Journal of Applied and Physical Sciences
Journal ISSN: 2414-3103
Artical DOI:
Received: 31 October 2014
Accepted: 16 August, 2015
Published: 15 October 2015
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  • Bark pH as a factor affecting the density of epiphytic terrestrial algae in Taman Wetland Putrajaya, Malaysia

Ihsan Alwi, Asmida Ismail, Siti Khairiyah Mohd Hatta, Faeiza Buyong, Norashirene Mohamad Jamil, Dzulsuhaimi Daud, Noor Akmal Wahab, Ahmad Ismail

Article first published online: 2015


In a normal situation, epiphytic terrestrial green algae favor an environment with a higher pH level. In fact, air pollution in the atmosphere may have contributed in altering bark pH and hence provides a better medium for algal growth. Besides, the high absorption capacity of the microalgae has made them easy to accumulate atmospheric pollutants in their cells immediately. Furthermore, the habitats of epiphytic terrestrial algal are mostly characterized by aridity and/or levels of temperature as well as light intensity. In particular, bark pH of tree surfaces has been considered as a critical factor affecting the communal structure of corticolous biocells. The current work is purposely designed to assess the effect of bark pH towards the number of algal cells inhabiting 15 standing trees from a sampling station located within the Central Region of Peninsular Malaysia, Putrajaya. Several methods are conducted, including field sampling, algal quantification, algal identification and a measurement of bark pH. Results reveal that the density of epiphytic terrestrial algae is found to be significant with the bark pH (p = 0.001). The positive correlation (r = 0.762) may have shown that bark pH does play an important role in determining the health of algal cells. The algae are believed as being able to tolerate a higher bark pH. The alkaline bark pH may have been altering the microalgal composition because it is found to be positively affecting the algal density of epiphytic microalgae. Therefore, a higher bark pH has been significantly contributing to the enrichment of algal density.