HomeThe Palawan Scientistvol. 10 no. 1 (2018)

Marine algae of the Sulu Sea islands, Philippines III. Taxonomic account of the Gracilariaceae (Rhodophyta) from the Cuyo Islands

Lawrence M Liao



The Cuyo Islands lie on the northern fringes of the vast Sulu Sea straddling between the westernmost Philippine island of Palawan and the central portion of the archipelago. A recent study revealed a high diversity of the benthic brown algae (Phaeophyceae) there. However, records of other algal groups like the green and red algae have been sporadic and few. This study is a survey of the representatives of the Gracilariaceae, a group of economically-important red algal species valued for its agar content. Collections were made by snorkeling and Scuba diving from shallow-water and subtidal habitats from 16 stations in six islands. Results revealed a total of five species of the Gracilariaceae distributed throughout the Cuyo Islands. As these species constitute a significant but untapped marine resource for commercial exploitation, the results of this survey will serve to provide useful baseline information for resource management, eventually contributing towards better livelihood generation and options in coastal villages.