Diversity, coverage, distribution and ecosystem services of seagrass in three small islands of northern Papua, Indonesia: Liki Island, Meossu Island and Befondi Island

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ADITYA HIKMAT NUGRAHA
ILHAM ANTARIKSA TASABARAMO
UDHI EKO HERNAWAN
SUSI RAHMAWATI
RISANDI DWIRAMA PUTRA
ROBBA FAHRISY DARUS

Abstract

Nugraha AH, Tasabaramo IA, Hernawan UE, Rahmawati S, Putra RD, Darus RF. 2021. Diversity, coverage, distribution and ecosystem services of seagrass in three small islands of northern Papua, Indonesia: Liki Island, Meossu Island and Befondi Island. Biodiversitas 22: 5544-5549. Papua waters are one of the hot spot areas with high marine biodiversity in the world. Yet, the less accessible location and varying geographical conditions become the significant constraints of biodiversity study in this region, resulting in limited information about the diversity of marine resources, including the seagrass ecosystem. This research aims to investigate the diversity, coverage and distribution of seagrass in three small islands in the northern waters of Papua, namely Liki Island, Befondi Island, and Meossu Island, as well as to study the ecosystem services provided by the seagrass. This research is part of the Nusa Manggala Expedition, which was carried out in November 2018, consisted of seven observation stations. Data collection was conducted using the transect line method combined with plot quadrat. Information regarding seagrass ecosystem services was gathered through observation and direct interviews to the community. The results showed that there were seven species of seagrass in the studied sites, namely Cymodocea rotundata, Enhalus acoroides, Halodule uninervis, Halodule pinifolia, Halophila ovalis, Thalassia hemprichii, and Syringodium isoetifolium. Liki Island had the highest seagrass cover value of 82.24%, followed by Meossu Island and Befondi Island with seagrass cover of 63.23% and 31.25%, respectively. There were 13 seagrass ecosystem services identified in this research. The people of Liki Island and Meossu Island get the benefits of the existence of the seagrass ecosystem. The direct benefits are the presence of seagrass is associated with biota commonly used as food sources such as Siganus sp and sea cucumbers. There are efforts made by the community to maintain the sustainability of the seagrass ecosystem, which is known as sasi.

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