites in Penang: Korea Island and Seberang Prai. Halophila beccarii occurred in brackish water and occasionally in marine habitats. They grew on substrates; sandy loam, loam, silty clay loam, silt loam, loamy sand, sandy muddy, calcareous muddy that are acidic (pH 3.46-5.55) and slightly above neutral (pH 5.83-7.88) and have substantial concentration of total organic nitrogen, 34.05-54.26 µM and low total phosphorus, 0.24-3.27 µM. Halophila beccarii grew in dynamic habitats, constantly changed, the time scale can be variables from diumal, seasonal within-year and between-year. Halophila beccarii tolerates a daily fluctuation of salinity 0-28.00 ppt and 0-31.46 ppt during low and high tides and 0-5.00 ppt during the prolonged period of 2-3 consecutive wet months. It grew in water temperature of 24.67-38.20°C and survived up to 40.00°C and tolerated short exposures of 2-3 hours to the sun and air during the day low tide. Nutrient concentrations in water were widely variable; nitrate ranged 0.160-29.970 µM; nitrite ranged 0-0.799 µM, a relatively low ammonium, from undetectable to 11.949 µM and ortho-phosphate, from undetectable to 0.903 µM.
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