Tourism is bringing rapid development to the islands of Langkawi, which puts pressure on the marine ecosystem. This research records the diversity and will be a useful baseline record for biomonitoring studies in Malaysia.
A study on the taxonomy of Chlorophyta was carried out to identify and to record the diversity of Chlorophyta on several islands and along coastal areas in Langkawi. The selected locations are Pulau Tuba, Pulau dayang bunting, Pulau Beras Basah, Pulau Bumbun besar, Pulau bumbyn Kecil, Teluk Yu, Pantai Kok, pebble beach and Tanjung Rhu.
Sample collections, specimen preservation and species identification are the processes involved in this study. Sample collections were made in various habitats such as at the rocky area, coral area, and sandy beaches.
A total of 19 species of Chlorophyta were collected in this study. The highest number of species was recorded in Pulau Bumbun Kecil with a total of 14 species. The least number of species was recorded Pulau dayang bunting, Pulau Beras Basah and Pantai Kok with only one species each.
Pulau Tuba and Pulau bumbun kecil recorded the highest similarity index with 27.2%. Meanwhile Pulau dayang bunting and Pantai Kok have no similarity of species between all site locations.
Seaweeds are multicellular marine algae that grow on the seashores, in salt marshes, in brackish water, or submerged in the ocean. They are plant-like organisms that usually live attached to rocks or other hard substrates but they do not have the same basic structure and lack of vascular system as higher plants.
Components of seaweeds include blades, holdfast and stripe (Garrison, 2009). Only two studies were carried out on the diversity and distribution of seaweeds in Langkawi waters (Phang et al., 2008).
Langkawi is experiencing rapid development; these will be a continued pressure on the marine ecosystem which may reduce the survival and growth of seaweeds. This leads to extensive reductions in the number of species of marine macroalgae ( Wood and Zieman, 1969).
This research would provide a checklist of diversity of seaweeds found in selected islands of Langkawi. In addition to that, this research could be useful as a baseline record for biomonitoring studies in Malaysia.
It will be beneficial for other researchers as it provides information which can be used as a reference for future study. Besides that, this research would also help us to assess the diversity of green algae.
Seaweeds are considered as an ecologically and economically important component of marine ecosystems. They are marine algae that are often mistaken as plants because they lack vascular systems.
William and Smith (2007) claimed that seaweed production has more than doubled over the past two decades. However, in some developing countries seaweeds are under threat due to human activities ( Shatheesh and Wesley, 2012).
Early detection under threat is the best way for prevention as it may reduce future costs. At the same time, a rapid response is much required when prevention fails (Lodge et al., 2006).
Green algae are the important in the marine ecosystem. They provide food for marine animals. In addition to that, the formations of coral reefs are also contributed by green algae.
High levels of nutrients in polluted environment exhibit a rapid growth response of green algae. Some species of green algae are exotic species that are of concern for marine conservation.
For more information, contact
IHSAN BIN ALWI
FACULTY OF APPLIED SCIENCE
UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MARA