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A Comparative Study of Marine

Macrobenthos Biomass and Physicochemical

Analysis of Cancabato Bay, Philippines
Añover, Anne Pauline T., Bulusan, Marjorie R., Garnace, Lorei Felisse L.
Philippine Science High School – Eastern Visayas Campus,,

Escalating anthropogenic activities has caused adverse Aquatic pollution is principally due to industrial,
effects to various bodies of water. Macroinvertebrate domestic, and agricultural waste disposals. Effluents from
communities respond to a wide range of environmental the industries producing dangerous trace metals and
stressors. Thus these are often used as bioindicators of organic toxicants, constitute a threat to the marine
environmental condition. This study will evaluate and compare
ecosystem. Because of bioaccumulation capacity, trace
the water quality for Cancabato Bay by analysing marine
macrobenthos communities’ biomass and its relationship to metals are classified as priority pollutants among a sizable
pollution and disturbance. Sediment and water samples were mass of toxic substances disposed in water through human
obtained from the eight sampling sites that were established in activates. Even though some trace metals are significant to
the littoral and limnetic zones of the bay during dry season. The humans, their presence in superfluous amounts may be
macroinvertebrate attributes, physicochemical parameters, and toxic. Within the environment, these metals can interrupt
particle size distribution of sediments were measured. The the marine ecosystem and human health. Hence, to
lowest conductivity measured was 35.7ms/cm, pH was 5.9, and preserve extant marine species and to protect marine life
salinity was 22.8 ppt. These measurements do not meet the from greater destruction, particular valid monitoring
threshold values optimal for a marine community to thrive.
procedures must be formulated. One of the authentic
Seventy-five percent of sediment samples had a particle size
<63m, which is indicative of sediment pollution. Biological monitoring procedures in water health assessment is the
components of the eight sites were dominated by the genera of utilization of bioindicators, but determination of the degree
gastropods Anadara, Anomalocardia and Sermyla, this study of aquatic pollution can further be analyzed through
aims to show the distribution of marine macrobenthos and to contaminant analysis of trace metals [13].
correlate Shannon-wiener index (H') to water quality
parameters such as, water temperature, dissolved oxygen, Cancabato Bay is known to be the main source of fish for
conductivity and pH. The biodiversity assessment showed a the fisher folks in Tacloban City. In Tacloban City there are
positive relationship with the physicochemical parameters and 16 barangays surrounding the bay and was previously
particle size distribution. The results demonstrate that
declared to be an aquaculture area in 2003 by the
Cancabato Bay has unfavourable water condition that poses a
serious threat to marine habitat.
Sanggunian ng Bayan. After the typhoon Haiyan, the fisher
folks observed that they caught fewer fishes. According to
Index Terms— macroinvertebrates, water pollution, the Philippine Statistics Authority, in 2013, the volume of
biological assessment, bioindicator, marine biodiversity production of commercial fisheries was 14,350.63 metric
tons, but after the typhoon [4], the volume of production
of commercial fisheries became 6,926.75 metric tons.
I. INTRODUCTION Moreover, the value of production in 2013 was P1, 007,
338.92, and in 2014, it became P519, 946.90. These
Over the last century, estuary and coastal water pollution
statistics shows significant decrease not only in the
has been established as a global crisis in the natural
production but also in the in-come of the fisher folks.
environment because anthropogenic and lithogenic
sources release a substantial volume of pollutants into
The water quality regulation is commonly tackled by
estuaries and coastal waters. Critical dangers for the health
monitoring multiple parameters in water, sediment and
of aquatic organisms and human beings root from most of
responsive organisms. This regulation is concentrated on
these pollutants, and they cause environmental crises in
physicochemical and, less commonly, on biological
aquatic ecosystems, like reduction of biodiversity, wide
variables. The distribution of numbers of individuals among
spread of exotic and invasive species, contamination of
species and the distribution of biomass among species in
water, fecal coliform contamination, eutrophication, anoxia,
marine macrobenthic communities show a differential
bioabsorption, and bioaccumulation. The continual
reaction to pollution-induced agitations. The measurement
discharge of pollutants needs comprehensive evaluation of
of changes in the structure of marine communities is
organic and inorganic pollutants and their ecological
widely used for the detection and monitoring of man's
repercussions to be able to establish management policies
impact on the sea [10]. The biological parameters are
for preserving ecologic condition and biologic communities
considered important components of water quality
in aquatic and coastal waters [3].
because they are direct measures of the condition of the

