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SEAGRASS REFERENCES 1. Duarte, C.M., Terrados, J., Agawin, N.S.R., Fortes, M.D., Bach S., and W.J. Kenworthy.

1997. Response of a mixed Philippine seagrass meadow to experimental burial. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. Vol. 147: 285-294 Physical disturbance is considered one of the main factors that determines the spatial structure and species diversity of seagrass meadows (den Hartog 1971, Sheperd 1981, Fonseca & Kenworthy 1987, Clarke & Kirkman 1989). Seagrasses growing in tropical coastal waters often experience disturbances induced by tropical storms that are believed to be major factors in the dynamics of these seagrass meadows (Birch & Birch 1984, Eleuterius 1987, Williams 1988, Clarke & Kirkman 1989, Poiner et al. 1989, Tilmant et al. 1994, Preen et al. 1995). Mixed seagrass communities in SE Asia typically comprise up to 13 species, ranging broadly in size from small Halophila sp. to the large Enhalus acoroides (Brouns 1987b, Poiner et al 1989, Fortes 1994).

2. Ciasico, M.N.A., Villaluz, E.A., Geraldino, P.J.L., Dy, D.T., and A.G. Diola. Initial stock assessment of four Strombus species [Mollusca: Gastropoda] in Eastern Samar (Central Philippines) with notes on their fishery. Philipp. Scient. Vol. 43: 52-68 Seagrass meadows constitue an important and productive aquatic ecosystem throughout the world. They provide both habitat and food to a wide variety of marine organisms. Many marine organisms inhabiting seagrass meadows are commercially important species of fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and sea cocumbers (Poovachiranin et al. 1994).

3. Barbera, C., Tuya, F., Boyra, A., Sanchez-Jerez, P., Blanch, I., and Haroun, R.J. Spatial variation in the structural parameters of Cymodocea nodosa seagrass meadows in the Canary islands: a multiscaled approach. Botanica Marina 48 (2005) The importance of seagrass meadows in coastal marine environments is related chiefly to the worldwide contribution to ocean productivity [estimated at 12% of the total net production (Duarte and Cebrian 1996)]. Seagrasses perform several important ecological and physical functions (see Hemminga and Duarte 2000, Short et al. 2001 for reviews), such as: (1) aiding sediment stability, (2) in situ generation of detritus, (3) providing a net source of nutrients, (4) increasing the heterogeneity of the seascape, and therefore the diversity and abundance of species, and (5) channelling primary production to high trophic levels. Consequently, seagrass meadows are considered one of the most valuable ecosystems in terms of the value-added benefits of the functions they provide (Duarte and Cebrian 1996, Short and Wyllie-Echeverria 1996, Hemminga and Duarte 2000).

However, recently published reports point to an increase in the stress and decline of seagrass meadows, especially in areas of intense human disturbances (Short and Wyllie-Echeverria 1996, Short et al. 2001), such as large urban and industrial coastal zones (Larkum and West 1983, Sheperd et al. 1989). Descriptors of the spatial structure of seagrass meadows are excellent indicators for determining degrees of development, quality and state of health, as well as a way for assessing the effects of disturbances and impacts various sources (West 1990, Garcia-Charton et al. 1993, Marcos-Diego et al. 2000, Ruiz 2000. 2001).

4. Agawin, N.S.R., Duarte, C.M., Fortes, M.D. Nutrient limitation of Philippine seagrasses ( Cape Bolinao, NW Philippines): in situ experimental evidence. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. Vol. 138: 233-243, 1996. Seagrass beds can support highly productive coastal ecosystems whenever nutrient and light availability are adequate (McRoy 1974, Hillman et al. 1989). Seagrass growth is often limited by the availability of nutrients (Powell et al. 1989, Short et al. 1990, Duarte 1995). Asian seagrasses to confirm whether they differ or not from those growing in tropical areas elsewhere, which show nutrient-limited growth (Powell et al. 1989, Short et al. 1990, Bulthuis et al. 1992, Duarte 1995).

