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Title A Preamble to Seahorses in Mindanao, Philippines: describing variation and phenotypic differentiation of Hippocampus spp.
Posted by Sharon Rose Tabugo
Authors Sharon Rose Tabugo , Laurice Aiken Tumanda
Publication date 2018
Conference ECCB2018: 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology. 12th - 15th of June 2018, Jyväskylä, Finland
Volume Poster Presentation
Publisher Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) -Europe Section
Abstract ABSTRACT Seahorses are charismatic creatures and are considered as flagship species of the marine environment because they occupy various habitats. This study takes precedence in describing seahorses from Mindanao, Philippines. This study described and visualized subtle body shape variations between two common species of seahorses, Hippocampus comes and Hippocampus kuda from selected areas in Mindanao via elliptic fourier analysis. Results show highly significant differences in body shapes of groups of seahorses examined based on the Canonical Variate Analysis (CVA) and Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA). Body shape was species specific and also differ based on sex and geographical locations. Observed variations were found on the first and second principal components, which accounted for body width-length ratio and broadness of body plus head shape respectively. Results suggest strong evidence for phenotypic differentiation that could be a result of specialization to different microhabitats. Moreover, seahorse' body shape seem to evolve in respond to its important role in capturing prey in a given habitat. Our study suggests that it is vital to conserve microhabitats of seahorses in the marine environment. Furthermore, understanding the nature and variation of phenotypes in populations is vital for developing effective management strategies for conservation.
Index terms / Keywords Seahorses, Conservation, microhabitats, elliptic fourier analysis