biomass and they uncover problems undetected or sediment’s particles size, water content, marine
underestimated by other methods. Such criteria may productivity system (total nitrogen and total phosphorus),
potentially provide measurements of the progress of total organic carbon (TOC), and trace metals (Cd, Pb, Cu,
restoration efforts [11]. Zn, Ni Co).
C. Calculating Biotic Indices
This study focuses on studying Cancabato Bay to
determine the pollution and disturbance in Cancabato Bay 1. Biological Monitoring Working Party (BMWP)
that can aid in achieving safe water resource and protecting The BMWP score is the sum of the values for all
the diversity of the aquatic ecosystem. Based on the families present in the sample [1]. BMWP will
different studies reviewed, using bioindicators, trace metal determine the tolerance of the macrobenthos identified
determination, and physicochemical analysis for water towards pollution.
quality assessment provide accurate and expansive results
collectively. Thus, the study used marine macrobenthos as 2. Average Score per Taxon (ASPT)
bioindicators, and conduct trace metal determination and The Average Score per Taxon (ASPT) will determine the
physicochemical analysis in order to evaluate the condition average sensitivity of the families of the organisms
of Cancabato Bay in a more extensive and accurate manner. collected and will be calculated by dividing the BMWP
The findings of this study serves as baseline knowledge to score by the number of taxa present [1].
explain the current situation of Cancabato Bay.
3. Biomass
Physicochemical analysis, sediment analysis, specifically, The biomass of the macrobenthic samples will be
water content analysis and particle size distribution calculated by obtaining the dry weight of each sample
analysis, and marine macrobenthos identification were [5]. These samples of one species and one transect (0.45
conducted from the samples taken from Cancabato Bay m) will be dried for 3 to 5 days at 60° C in a well-
during the dry season. The data collected from identifying ventilated stove. They will be weighed, placed for 2 hours
macrobenthos samples and analyzing sediment and water in a furnace at 600° C, and weighed again. The weight
samples were utilized to evaluate the condition of loss at 600° C is considered to represent the ash-free dry
Cancabato Bay by the means of Canonical Correspondence weight (ADW) of the macrobenthos and is used as a
Analysis and biotic indices. measure for their biomass.

II. METHODOLOGY 4. Shannon-Weiner Diversity Index

It will determine the distribution of taxa (biotic
A. Collection of Samples diversity) of the samples collected within the
community. It will be calculated using the formula in (1).
1. Water Sample
The samples were collected from the eight sites in
5. Menhinick’s Index
Cancabato Bay and various physico-chemical
This measure of species richness is known as D, and it
parameters such as temperature, pH, DO, TSS and
will be measured using the formula in (5).
salinity were measured using the digital multimeter.
6. Pielou’s Evenness Index
2. Sediment Sample
Pielou’s Evenness Index is a measure of the
Sediment samples were collected using the van veen
distribution of individuals among the different taxa. It
grab. There were 2 replicates of sediment samples that
will be measured using the formula in (3).
were collected. The samples were transferred to a 0.5
um screened sieve bucket and were rinsed and washed
7. Abundance
with ambient sea water. All the sediments samller than
Abundance will be calculated to determine how
0.5 um were washed through the screen leaving the
common or rare a species is relative to other species in
remaining sediment on the screen. The samples
the sampling sites of Cancabato Bay. It will be measured
retained on the screen after washing were carefully be
using the formula (2).
placed in a container washed by distilled water.
8. A Marine Biotic Index (AMBI)
3. Macrobenthos samples
AMBI will assess the environmental impacts or fore-
Macrobenthic samples were also collected using the
casting different anthropogenic activities, proposing
van veen grab and at each site 2 replicates of
measures to minimize impact. It will be measured by the
macrobenthos were collected. The samples were placed
formula in (4).
in a bucket prefilled approximately half full with a
preservative consisting of a 10% seawater formalin.
D. Canonical Correspondence Assessment & Comparative
B. Sediment Analysis Analysis
The sediment samples were rinsed through a stack of 1 Using the species and environmental findings, canonical
and 0.55 mm sieves and the residues fixed in 4% buffered correspondence analysis (CCA) will be utilized to exhibit
formalin. The samples collected were used to evaluate the

