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Species Distribution, Diversity, and Abundance of Sea Cucumbers in Tropical Intertidal Zones of Aurora, Philippines

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Document pages: 10 pages

Abstract: The distribution, diversity, and abundance of sea cucumbers in intertidal zones of Aurora were studied from February to June 2013 to obtain baseline data. A one-hour timed-search survey covering an approximate one kilometer over a ten-meter wide area was conducted in six coastal municipalities to obtain a comprehensive list of sea cucumber species found in the zones. Only four sampling stations (Baler, Dipaculao, Dilasag, and Dingalan) were selected for belt transect survey, 50 × 50 m, based on the availability of coralline, sandy, muddy sand, and rocky habitats which were laid perpendicular and parallel to each intertidal zone. Timed-search survey revealed a total of 15 species of sea cucumbers distributed among two Orders (Order Aspidochirotida and Order Apodida) and four Families (Family Holothuriidae, Family Stichopodidae, Family Synaptidae, and Family Chirotidae) were recorded. Synapta maculata is most common and has widespread distribution. Belt-tranect surveys showed Holothuria leucospilota is among the most frequently occurring species both during day time (58 ) and night time (75 ). The Dilasag sampling station had the most diverse species (0.71) while the Dipaculao sampling station had the densest species of Holothuria leucospilota (10,014 in∙ha−1) and abundant (95.91 ) species.

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