May 23, 2012

Labrador (23 May 2012)

Finally, I got a chance to monitor the seagrasses at Labrador shore.
Labrador is one of the last few shores on the mainland with good growths of seagrasses, and it has been affected by the massive reclamation for the new Pasir Panjang container terminal (seen on the horizon in this photo).

I started in the area between the Promenade and the jetty. The seagrasses here seemed alright! Nice lush growths of Sickle seagrass (Thalassia hemprichii) especially close to the low water mark. Also a sprinkling of Spoon seagrasses (Halophila ovalis) here and there.
There's lots of seagrasses next to the seawall at the Promenade!
Here's another look at the patch during daylight.
There are many nice long Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides) growing in deeper water here.
Some of the Sickle seagrasses were bleaching near the base. Oh dear. But most of the Sickle seagrasses seemed alright. No bleaching, nice long blades.
But much of the shore westward after the jetty was bare of seagrasses. Some had green seaweeds that resemble seagrass, or other kinds of seaweeds. Some were totally bare.
Among the common seaweeds growing here were various Halimeda, Gracilaria and Caulerpa species, and many large clumps of Smooth sponge green seaweed, which are actually a combination of an algae and a sponge, just like lichen!
I did come across four patches of Tape seagrasses. Only one patch of Tape seagrasses were 'cropped'. Unlike at Cyrene where most of these usually long seagrasses are cropped short. Here's what Len of Seagrass-Watch shared about why they might be cropped.
There are some patches of good Spoon seagrass growths near the high shore.
Here's another look at the Spoon seagrass patches. They are quite close to the narrow sandy beach beneath the natural cliffs along this shore.
Today, there's a bloom of Bryopsis seaweeds. These wash up on the high shore leaving a green carpet of seaweeds.
I didn't have a chance to look closely at the marine life today as I focused on monitoring. Here's more about what else I saw.

Labrador shore and the jetty are now permanently closed to the public due to safety issues. The natural cliffs along the shore are not very stable. 

Thanks to Yuet Hsin of NParks for permission to monitor, and Benjamin Lee for accompanying me! In December 2011, a small team attempted to monitor seagrasses here but the tide was not as low as predicted. So I'm glad the monitoring got done today.

Hopefully, as the massive construction nearby comes to an end, the seagrasses and other marine life at Labrador can return. It is only through long-term monitoring that we can learn more about what is happening on this shore.

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