Abundance, Composition and Distribution of Phytoplanktonin Calamianes, Palawan

  • Jules Jason C Asis
  • Wilfredo L Campos
  • Fenelyn M Nabuab


Phytoplankton in Coron Bay of the Calamianes Islands, Palawan were investigated from 27-29 May2004. Samples were collected from 33 stations by filtering five 10 L buckets of surface water through a net with a 20 µm mesh bag. The phytoplankton consisted of four major groups. Diatoms, showed the highest mean density of 1432.9 ind•L-1. Silicoflagellates comprised the next most abundant group with a mean density of 132.3 ind•L-1. Dinoflagellates followed with a mean density of 94.8 ind•L-1, while the cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) had a mean density of 19.4 ind•L-1. The top three diatoms were Chaetoceros, Bacteriastrum and Coscinodiscus. The genus Peridinium was the most abundant dinoflagellate, while Tintinnopsis dominated the silicoflagellates. Among the cyanophytes, Trichodesmium showed the highest density. High phytoplankton concentrations were observed in the vicinity of a pearl farm and in areas adjacent to mangrove forests. Overall abundance and diversity in the study area are higher than in other similarly reef-dominated areas in the country. This may be attributed to factors on both large and local scales.