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Halophila beccarii

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA LILIOPSIDA HYDROCHARITALES HYDROCHARITACEAE

Scientific Name: Halophila beccarii
Species Authority: Asch.
Common Name(s):
English Ocean Turf Grass, Species code: Hb

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B2ab(iii)c(ii,iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2007-03-17
Assessor(s): Short, F.T., Coles, R., Waycott, M., Bujang, J.S., Fortes, M., Prathep, A., Kamal, A.H.M., Jagtap, T.G., Bandeira, S., Freeman, A., Erftemeijer, P., La Nafie, Y.A., Vergara, S., Calumpong, H.P. & Makm, I.
Reviewer(s): Livingstone, S., Harwell, H. & Carpenter, K.E.
Justification:
Halophila beccarii has an Indo-Pacific distribution which is patchy and fragmented. The global population trends indicate this species is declining, although it is fast-growing and may recover quickly from disturbance. However, it also has a narrow, restricted depth range right at the intertidal zone which is an area where there is a lot of anthropogenic disturbance. Due to its specific habitat requirements and narrow depth range, its area of occupancy is estimated to be less than 2,000 km². Major threats include storms, coastal development, habitat destruction, mining and dredging, mechanical damage from boats of boats, pollution, sedimentation and aquaculture. There is a continuing decline in habitat quality and population fluctuations due to these threats. This species is listed as Vulnerable under criterion B2.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Halophila beccarii has a disjunct and fragmented distribution in the Indo-Pacific. In the Pacific, it is found from southern China to Singapore, Sarawak (Malaysia), and the northwestern Philippines.  In the Indian Ocean, it occurs from Malaysia, throughout the Bay of Bengal and along the west coast of India.
Countries:
Native:
Bangladesh; China; India; Malaysia; Myanmar; Philippines; Singapore; Sri Lanka; Thailand; Viet Nam
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Global population trends for Halophila beccarii are declining.

Halophila beccarii is common in intertidal areas in Bangladesh and India. It is common in seaward mangroves and lagoons in Malaysia and Thailand and in mud flats and seaward mangrove areas in China. The population is thought to be stable in Thailand. It is also stable in India, and in some places is increasing. The population is decreasing in Malaysia due to competition with Halodule pinifolia and habitat loss from mangrove destruction and coastal development.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Halophila beccarii is found in the upper intertidal zone and grows on mud or muddy sand substrates in estuarine and coastal areas. This species is fast-growing with large seed production. It is a colonizing species. This species flowers year round and has annual and perennial populations in Malaysia and Bangladesh. In India, it acts as a pioneer species in the succession process leading to mangrove formation.

This species has a narrow, restricted depth range right at the intertidal zone. It has a wide salinity tolerance (euryhaline) and can recover quickly from disturbance, such as increased sedimentation.

This species is one of two in the oldest lineage of seagrasses, and therefore has a high evolutionary value (i.e., living dinosaur).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Halophila beccarii is susceptible to a number of threats due to its very narrow restricted habitat in the intertidal zone.

Major threats to Halophila beccarii include destruction from cyclones, waves, intense grazing and infestation of fungi and epiphytes. Other threats include mangrove destruction, coastal development such as construction of harbours or jetties, ponds for shrimp farming, mining (Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia), sand dredging for landfills and anchoring and moving of boats, discharge of sediments, untreated sewage disposal, and aquaculture.

Areas where this species occurs are often rich in molluscs, thus this species can be threatened during mollusc harvesting, and other types of harvesting that use pull-nets.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Halophila beccarii has no specific conservation measures. It is often protected when it is present in mangroves in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

Recommended conservation measures are to control the impacts from coastal development, mangrove destruction, and building aquaculture farming (particularly shrimp ponds).

Citation: Short, F.T., Coles, R., Waycott, M., Bujang, J.S., Fortes, M., Prathep, A., Kamal, A.H.M., Jagtap, T.G., Bandeira, S., Freeman, A., Erftemeijer, P., La Nafie, Y.A., Vergara, S., Calumpong, H.P. & Makm, I. 2010. Halophila beccarii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 26 October 2014.
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