Comparison of Phytoplankton Abundance and Diversity in Selected Sites Along Iloilo-Guimaras Strait near Panay Energy Development

LANEL ROSE C. CORDOVA, CLOYD IAN T. DEMANDANTE, KRISTEL JOYCE T. OCCEÑA, and ANDREA LUCYLE M. BELA-ONG
Philippine Science High School – Western Visayas Campus, Brgy. Bito-on, Jaro, Iloilo City 5000, Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute, Philippines


Abstract
Phytoplankton community diversity in selected sites along Iloilo-Guimaras Strait near Panay Energy Development Corporation (PEDC) coal-fired power plant in Brgy. Ingore, La Paz, Iloilo City was compared with those from two other areas one kilometer away from the plant. The vertical tow method was applied during sampling, with the use of a plankton net (25 μm). Water physical parameters including turbidity, pH, temperature, and salinity were also measured. It was found that the most abundant phytoplankter for all sampling stations was the Cyanophyta (A 36.5%, B 25.4%, and C 46.3%). The Shannon-Wiener and Simpson’s diversity indexes both indicate that the sampling station closest to PEDC had the most diverse hytoplankton community. Water pH was the only parameter that showed statistically significant difference (One-way ANOVA p < 0.05). The operation of PEDC coal-fired power plant, particularly the high water turbulence that it generates, causes nutrient circulation, which in turn favors the growth of certain phytoplankton species in the Iloilo-Guimaras Strait. Certain modifications in methods are recommended including the use of Sedgewick-Rafter chamber and the increase of number of repetitions of the counting procedure per sample. It is recommended that similar studies be conducted at another power plant in the Philippines, considering treatment facilities and chemical parameters, or conducting at different times of the day.


Keywords: phytoplankton, diversity, abundance, Iloilo-Guimaras Strait, coal-fired power plant