the most essential correlation trends in the relationships of algal bloom [12]. Hence, the abundance of this genus
the macrobenthos and the environmental variables. indicates the presence of water pollutants.

III. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Cerithium is a genera highly associated with high levels
Macroinvertebrate Community of trace metals and organic matter, hence, their abundance
There were 23 genera that were identified from the 4 can indicate sediment contamination and trace metal
sampling sites, with 9 groups of cone snails, and 14 groups pollution. Anadara are used as bioindicators since they
of bivalves. The three dominating genera of the 4 sampling accumulate heavy and trace elements from water, and
site were: Cerithium with 63 organisms, Anadara with 51 sediments from food, or food, hence their abundance
organisms, and Glycymeris with 47 organisms. Anadara and indicates pollution. Glycymeris feed on phytoplankton and
Cerithium is a genus highly associated with high levels of algae; hence, with its abundance, it is deducible that
trace metals and organic matter, hence, their abundance phytoplankton and algae are abundant in the waters. The
can indicate sediment contamination & trace metal abundance of algae indicates the presence of polluted
pollution. Glycymeris feed on phytoplankton and algae, water with chemical substances that induce this algal
thus its abundance indicates the abundance of these bloom, which indirectly causes problem to aquatic
organisms. The abundance of algae indicates the presence ecosystem such as eutrophication. Hence, the abundance
of polluted water with chemical substances that induce this of this genre indicates the presence of polluted water [6],

Table I. Physicochemical parameters of the sampling sites

Site No. Salinity Conductivity DO pH Zone Secchi Depth Water Temperature
ppt ms/cm mg/L o
1 28.5 37.7 7.62 6.89 Limnetic 3 ft 29.77
Littoral 1 ft 8 in 29.5
2 22.8 36.7 6.94 5.99 Limnetic 3 ft 8 in 30
Littoral 2 ft 2 in 29.67
3 24.8 35.7 7.71 5.75 Limnetic 4 ft 3.5 in 29.87
Littoral 2 ft 4 in 30
4 27.3 44.1 7.34 6.71 Limnetic 4 ft 30
Littoral 1 ft 8 in 31
Table II. Sediment Particle Size Distribution Analysis
Physico-chemical Analysis of the Water would, in general, be perceived by the public as decreasing
the water quality, especially if the designated uses were
In analysing the physicochemical parameters of each domestic or industrial water supply, or recreation [8].
site, we were able to identify that the value of the varying
physicochemical parameters, such as DO, salinity, The optimal values of conductivity and salinity in marine
conductivity, water temperature, and secchi depth were waters, is 50-150 ms/cm and 33-37 ppt, respectively [2].
within the recommended standard values of the Fondriest Conductivity levels of the sampling sites varied from 35.8-
Environmental Incorporated [2], whereas a few values of 44.8 ppt. As seen on table I, all the sites had conductivity
pH were beyond this recommended standard. The standard levels within the permissible limits for these parameters.
range of pH is 6.5-8. As shown on Table I, the pH levels of The collected data may be due to the location of sampling,
sites 2 & 3, which are 5.99 and 5.75, are lower than the considering that the water samples were taken close to the
recommended values. This has negative indications, as a seafloor.
general increase in acidity in the ocean results to changes,
such as, reduction of biodiversity of all structural elements, The amount of DO measured, varied from 6.89-7.74 .all
and microflora and destruction processes are inhibited. of these values are within the optimal range, which is 7-
11mg/L, except for the DO in site 1, which has a dissolved
All of the sites had water temperatures that are within oxygen of 6.89mg/L (Refer to Table I) adequate dissolved
the normal range for the ocean’s water temperauture. The oxygen is necessary for good water quality. Dissolved
site with the lowest secchi depth is both site 1 of the oxygen is absolutely essential for the survival of all aquatic
littoral zone and site 4 of the littoral zone, having a secchi organisms as once the dissolved oxygen levels in water
depth of 1 foot and 8 inches. Increasing the concentrations drop below the optimal level, aquatic life is put under
of color, algae, or erosional materials (inorganic turbidity) stress. The lower the concentration, the greater the stress;
sufficiently to decrease water clarity, thus lowering the thus, the low DO of site 1 may possibly indicate that
secchi depth, aquatic life in this site is put under stress [9].

