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Algae > Volume 37(3); 2022 > Article
Algae 2022;37(3): 227-237. doi: https://doi.org/10.4490/algae.2022.37.8.16
Seaweed ethnobotany of eastern Sorsogon, Philippines
Richard V. Dumilag1,*, Teresa Haide R. Belgica1, Lynn C. Mendoza1, Janet M. Hibay1, Abel E. Arevalo Jr.1, Mark Ariel D. Malto1, Elden G. Orgela1, Mabille R. Longavela1, Laurence Elmer H. Corral1, Ruby D. Olipany2, Caesar Franz C. Ruiz2, Cynthia B. Mintu2, Benilda O. Laza2, Mae H. San Pablo1, Jinky D. Bailon1, Leny D. Berdin1, Franklin P. Calaminos1, Sheryll A. Gregory1, Annie T. Omoto1, Vivien L. Chua1, Lawrence M. Liao3
1Fisheries Department, Sorsogon State University, Magallanes Campus, Aguada Norte, Magallanes, Sorsogon 4705, Philippines
2Department of Biological Sciences, Institute of Arts and Sciences, Far Eastern University, Nicanor Reyes Sr. St., Sampaloc, Manila, 1015, Philippines
3Graduate School of Integrated Sciences for Life, Hiroshima University, 1-4-4, Kagamiyama, Higashi-Hiroshima, 739-8528, Japan
*Corresponding Author  Richard V. Dumilag, Tel: +62-056-211-0200, 
Email: richard.dumilag@sorsu.edu.ph
Received: June 17, 2022;  Accepted: August 16, 2022.  Published online: September 15, 2022.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Knowledge on the seaweeds of eastern Sorsogon in the Philippines is uneven. Not only is eastern Sorsogon among the areas of high seaweed diversity but locals there have interacted with seaweeds for ages. Despite seaweeds’ assumed importance to Sorsoganon, ethnobotanical records are missing. In this study, we documented the traditional knowledge on seaweed use and determined the rate of knowledge transmission among the locals of eastern Sorsogon. Vernacular names and modes of preparation were given of the 12 identified species bearing culinary and medicinal importance. Ten species were eaten while three were used therapeutically. Based on ethnobotanical indices, Caulerpa chemnitzia ecad turbinata and Gelidiella acerosa were the most important seaweeds. The least cited was Caulerpa racemosa. Our study demonstrated that most of the seaweed resources in eastern Sorsogon remain largely untapped, as the identified ethnotaxa were only about 5% of the total seaweed species diversity reported for the area. The seaweed knowledge in eastern Sorsogon appeared to be homogenous across age groups with primary sources of knowledge biased towards female relatives (mothers and grandmothers) and to children as inheritors. Cessation of seaweed knowledge may come at a potential cost, as a significant fraction of the population did not transmit their knowledge to others. Our study furthered the interest in providing sophisticated resource management recommendations that consider the relationships of traditional and scientific knowledge of seaweed selection and use in eastern Sorsogon and beyond.
Key words: Bulusan; Caulerpa chemnitzia ecad turbinata; edible seaweed; Gelidiella acerosa; medicinal seaweed; Sta. Magdalena

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