Characteristics of Four Selected Mangrove Species in Low Saline Environment in Batangas

Summary

             Low saline environment like Taal Lake and Pansipit River serve as home for different endemic species including freshwater sea snake (Hydrophis semperi), freshwater sardines (Sardinella tawilis), Maliputo (Caranx ignobilis) and to 80 more species.  However, those environments were fast deteriorating, fish catch and some of the native fishes were decreasing in number.

           In connection, mangroves could serve as critical spawning, nursery, coastlines protection, and natural wastewater filters as it absorbs pollutants.

           Hence, the researchers conducted a study to determine the attributes of four mangrove species: Bakawang Lalaki (Rhizophora apiculata), Putotang Lalaki (Bruguiera cylindrica), Kalapinay (Avicennia marina) and Saging-saging (Aegiceras corniculatum) in low saline environment which can be a basis for plant introduction in Taal Lake and Pansipit River.

           In this study, the four Mangroves species were planted into two experimental setups and one controlled setup where mangroves naturally thrive. Moreover, laboratory testing was done to determine the pH and salinity level of the three environments which serves as parameter for the attributes of the selected environments.

         Based on the experiment, Cuta River has 1.91ppt salinity, 8.80 pH level and muddy soil, Taal Lake contains salinity of 0.81ppt, 9.14 pH level and Taal Loam soil while Pansipit River has 0.75ppt salinity, 8.65 pH level and has Taal sandy loam  soil. Different growth rate is observed whereas Kalapinay has the fastest growing rate while Saging-saging has the lowest among all setups. There is a significant difference in the attributes of each mangrove species before and after being planted in the selected environment which indicates growth after four weeks of observation. Meanwhile, there is no signi ficant difference in controlled and experimental setup meaning, mangroves are capable to thrive in low saline environment.

Question / Proposal

Research Questions

            Generally, this study aims to determine the attributes of selected Mangrove species planted in low saline environment in Batangas which will be the basis of mangrove introduction in Taal Lake and Pansipit River.

            Specifically, this aims to answer the following questions:

1. What are the characteristics of the selected low saline environment in Batangas namely Taal Lake and Cuta River in terms of:

            1.1   pH;

            1.2   salinity; and

             1.3   type of substrate?

2.    What are the attributes of four mangrove species such as BakawangLalaki(Rhizophora apiculata), PutotangLalaki (Bruguiera cylindrica), Kalapinay(Avicennia marina) and Saging-saging (Aegiceras corniculatum) before being planted to the setup with reference to:

           2.1   number of leaves;

           2.2   length of stem; and

           2.3   characteristics of root system?

3.    What are the attributes of the four mangrove species after being planted in low saline environment in Batangas?

4.    Is there a significant difference in the attributes of each mangrove species before and after being planted in the selected low saline environment in Batangas?

5. Is there a significant difference in the attributes of four selected mangrove species in controlled and experimental setup?

Hypotheses

H01: There is no significant difference in the attributes of each mangrove species before and after being planted in the selected low saline environments in Batangas.

H02: There is no significant difference in the attributes of four selected mangrove species in controlled and experimental set-up.

Expected Outcomes

1. Determine the basis for the growth of the selected mangrove species

2. Introduce the mangrove species capable of growing in low saline environment (Pansipit River and Taal Lake)

Research

            Philippines is an archipelagic country with some 7,100 islands having more water than its land with a total territorial water of 2,200,000 km2.  Also, it ranks twelfth among the largest fish producer in the world and fourth in terms of aquaculture production. Thus, fisheries are a very important industry in the Philippines and are considered as a source of income of many Filipinos.

           In connection, low saline environment like Taal Lake serves as home for different endemic species like freshwater sea snake (Hydrophis semperi) and freshwater sardines (Sardinella tawilis) while Pansipit River serves as a migratory channel to Maliputo (Caranx ignobilis) and to those 80 more different species that were found to inhabit the river. Moreover, DENR-PAMB (2005) described Taal Lake as the third largest lake in the country and the world’s smallest active volcano and houses an extensive watershed that borders Batangas and Cavite provinces, including the famous tourist destination, Tagaytay City, whereas Pansipit River is a short river located in the province of Batangas that serves as the drainage outlet of Taal Lake which empties to Balayan Bay.  However, according to Luistro (2007), those environments were fast deteriorating that result to low production of fish while some native fishes are gone. The primary drivers of degrading of water quality are intensive aquaculture and human activities which cause the transfer of contaminants from land to groundwater, streams, rivers, lakes and estuaries (Morton, 2017). Generally, the degradation of lakes and rivers leads to changes in the species which inhabit them and alter the ecosystems.