5. Fortes, M.D. Historical review of seagrass research in the Philippines. Coastal Marine Science 35(1): 178-181, 2012 Seagrass bed is a discrete community dominated by flowering plants with roof and rhizomes (underground stems), thriving in slightly reducing sediments and normally exhibiting maximum biomass under conditions of complete submergence (Fortes 1995). Their unique ecological function provides an immeasurable amount of benefits to coastal dwellers. Unknown to these communities, the contribution of seagrass meadows to the high biodiversity in these areas plus their ability to supply a great deal of revenues from the resources account for much of their daily incomes and benefits. Seagrasses are home to many economically important marine organisms, including shrimps, sea urchins clams, various fish species, and endangered animals like sea turtles and the enigmatic dugong, some 95% of whose diet is seagrasses. All these make the conversation, rehabilitation, and persistent scientific research on seagrass habitats a high priority in the coastal agenda of governments in Southeast Asia. In his most comprehensive account of the seagrasses in the world, den Hartog (1970) repoted 11 species for the Philippines. Calumpong (1979) reported three seagrasses from Central Visayas region. The most comprehensive ecological account of seagrasses from the Philippines was made by Fortes (1986).

6. Ahmad-Kamil, E.I., Ramli, R., Jaaman, S.A., Bali, J., and Al-Obaidi, J.R. The effect of Water Parameters on Monthly Seagrass Percentage Cover in Lawas, East Malaysia. The Scientific World Journal. Vol. 2013, Article ID 892746, 8 pages Seagrasses are marine flowering that have the ability to complete their life cycle while fully submerged in marine environment constraints these marine plants cover large geographic worldwide. Seagrasses provide services and good for their ecological community, for example, wave protection, reduced water flow, fishing ground, and oxygen production [3-8]. Decline in seagrasses species and coverage was observed worldwide [9,10]. Combination of environmental changes such as physical parameters (temperature, salinity, and pH), natural phenomena (tidal effects, cyclone, and seasonal changes) and anthropogenic parameters has affected seagrass population [2, 11-16]. Other complex interactions such as water quality, grazers, and nutrients affect seagrass population by causing seagrass mortality.

7. Ame, E.C., and Ayson, J.P. Preliminary Assessment of the Seagrass Resources in the Northern Philippines. Kuroshio Science 3-1, 55-61, 2009 Seagrass is one of the most important resources in the coastal area. It supports and provides a habitat for many coastal organisms. Aquatic species like siganids, shrimps, sea cucumber, sea urchins, sea horses, crabs, scallops, mussels, snails, and many more find their niche environment in seagrass beds. The seagrass ecosystem is a good place for the spawning, breeding, nursing and refuge (Fortes 1989) of these organisms. Aside from giving food, it also stabilizes and holds bottom sediments, maintaining balance, biodiversity and a good symbiosis among the living aquatic organisms. Studies show that about 40,000 fishes and 50,000 invertebrates can be supported by the tones f leaves produced in an acre of seagrass beds (Mukhida 2007). It was estimated that if about 20-60% of seagrass beds were to disappear. Consequently, like any other natural resources, seagrass beds are often exposed to pressures and are constantly under threat due to destructive anthropogenic activities. Dredging, agricultural run off, industrial run off and oil spills in addition to typhoons and floods that occur naturally are among the causes of seagrass bed destruction (Short and Wyllie-Echeveria,1996 in Seagrass watch 2007). Population increase has contributed to resource overuse and destruction. 8. Nieves, P.M., De Jesus, S.C., Macale, A.M.B. and Pelea, J.M.D. An assessment of MacroInvertebrate Gleaning in Fisheries on the Albay Side of Lagonoy Gulf. Kuroshio Science 4-1, 27-35, 2010

9. Genito, G.E., Nabuab, F.M., Acabado, C.S., Albasin, B.S. and Beldia II, P.D. Baseline Assessment of Seagrass Communities of Lubang and Looc Islands, Occidental Mindoro, Philippines. The Nagisa World Congress: 53-64, 2009 Seagrasses are a prominent component of Philippine coastal ecosystems (Fortes, 1995). They are biota and habitat in one, as they naturally and simultaneously function both as primary producers and structural species. Consequently, they form ecosystems of great physical, biological, and economic importance (Baron et al., 1993), as they sustain a diversity of fauna, act as nutrient sinks and sedimentation buffers, and generally support important human exploitation (Hirst and Attrill, 2008; van Houte-Howes et al., 2004; Paula et al., 2001). Moreover, precisely because they are ecological constant of shallow coastal areas, they are rendered vulnerable to habitat fragmentation and sediment loading mostly brought about by anthropogenic activities (Hirst and Attrill, 2008; Tanner, 2005; Fortes & Santos, 2004) The ecological importance of seagrass habitats has long been recognized (Frost et al., 1999). However, their conservation and management in the country are not at par because of gaps in systematic and comprehensive data gathering and clear policy objectives on seagrass communities (BINU, 2005), as well as a lack of appreciation of the resources (Fortes & Santos, 2004).

