Feb 26, 2008

Seagrass Angels @ Labrador - "backposting"

Hi all!

It's been quite some time since we met up with the Seagrass Angels from Labrador and the angel commander - Mr Lim (aka Chengpuay)
So Siti and I went down last Tuesday (19th Feb) to get our hands and feet wet with them. In fact, heh, the gals have already posted the day's events plus more details on their blog - check it out here

Just a recap, the hardworking trio + teacher monitors our seagrasses composed mainly of Thalassia hemprichii mixed with Enhalus acoroides and Halophila ovalis at Labrador. On top of the usual parameters according to the SeagrassWatch method, they also go around 'poking' seagrasses to monitor the growth rates.

The score for seaweeds vs seagrasses during the monitoring first appeared 1:0! The entire shore was covered with macroalgae, mainly Bryopsis sp. and although my guess is the algae are seasonal, I was dismayed for a second at the thoughts of not seeing the beautiful lush seagrasses. See what I mean...

Nonetheless, the Seagrass Angels persevered and carried on with the survey, trying not to miss out all the various species amidst the seaweed-laden substrate. In fact, the gals looked like they were doing seaweed farming (See picture below), with quadrats filled with it. I must say the young gals are pretty sharp and spotted some Halophila ovalis hiding below the Thalassia hemprichii, which were in turn 'hidden' by the top cover of macroalgae. Well done for being meticulous - kudos to the teacher too ;p (Note for the 'older' seagrassers like me, heh, we have to be as careful as the youthful ones!).

Fortunately for the sun-scotched seagrassers, the tide receded further, and the luscious green seagrasses once again unveiled...

On completing the quadrats, we proceeded quickly - Well, we got somewhat distracted along the way by flowering Thalassia hemprichii, a naked hermit crab - YES - 'NAKED' and a shrimp, before Mr Lim kept screaming at, nope, it's REMINDING us to focus on the tasks ahead =).

Note: I'm so sorry, all my pictures of the animals mentioned above came out rather "abstract" - so only posted this vaguely clear submerged flower. Sob!

Finally, we choose a lush looking patch of seagrasses (Thalassia hemprichii), Chengpuay got the gals to mark a square, within which we started to 'poke' or pierce a hole in the blades of the seagrass. On Saturday, the seagrass angels would be back to check on the growth. And with that, the day's job was done!

A catfish caught by the receding tide greeted us just before we made our way back too. Thanks for the hard work, Chengpuay and seagrass angels!

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