11 November 2008

Study of effects of cofferdam on Labrador Nature Reserve shore

Results of a study of 'trenching' impact on the Labrador intertidal will be presented this Saturday 15 Nov 08.
Did these works signal the end of Labrador?

The Labrador Nature Reserve shores were affected by construction of a cofferdam and other works for the relocation of services cables in 2007. Even more massive construction is due nearby for the expansion of the Pasir Panjang Container Terminal.

Thanks to a heads up from N. Sivasothi.

A presentation as part of the Special Programme in Science’s Congress, the National University of Singapore

Effects of Trenching on Labrador Intertidal Habitat
Ng Su Zhen, Genevieve Siew Wei Xin, Su Wai Tara

Abstract

Modern society’s constant pursuit of urbanisation has had varying degrees of impacts on natural habitats. Hence, there is a need to shift the focus towards balancing conservation without impairing development.

This paper studies the possible impacts of processes involved in the installation of a service cable that runs across the intertidal zone of Labrador beach, Singapore (1°16.0’N). The shore was divided into three 10m wide zones, parallel to shore, approximately spanning high to low tide marks. To determine the effects of trenching in relation to the distance from the affected area, the shore was divided into four 60m long sections. Data sampled from randomly positioned quadrats within these zones and sections, were converted into Shannon-Weiner diversity index scores.

The abundance and diversity of organisms was compared across zones and also to a previous survey done before trenching and is represented by a rank abundance plot. It shows a significant decrease in the diversity and the abundance of organisms from that before the installation of the cable. Significant differences were also found in the analysis of substrate cover across the zones as well as that before the trenching took place.

However, there were no significant differences in the mean diversity index across zones, which imply that the effect of trenching activities were rather extensive across all zones and not isolated to the impacted zone.

However, further studies are required to identify the strength of correlation between the trenching process and its impacts on the zones that were not directly affected.

SP2172 Congress 15 Nov 08 (Sat)
Venue: S16-03-02, The National University of Singapore
Time: 09:30 – 09:50
Effects of Trenching on Labrador Intertidal Habitat
by Ng Su Zhen, Genevieve Siew Wei Xin, Su Wai Tara


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