10. Alimen, R.A., Selorio Jr., C.M., Ong, H.G., Batuigas, R.D., Corpes, V.O., Esmaa, M.M.G. and Ortizo, C.D. Seagrass Diversity in the Western and Eastern Sites of Igang Bay, Guimaras, Philippines. 11th National Convention o Statistics (NCS), EDSA Shangri-La Hotel, October 4-5, 2010. Seagrasses are unique angiosperms that grow in the sea. Thirteen species have been recorded in the Philippine waters (Calumpong and Meez, 1997). These represent 27% of the total reported worldwide. Seagrass attached to all types of substrates, occur mostly extensive on soft ones. They are commonly found in intertidal region up to 30 meters depth. According to Waycott et al. (2009), seagrass meadows are important as nutrient cycling, magnitude enhancement of coral reef fish productivity, habitat of fish and invertebrates species, and major source food of endangered species like manatee and green sea turtle. Seagrass meadows are comparably important as mangrove and coral reef ecosystems. These three are linking with each other to equilibrate the marine coastal environment. Coral reef and mangrove ecosystem catch the attention for conservation while seagrass meadows are left out. The interactions of seagrass with mangroves and coral reefs are important. All these ecosystems exert a stabilizing effect on the environment, resulting in important physical and biological support for the other community. The instability of one system has greatly affected the other system, i.e. destruction of seagrass meadow will likely unstabilize the other system (Worm, 2009).

In tropical countries, mixed meadows are common. They are mixed in response to the nutrient enrichment (Agawin et al., 1996), disturbance (Duarte et al., 1987), and competition (Duarte, 2000) and water depth (Taplin et al., 2005) and spatial distribution. According to Agawin et al. (1996), different seagrasses have different nutrient requirements. The water depth and spatial are other factors that influence the mixed meadow. The near-shore seagrasses are commonly rhizomal and small size, like Halodule spp., tolerating sandy area, while deeper and muddy area are dominated by Enhalus species

11. Newmaster, A.F., Berg, K.J., Ragupathy, S., Palanisamy, M., Sambandan, K., and Newmaster, S.G. Local Knowledge and Conservation of Seagrasses in the Tadul Nadu State of India. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 2011, 7:37. Seagrasses are an artificial grouping of grass-like plants that grow in or around aquatic marine ecosystems. The name seagrass is purely descriptive as is the name seaweed with respect to marine algae. The term seagrass aptly defines a group of angiosperm that are specially adapted to grow in estuaries and marine ecosystems. Seagrasses have adapted to grow in coastal marine environments in both tropical and temperate regions on almost every continent in the world. Growing erect from rhizomes embedded in the sediment and debris on the ocean floor, seagrasses are the only angiosperms that are able to thrive underwater in marine environments. In general seagrasses inhabit the tidal and subtidal zones of shallow and sheltered localities of seas, gulfs, bays, backwaters, lagoons, and estuaries. They usually prefer muddy, sandy, clayey and coral rubbke substrate, but they also grow on rocks and in crevices. They are found to grow either homogenously or heterogeneously, forming thick and dense meadows that produce considerable biomass, provide excellent habitat, and perform multiple ecosystem services for some of the worlds most biodiverse and productive marine ecosystems. Some of the important ecosystem services attributed to seagrasses include the recycling of nutrients, and the stabilization of seafloor sediment, which prevents erosion during storms and provides critical habitat for spawning fish and many juvenile marine invertebrates. Seagrasses also serve as habitat and a food source. They serve as the primary food for green sea turtles, manatees and dugongs and they support a rich variety of fish, which in turn attracts a diversity of predators including a rich diversity of birds and some large mammals. The importance of seagrasses has been documented in many coastal communities around the world, including India, Africa, Canada, Mexico and Sweden.

Mar Ecol Prog Ser Vol. 174: 247-256, 1998 Seagrass bedsare threatened worldwide by human disturbances such as land reclamation or changes in land use (Fortes 1988, 1995, Short & Wyllie-Echeverria 1996).