           On the other hand, different groups of people are focused on seeking ways on tightening and safeguarding various organisms in land or water. In making it possible, Ball (2008) suggest that mangrove species are the best forms of barriers that can help and provide habitats for most living aquatic organisms. Moreover, Feller (2018) said that Mangroves are trees or shrubs that have the common trait of growing in shallow and muddy salt water or brackish waters, especially along quiet shorelines and in estuaries. Along with it, Gilman (2006) mentioned that mangrove forests are rich in biodiversity providing a habitat for wide varieties of animal and plant species.  It may also provide wood forest products, fishery, nursery and coastal protection against storms and tsunamis. In addition, mangroves are fed by absorbing nutrients and organics from the water such as nitrates and phosphates which in turn creates a natural filter for cleaning water.

               Meanwhile, due to the important contribution of mangroves in the ecosytem and availability of mangrove species such as Bakawang Lalaki (R.apiculata), Putotan Lalaki (B.cylindrica), Kalapinay (A.marina) and Saging-saging (A.corniculatum) in Lemery, Batangas, researchers conducted a study that determine the attributes of selected Mangrove species in low saline environment in province of Batangas, specifically Taal Lake, Pansipit River and Cuta River.

              Furthermore, this study may serve as a basis for mangrove introduction in Taal Lake and Pansipit River. Thus, habitat for endemic species living in the areas will increase and provide natural filter for cleaning water.

Method / Testing and Redesign

METHODS

           The following are the materials utilized and procedures followed in the study.

A. Gathering of available Mangrove species in Lemery Batangas

                                               

       The researchers sought help with the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) - Lemery for the areas where different mangrove species can be found. In coordination with them, the researcher gathered four mangrove species with four propagules each in Palanas, Lemery, Batangas.

B. Identifying of Mangrove species

                                              

          The researchers asked for assistance from mangrove specialist in Calatagan, Batangas in systematic identification of four selected mangrove species such as Bakawang Lalaki (Rhizophora apiculata), Putotan Lalaki (Bruguiera cylindrica), Kalapinay (Avicennia marina) and Saging-saging (Aegiceras corniculatum) which is the identified species from Lemery Mangrove Forest to be used in the study.

C. Determining the attributes of mangrove species before being planted

                                            

          Before planting the four selected mangrove species, the number of leaves sprouted, length of stem and characteristics of root system were recorded. In determining the length of stem

, proponents used tape measure and express the length in centimeter.

D. Designing of Controlled and Experimental Setups

                                           

            The researchers constructed a figure of experimental design for the preparation of establishing a setup. The researchers employed four setups in the research design wherein each setup has a controlled and two experimental setups. The pH levels, salinity level, type of substrate were the parameters of the low saline environment to be tested while number of sprouted leaves, stem length and characteristics of roots were the attributes of mangroves to be observed for four weeks.

E. Collecting water and substrate from selected environment

                                                

               With the help of community residents, the researchers successfully gathered 18 liters of water and 50 kilograms of sediments from each environment using pails, sacks, shovel, trowel, and hoe.

F. Laboratory Testing

                                                        

            The researcher obtained samples of water from the three environments and searched for assistance in Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources for the testing of its pH level and salinity. The samples were sited on beakers and then subjected to water parameter test using pH meter and refractometer are utilized. On the other hand, soil samples from the three environments were identified based on the classification from Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), Calaca.   

G. Making the experimental setups and controlled setups

                                              

                 Three containers measuring 86.36 cm x 45.72 cm x 34.29 cm are used in the study wherein each of it is subdivided into four parts. The researcher utilized the container having the substrate and water from Cuta River to serve as the controlled setup while experimental setups is prepared in a separate container having substrate and water from Taal Lake and Pansipit River. The soil in each container weighs 50 kg while its water measures 18 liters each.

H. Planting of Mangroves

                                                   

           The researcher planted four propagules of each species in every setup having a depth of 10cm and distance from each other of 10 cm.

I. Labeling the samples

                                                                 

          The mangrove species were labeled by putting a tag: KP (Kalapinay), SS (Saging-saging), PL (Putotan Lalake) and BL (Bakawang Lalake), The container were also labeled according to the environment they came from.

