Vol. 57 No. 2 (2016): Silliman Journal
Welcome to the second issue of 2016. You will find on these pages that the research has primarily been in the natural sciences and a theme of marine conservation in a time of changing climate. The first study is from Silliman University’s Institute of Environmental and Marine Sciences where researchers Jean Utzurrum, Clarissa Reboton, and IEMS Director Nida Calumpong investigate fish standing stock and catch from coral reefs in three regions of the Philippines: Region V (Ticao Island, Masbate), VII (Negros Oriental), and XI (Davao Oriental). The authors found strong positive relationships between fish density and biomass with LHC cover but not with reef rugosity, suggesting, however, that these results are still largely preliminary and long-term temporal monitoring of the sites may reveal otherwise. Still, they state, “coral reefs remain to be a significant resource for municipal fisheries and should be monitored vigilantly to ensure food security for future Filipino generations. Sustainable fish stocks are not only reliant on well-regulated fisheries but more so on the effective protection of coral reefs which fishes inhabit.” Second, our colleagues from Nueva Ecija, Philippines look into “Plant Diversity in the Forest Ecosystem of Bataan Natural Park.” Annie Paz-Alberto and others wanted to determine the exploitation and conservation status of the forest ecosystem in Bataan, Philippines and found that the threats in the forest ecosystem included timber poaching, kaingin practices, soil erosion, charcoal making, and wildlife hunting. Similarly, Bing Brillo and Rhina Bonocan of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños studied ecotourism-based administration and development of Pandin Lake in San Pablo City, Laguna, on the premise that ecotourism benefits the lake in the provision of livelihood to residents and in ensuring the conservation of natural resources and that ecotourism in Pandin Lake, in particular, evolved completely due to a local community initiative. The authors argued, however, for the necessity of government support and commitment as well as research focused on developmentgovernance of small lakes in a field dominated by natural science-based studies (such as in limnology and aquaculture)and overwhelmingly concentrated on big lakes. The next three articles are by Silliman University biologistresearchers. In particular, Persie Sienes and Nida Calumpong looked into in situ temperature of shallow reef communities in Negros and Apo Island on the rationale that coral reefs provide a wide variety of ecosystem services and goods that benefit humankind, but the survival and health of reefs are threatened by natural and anthropogenic factors such as climate change and pollution. Results for Apo showed temperature peaks in the months of May, June, and July. For Sibulan site, peaks were observed in May, June, and September. Lowest temperature for both sites was observed in February. Between sites, variation may be explained by differences in coastal profiles, depths of reefs and influences of different water current systems. Variation from satellite-derived data may be due to depth differences since the latter are taken only from the surface. The authors recommend continuous in situtemperature monitoring as it provides a more localized profile especially in this period of climate change. This article is followed by “The Potential of Psidiumguajavain Lowering Blood Glucose Levels of Diet-induced Hyperglycemic Female White Sprague Dawley Rats” by Carlo B. Limbaga and Socorro Z. Parco. Given that Diabetes mellitus is a chronic metabolic disease that affects a lot of people worldwide, the researchers evaluated aqueous leaf extracts from different varieties of Psidiumguajavafor their potential in lowering elevated total blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia) by using diet-induced female Sprague Dawley rats finding that Pink Guava (Young Leaves) was found to be the most effective in treating hyperglycemia in the rats compared with the Hyperglycemic control. There was no significant difference compared with the synthetic drug, Metformin, suggesting that P. guajavaaqueous extracts are as effective as the established drug for Diabetes mellitus in the market. Sixth, biology department chair Robert Guino-o and colleagues conducted a study entitled “Lowering the Total Coliform of Vermicompost from Solid Waste Materials Produced by African Night Crawler Worm EudrilusEugeniae”. Highlighting the importance of vermicomposting as an established ecological sanitation program in order to produce low-cost organic fertilizers as an alternative to expensive commercial fertilizers, the authors also said that vermicomposts from biodegradable and human sludge contain high total coliform levels above the limit set by WHO. Hence, their study developed coliform-reducing strategies such as agricultural and hydrated lime, showing that aeration and exposure to the environment did not reduce coliform levels in vermicompost produced by the African Night Crawler earthworm Eudriluseugeniae and that post hoc analysis indicated higher total coliform levels in vermicompost applied with lower lime concentration. Their study recommends the use of agricultural lime over hydrated lime as it reduced coliform levels without impairing the NPK levels of the vermicompost. The final full-length article in this issue is a contribution by researchers from Madras Christian College in Chennai, India—Tilak and colleagues— who investigated traditional knowledge and sustainable local practices for enhancing coastal resource education and management in India. According to the authors, the“variety of coastal ecosystems along the Indian coastline measuring 8,129 km encompassing nine maritime states and four union territories include estuaries, lagoons, mangroves, backwaters, and coral reefs” whose “marine floral and faunal diversity is immense that India stands third in fish production and second in aquaculture in the world.” However, such rich coastal resources, has always been under threat for various reasons, contributing to loss in biodiversity and endangeringspecies. The authors suggest that a revival of traditional knowledge on sustainable fishery be synergized with activities of stakeholders (e.g., policy makers, NGOs, and the academe) in order to draft a proposal for an effective and successful coastal resource management.