Sample ID Weight
Site No. Zone 500 250 64 <64

Initial Actual % Actual % Actual % Actual %
Weight weight weight weight weight
1 Limnetic 38.235 19.109 49.978 11.516 30.119 6.031 15.774 0.538 1.407
Littoral 43.332 24.344 56.180 7.682 17.728 2.757 6.363 1.034 2.386
2 Limnetic 25.397 3.044 11.986 2.603 10.249 16.146 63.574 1.810 7.127
Littoral 17.816 0.273 1.532 0.312 1.751 9.775 54.866 7.452 41.828
3 Limnetic 14.459 0.013 0.090 6.118 42.313 6.845 47.341 1.481 10.243
Littoral 29.099 7.179 24.671 6.805 23.386 12.189 41.888 2.925 10.052
4 Limnetic 29.915 0.755 2.524 5.835 19.505 15.909 53.181 5.262 17.590
Littoral 38.974 1.675 4.298 12.499 32.070 21.805 55.948 0.411 1.055

Sediment Analysis

The site with sediments mostly composed of the largest

particle size (500 micrometer) is site 1 of the littoral zone, Equations
comprising 56.180% of the initial weight of the sample. On (1) Shannon-Weiner Index
the other hand, the site with sediments composed of the Where H equals the Shannon’s diversity index, S
least amount of sediment of the afore-mentioned size is represents the total number of
site 3 of the limnetic zone, comprising 0.090% of the species in the community, pi
sample’s initial weight. Moreover, the site with the most represents the proportion of S
sediments of the smallest particle size (<64 micrometer) is up to the ith species, and EH
site 2 of the littoral zone, being 41.828% of the initial for the equitability or evenness (Magurran 2004).
weight of the sample.

Conversely, the site with the least sedi-ments of the

same size range is site 4 of the littoral zone, being 1.005%
of the initial weight of the sediment (2) Abundance
sample (Refer to table II). The sediments of the smallest Where I is the
size belong to the fraction of clay and silt. This sediment index, C is the number
fraction is a primary carrier of adsorbed chemicals or biomass caught at a station, a, is the area swept at a
(especially phosphorus, chlo-rinated pesticides and most station, n is the number of strata and w is the stratum
metals), which are transported by sediment into the weight.
aquatic system. Thus, it indicates that site 2 of the littoral
zone of Cancabato Bay is the site mostly polluted with the
said chemicals.

(3) Pielou’s Evenness Index

IV. CONCLUSION Where H’ is the Shannon-
Wiener Index and S is total
The results demonstrate that Cancabato Bay has
number of species or taxa. This value can be
unfavorable water condition that poses a serious threat to
interpreted as a comparison of the actual diversity in
marine habitat as suggested by the identified marine
the sample to the potential diversity if every individual
macrobenthos, physicochemical analysis, and sediment
belonged to a different taxon. (Beisel, 2003).
analysis. Findings of the study may serve as a measurement
for the progress of the restoration efforts of Tacloban City
on the Cancabato Bay. Hence, these data ought to help
raise awareness on the condition of Cancabato Bay, and
enable the LGU to realize possible projects for the
(4) A Marine Biotic
maintenance of the bay.
Index (AMBI)
With EG I being the
disturbance-sensitive species, EG II the disturbance-
indifferent species, EG III the disturbance-tolerant
species, EG IV the second-order opportunistic species
and EG V the first-order opportunistic species [14].

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