(Ecology) Witness the Transformation of Rocky Coast into Sandy Shore in Western Taiwan
By TTNews Reporter Chang, Ya-Shan
TAOYUAN, TAIWAN (TTNews) – The public perception of Taiwan’s west coast is a sandy terrain. However, according to survey data provided by the he Executive Yuan Council of Agriculture Endemic Species Research Center (hereinafter referred to as Endemic Species Research Center), the history of algal reefs in Guanyin Township, Taoyuan County can be traced back thousands of years ago. The thoroughly examined specimens obtained from this area have more than 2,000 species. The northern, southern and eastern sides of this piece of algal reefs are classified as sandy coast; thus, the millennium algal reefs become a piece of important evident, as well as the witness to the transformation of western Taiwan from the rocky shore into sandy terrain.
As a matter of fact, algal reefs are organic reefs which have been formed largely of red, green and other calcareous algal remains and in which algae were the main lime-secreting organisms after cementation and calcareous deposition. Algal reefs can be described as the Earth’s remaining natural souvenir of environmental changes. It is worth mentioning that the distribution area of algal reefs in Taiwan is far below the coral reef, which is fairly precious and rare.
As for Taoyuan County, algal reefs are mainly distributed in the mouth of Sinjie River in Dayuan Township, Laojie River in Guanyin Township and Sinwu River in Sinwu Township. Among of all, the mouth of Xiaofanli River in Guanyin Township and the peripheral area of Sinwu River at present have the most complete algal reefs, which look quite fascinating from a distance. Due to the slow growth rate of algal reefs, they can only form an annual average of 0.1 cm to 0.2 cm. Compared to coral reefs, the growth rate is significantly much slower. Judging from the size of algal reefs formed along the coastline of Guanyin Township, it at least requires more than 2,000 years. At present, the size of algal reefs so far is still growing.
Since the formation of algal reefs is extremely difficult, it is quite amazing to see such a large scale of algal reefs formed in Guanyin Township, Taoyuan County. Environmental Protection Department has proposed the designation of the Ministry of Interior Construction and Planning Agency to set up the algal reef protection zone for sustainable conservation.