An Introduction to the Effects of Sediment Turbidity on Total Protein Content of Macrobrachium Lanchesteri

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1.1 Background of the Study
Macrobrachium lanchesteri (de Man, 1911) is a fairly common prawn cultivated and known to locals of Biak-na-Bato as “Palos”. M. lanchesteri is consumed and harvested by locals due to the species’ prominence in the waters of Balaong River. However, reports of mining and tea-rose marble quarrying have significantly altered the water quality in the area (Nazareno, 2012). Online records show that mining and quarrying continued until August 2011 (Balbin, M. and Gamos, E, 2011) while locals report that large scale quarries stopped only in September 2012, with small scale quarrying still occurring in Biak-na-Bato (Nazareno, 2012). Locals have long complained about the sediment deposition and changing turbidity of Balaong river water, and have speculated on possible detrimental effects of altering these parameters on the site’s flora and fauna, particularly on the prawn population present in the area. A quantitative study directly assessing the consequences of quarrying on the total protein content of M. lanchesteri may provide scientific evidence on the effects quarrying has on wildlife. Though described as a relatively small species, M. lanchesteri is also known to provide considerable contributions to its habitat biomass since the species normally occurs in large quantities1. An alteration on the water turbidity may have an effect on the number and quality of M. lanchesteri, and this in turn may induce damaging effects on the ecology of the area. Studies by Shuhaimi-Othman and Nor-Azwa (2004) enumerate characteristics of prawn that make them valuable in toxicity testing. These include their widespread and relatively common occurrence in freshwater and ease of handling during testing and sampling. These prawns are subject to exposure risks to chemicals, making them good bioindicator for freshwater ecotoxicological assessment (Shuhaimi-Othman et al., 2006). However, there are no studies assessing turbidity effects on the protein content of M. lanchesteri present in current literature. The closest article is that of Shuhaimi-Othman, Nadzifah and Ahmad (2009), which tackles toxicity of the elements copper and nickel to the said prawn. Scientific Classification

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Class Malacostraca
Order Decapoda
Family Palaemonidae
Genus Macrobrachium
Species M. lanchesteri (de Man, 1911)
Common Names: Palos, Rice field prawn, Glass prawn

1.2 Statement of the Problem
Do environmentally-relevant turbidity levels caused by tea rose marble sediment affect the total protein content of Rice field prawn, Macrobrachium lanchesteri de Man?

1.3 Research Objectives
General objective:
To determine the effect of varying sediment turbidity on the total protein content of rice field prawn, Macrobrachium lanchesteri de Man, present in the waters of Biak-na-bato National Park, San Miguel Bulacan

Specific objectives:
1. To identify the composition of sediment present in the site, Balaong River 2. To describe the physico-chemical condition of freshwater from selected study sites in Biak-na-Bato National Park 3. To indirectly evaluate the effects of quarrying in the area by studying the effects of turbidity as a selected parameter in the quality of prawns harvested 4. To both qualitatively and quantitatively analyze the effects of turbidity caused by mixing of tea rose marble sediment on the total protein content of Macrobrachium lanchesteri de Man

1.4 Hypothesis
Ho: Environmentally-relevant turbidity levels caused by quarry sediment do not affect the total protein content in Macrobrachium lanchesteri. H1: Environmentally-relevant turbidity levels caused by quarry sediment affect the total protein content in Macrobrachium lanchesteri.

1.5 Significance of the Study
Continual quarrying around Biak-na-Bato National Park has long troubled the locals, mainly due to drastic water...
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