Diversity of Marine Gastropods and Population Structure in Nickel Mining Along Intertidal Area in Carasscal, Surigao Del Sur,Philippines
Nickel is a trace metal widely distributed in the environment as a result of natural andanthropogenic processes. This metal is considered harmful when it enters the body since it willinterfere with the metabolism of other essential metals which can suppress or interfere with itstoxic and carcinogenic effects to the body. It is for this major reason that many people along theintertidal area of a nickel mining company in Carrascal, Surigao del Sur in Mindanao, thePhilippines, are so concern about the harmful effects of mining nickel in the mountains along thecoast not only to their fishing livelihood but also to their health since they also utilize the resourcesof the coast for food. Added to this is the lack of proper disposal of the mining wastes that directlyare dumped into the bay resulting to siltation and contamination of the bay. We investigated thestatus of the bay by looking into the communities of both economically and non-economicallyimportant gastropods as potential indicators of nickel pollution in the bay. The physicochemicalconditions of the sea water along the coastline were measured and identified that includestemperature, pH, salinity, and dissolved oxygen (DO) including the amount of nickel in the siltwhere the gastropods were collected. Results show low richness and diversity index in thegastropods. Low species richness and diversity were observed in all areas. While nickel amountsin silt vary from area to area, we cannot make a direct correlation with its effects on diversity asthe areas are also being continuously exploited by coastal communities by collecting thegastropods for food and economic purposes. However, with the varying amounts of nickel in silt,more studies are needed for the monitoring of nickel in the meat of gastropods since this may ormay not affect the health of the people who will be eating them.
Keywords - Marine Gastropods, Nickel, Multiple Linear Regression Analysis, Carrascal SDS.