J. Observing the attributes of selected mangrove species after being planted

                                                   

                 The planted mangroves were observed weekly recording the length of the stem and number of sprouted leaves.

K. Interpreting the data gathered

           The researcher analyzed the tabulated data of the characteristics of the selected low saline environment in terms of pH and salinity level and presented the recorded number of leaves and length of the stem in tabular form. Then, data was interpreted and compared with other literature and studies.

 

Data Analysis

1. Mean-to determine the average growth of each mangrove species using the number of leaves sprouted and the stem length during the four-week observation.

2. T-Test-to determine the significant difference in the attributes of the four selected mangrove species before and after being planted in low saline environments. Also, this will be used to determine the significant difference of its attributes under controlled and experimental setups.

 

Results

RESULTS

1. Characteristics of the selected low saline environment in Batangas: Taal Lake, Pansipit River and Cuta River

Table 1

pH Level, Salinity and Types of Soil of Selected Low Saline Environment

         

          Cuta River, Taal Lake and Pansipit River have pH level of 8.80 ppt, 9.14 ppt, and 8.65 ppt.  Cuta River has the highest salinity of 1.91 ppt. followed by Taal Lake which has 0.81 ppt, whereas Pansipit River has the lowest salinity level of 0.75 ppt. As per the classification of soil by Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), Cuta River has muddy soil, Taal Lake has Taal loam while Pansipit River has Taal sandy loam.

2. Attributes of four Mangrove species before being planted in selected low saline environment

Table 2

Standard Stem Length, Number of Leaves Sprouted and Root Characteristics of Four Selected Mangrove Species

          Bakawang Lalaki, Putotan Lalaki, Kalapinay and Saging-saging have 300 mm, 105 mm, 67.5 mm and 281 mm standard stem lengths, respectively while Kalapinay had two standard number of leaves before being planted in low saline environment, whereas, the other three mangrove species had no standard number of leaves. Based on mangroves’ classification of roots by Marek (2018), the common root characteristics of Bakawang Lalaki and Putotan Lalaki showed that they have taproot system while Kalapinay and Saging-Saging have roots that are not yet fully developed.

3. Attributes of four Mangrove species planted in selected low saline environment

Table 3.1

Number of Leaves Sprouted by Selected Mangrove Species

Table 3.2

Stem Length of Selected Mangrove Species

Table 3.3

Characteristics of Root System of Selected Mangrove Species

4. Difference in Attributes of Four Mangrove Species Before and After Being Planted in Controlled and Experimental Setups

Table 4.1

Difference in the Number of Leaves Sprouted by Selected Mangrove Species

Before and After Being Planted in the Setups

          Since computed t-values of 6.4254 and 4.5033 exceeds the critical value of 4.3027 at 0.05 level of significance with 2 degrees of freedom, the null hypothesis is rejected which means that there is a significant difference in the number of leaves sprouted by Bakawang Lalaki and Kalapinay before and after being planted in controlled and experimental setups. Meanwhile, since Putotan Lalaki and Saging-saging have computed t-values of 3.6056 and 1.3868 that is less than the critical t-value, the null hypothesis is accepted. This means that there is no significant difference in their number of leaves sprouted before and after being planted in the prepared setups.

Table 4.2

Difference in the Stem Length of Selected Mangrove Species

Before and After Being Planted in the Setups

          Since Bakawang Lalaki and Kalapinay have computed t-values of 17.9412 and 4.7808 that exceeds the critical t-value of 4.3027, the null hypothesis is rejected which means that there is a significant difference in their stem lengths before and after being planted in controlled and experimental setups. On the other hand, Putotan Lalaki and Saging-saging with computed t-values of 2.0678 and 1.9712 that is less than the critical t-value of 4.3027 at 0.05 level of significance and 2 degrees of freedom have accepted null hypothesis. This implies that there is no significant difference in their stem lengths before and after being planted in prepared setups.

 

Conclusion

CONCLUSION

1. Selected environment shows different pH level, salinity and type of soil which contributes to the growth of the four Mangroves. Cuta River, Taal Lake and Pansipit River have pH level of 8.80, 9.14, and 8.65 which all exceeds the normal pH value of 5.3-7.8 for mangroves. Cuta River has the highest salinity of 1.91 ppt. while water in Taal Lake has a salinity of 0.81 ppt, whereas Pansipit River has the lowest salinity level of 0.75 ppt. This finding is supported by the observation of Luistro (2007) that unregulated fish cages combined with improper solid waste disposal in the lake pose deterioration of the lake’s water quality. As per the of classification of soil by Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), Cuta River, Taal Lake and Pansipit River have muddy soil, Taal loam and Taal sandy loam which is similar to the report of the Pansipit River Management Plan 2016-2021.

