Halophila spinulosa


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Halophila spinulosa
Species Authority: (R.Br.) Asch.
Common Name(s):
English Species code: Hn

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2008-03-15
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.
This species is widespread and common within its range. Although it is threatened by coastal development and trawling in some parts of its range, current global population trend is estimated to be stable, with localized declines. It is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Halophila spinulosa occurs in the Indo-Pacific, in the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and the northern half of Australia.
Australia; Indonesia; Malaysia; Philippines; Singapore
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – western central
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is common and is found in dense stands. The overall population trend is estimated to be stable but fluctuating. It is declining in Malaysia due to loss of habitat (coastal development).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is found in subtidal sandy, muddy and rocky areas, and in patches between coral reefs. This species produces a lot of seeds, and can therefore recover quickly from disturbance. This species is grazed by dugongs and turtles. It is very important as habitat where it is found, due to its structure.

This species is very sensitive to reductions in light and therefore may be threatened by decreasing water quality (sedimentation, eutrophication, resuspension of particles and pollutants).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by trawling activities, unsustainable fishing methods, coastal development, dredging and marina developments and increased sediment loads that reduce light availability. Halophila spinulosa also is affected by damage from boating and shipping activities and could be impacted by coastal run-off (Green and Short 2003).  In the Philippines, it is threatened by eutrophication, siltation, pollution, dredging and unsustainable fishing methods (Green and Short 2003).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: More research is needed on this species' phenology. 

Halophila spinulosa is included in various conservation and management plans. For example, the Queensland Fisheries Act allows destruction only when a permit has been assessed and issued. It cannot be damaged without a permit in New South Whales and Queensland and is protected in either Fisheries Act or in National Park or Marine Park Acts (Green and Short 2003).

Bibliography [top]

Birch, W.R. and Birch, M. 1984. Succession and pattern of tropical intertidal seagrasses in Cockle Bay, Queensland, Australia: a decade of observations. Aquatic Botany 19: 343-367.

Green, E.P. and Short, F.T. 2003. World Atlas of Seagrasses. University of California Press, Berkeley.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.3). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 2 September 2010).

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 spinulosa. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 28 August 2015.
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