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Diversity of the seaweed flora of the Philippines and its utilization

  • Gavino C. TronoJr.
Conference paper
Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology book series (DIHY, volume 137)

Abstract

Some 820 species of marine macrobenthic algae, including many species of Cyanophyta, are reported from the Philippines. These consist of 472 species of Rhodophyta belonging to 37 families and 11 orders, 134 species of Phaeophyta belonging to 10 families and 7 orders and 214 species of Chlorophyta belonging to 11 families and 7 orders. The Rhodophyta comprise 57.6%, the Phaeophyta 16.3% and the Chlorophyta 26.1% of the flora. Many of these species are of economic importance as food, sources of industrial products such as polysaccharides, bioactive and nutritional natural products, and growth promoting substances. Farming seaweeds is presently one of the most productive and environmentally friendly forms of livelihood for coastal populations. More than 80 000 people have been estimated to culture some 10000 ha of the coastal area. For example, production of farmed Kappaphycus/Eucheuma reached 58 324 dry metric tons in 1995 and was valued at US$44 million dollars. Production areas are concentrated in the southern Philippines. Other species in limited commercial production are Caulerpa lentillifera through farming, Gracilaria species through farming and gathering of local wild stocks and Gelidiella acerosa from harvesting wild stocks. Today, seaweeds and their products are the third most important fishery export.

Key words

seaweed flora diversity phycocolloids seaweed farming natural products utilization 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gavino C. TronoJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine Science Institute, College of ScienceUniversity of the PhilippinesQuezon CityPhilippines

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