2. Selected mangrove species have different stem lengths, number of leaves sprouted and characteristics of root system before being planted in the prepared setups. Bakawang Lalaki, Putotan Lalaki, Kalapinay and Saging-saging have 300 mm, 105 mm, 67.5 mm and 281 mm standard stem lengths, respectively while Kalapinay had two standard number of leaves before being planted in low saline environment, whereas, the other three mangrove species had no standard number of leaves. The common root characteristics of Bakawang Lalaki and Putotan Lalaki is having tap root system while Kalapinay and Saging-Saging have roots that are not yet fully developed.

3. Different growth rate is observed in the four selected mangrove species in the prepared setups whereas Kalapinay (Avicennia marina) has the fastest growing rate while Saging-saging has the lowest growing rate. This finding is supported by the study conducted by Liang (2008) wherein species of mangroves have different adaptations to cope best with the site’s factor like salinity, pH level and type of substrate.

4. There is a significant difference in the attributes of each mangroves species before and after being planted in the selected low saline environment in Batangas which indicates that there is growth within the mangroves after four weeks of being studied. This finding is supported by the formula mentioned by Dr.Radav (2014) for growth rate that change in stem length divided by change in time. Moreover, Bareja (2011) said that difference in the attributes of mangroves can be observed when it meet the necessary conditions for its growth like adequate space, sufficient light, sufficient water,etc.

5. There is no significant difference in the controlled and experimental setup which means that mangroves are capable to thrive in low saline environment.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Using other mangrove species for more comparisons of their growth rate in different setups

2. Planting on the natural environment for more accurate results

3. Conducting a deeper study which utilize a different parameters such as biomass and effect of each species on water quality

4. Parallel studies should be conducted to generate findings pertaining to the growth rate

 

About me

We are the Mangrove Team from Batangas, Philippines. Our group was formed during our research subject in senior high school wherein we were asked to conceptualize a study for the upcoming science technology fair in the province. Luckily we were able to get the grand prize and represented the division in the recently concluded regional finals. However, our team ended at top 5 in the said event. Thus, we are now trying our luck for the Google Science Fair.

I am Eugenio C. Magdales, 18 years old and the only boy in our team. I love to write and watch journalistic documentaries.

Our team leader is Melody L. Cortiñas, 18 years old. She is fond of reading science fiction books. Melody also loves to solve sudoku puzzles.

Lastly is Shara Lee M. Matinez, 18 years old. Playing volleyball and listening music are her hobbies.

The three of us are dreaming to become Biologists someday that's why we chose to take the path of STEM. To discover new things is what keeping our hearts flaming for our goal.

Among all the scientist that we know, our team admire the most is Alber Einstein for we have the same perception about science and religion wherein according to him, science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. Moreover, Einstein serves as our inspiration to strive harder because even at a young age, he already contributed in the field of science. It inspires us in a way that despite of our age, we could still make a change for the betterment of the society.

Winning the grand prize in Google Science Fair would be really a great help for our studies in college. Likewise, it would open doors to some good oppurtunities.

Health & Safety

Mentor

Dr. Randie B. Atienza

Master Teacher II

Lemery Senior High School

0945 413 5885

 

Ma. Lourdes D. Merilles

Aquaculturist I

National Freshwater Fisheries Research and Development Center

(043) 421-1465

 

Risk and Safety

This study requires the following precautionary measures to ensure the researchers’ safety:

1. In collecting the water and substrate from different environments and gathering the four Mangrove species, including Bakawang Babae, Putotang Lalaki, Kalapinay and Saging-saging, the researchers should seek experts’ assistance to ensure proper collection and handling of the needed materials.

2. In conducting the laboratory test, the researchers should observe the standard procedures and use of proper equipment to gather necessary data.

 

 

Bibliography, references, and acknowledgements

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Alongi, J. and Robertson L. Mangrove and Its Adaptation. 2013. www.encyclopedia.com.

Ball M.C., et.al. "Growth and water use of the mangroves Rhizophora apiculata and R. stylosa in response to salinity and humidity under ambient and elevated concentrations of atmospheric CO2." June 28, 2008. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1365-3040.1997.d01-144.x.

Bareja, Ben G. “Climatic Factors can Promote or Inhibit Plant Growth and Development”. February 2011. https://www.cropsreview/climatic-factors.html

Community Environment and Natural Resources Office. "Pansipit River Management Plan 2016-2021." 2016.

Duke, N. Rhizophoraceae Mangrove Family. 2006. https://raskisimani.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/rhizophora-iwp-mangrove-family.pdf.

Feller, C. "Mangroves." 2018. https://ocean.si.edu/ocean-life/plants-algae/mangroves.

Gilman, Eric, et. al. "Pacific Island Mangroves in a Challenging Climate and Rising Sea." 2006. http://www.wpcouncil.org/outreach/mangrove-report.pdf.

Hill, K. Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory. 2001. https://www.sms.si.edu/iRLSpec/Avicen_germin.htm.

Liang, Shan et. al. Chinese Science Bulletin. 2008. https://www. researchgate.net/publication/225834205_adaptation_salinity_magroves_implication_on_the_evolution_of_salt_tolerance

Luistro, Marlon Alexander S. Illegal fish cage operations poison Taal Lake. June 04, 2008. http://pcij.org/stories/illegal-fish-cage-operations-poison-taal-lake/.

Marek, Paul. Mangroves. 2018. http://www.mangrove.at/mangrove_roots.html.

Morgan, E. Mangroves may store way more carbon than we thought. 2018. https://news.mongabay.com/2018/05/new-study-finds-mangroves-may-store-way-more-carbon-than-we-thought.

Morton, Jamie. “Why are our rivers and lakes becoming unsafe?”. January 2017. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11786022

Radav.Growth rate of Mangroves.2014. https://www.researchgate.net/post/can_the_growth_rate_of _young_mangrove_saplings_be_determined_by_diameter_measures .

Sakurai, et. al. "Salinity and pH in Japanese mangrove forests and growth of cultivated mangroves in different soil conditions." 2016. www.researchgate.net/publication/227320548_salinity_and_pH_in_Japanese_mangrove_forests_and_growth_of_cultivated_mangroves_plant_in_different_soil_conditions.

Salmo, K. , et.al. Rhizophora Apiculata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. 2010. www.iucnredlist.org.

Sather, et. al. Ethobotanical and Fishery-Related Studies on Mangrove Ecosystem with Special Reference to Malvan Tahsil of Sindhudarg District Maharashtra. 2012. https://sciencejournal.in/data/documents/TFR-3-3.pdf.

Tan, R. Rhizophora apiculata. 2016. http://www.wildsingapore.com/wildfacts/plants/mangrove/rhizophora/apiculata.htm.

 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The completion of this humble work would not be possible without the following generous individuals to whom the researchers like to express her heartfelt gratitude.

            To Steven Marandan, Veronica Marasigan, Faith Batalla, Tatiana Amo and Baby Joy Ricalde, former STEM student, for encouragement and lending a hand in making this study;

            To Sarena, Amabelle and Earlyka, her friends, for their moral support and unmeasurable help;

            To their parents, for their moral and financial assistance;     

To Dr. Baby Janet U. Dimailig, school principal, for her valuable help;

            To Dr. Randie B. Atienza, research teacher, for his long patience in guiding and leading the researcher and for staying in times of problems and conflict in the study;

            To National Fisheries and Biological Center, especially to Mr. John Paul Cabasal and Mr. Jude Majam, for their humble assistance as they perform the laboratory testing;

            To MGADH-MENRO, especially to Sir Garry D. Mendoza who help them in gathering mangrove species;

            To Mrs. Maricel, the caretaker of mangroves in the mangrove forest, for her humble support; and lastly

            To Mr. Mario A. Cudiamat, mangrove specialist, for systematic identification of mangrove species used in the study.

            And above all, to the Almighty God, for showering them good health, strength, and determination as she fulfill this study;

            Sincere appreciation is also given to all people who remained unnamed but shared their time and talents to make this a work a reality.

FACILITY

National Freshwater Fisheries Research and Development Center- a 2.5 hectare research center of the Imstitute situated in Butong, Taal, Batangas and it serves as the main repository of researches in Taal Lake and is involved in the conservation efforts of the lake and its resources

EQUIPMENT

1.pH meter- instrument used to measure acidity or alkalinity of a solution - also know as pH.

2. refractometer-scientific instrument that is used to measure the refractive index of a liquid or solid sample., device used to measure the salinity of a substance