Tree Species Composition, Richness and Diversity of the Mount Matutum Protected Landscape (MMPL), Philippines
By: Christine Dawn G. Obemio, Marigold C. Tumamac, Leopoldo L. Remollo, Paolo M. Tagaloguin, Maximo C. Aljibe, Proserpina G. Roxas, Edna P. Oconer
Key Words: Biodiversity, Conservation, Forest, Disturbed, Undisturbed.
J. Bio. Env. Sci. 8(3), 125-136, March 2016.
Forest trees assemblage and distribution were assessed through Plot Method across disturbed and undisturbed habitat gradients (500-1712 masl) representing lowland, montane and mossy forests of Mount Matutum Protected Landscape (MMPL). Species diversity through composition, richness and distribution along with endemism and conservation status was also determined. 1349 stems (≥10 cm DBH) were recorded; resolved into 45 families, 82 groups and 129 species – primarily dominated by genus Ficus of the Moraceae family. Disturbed lowland forest is mostly represented by Piper aborescens, Artocarpus blancoi, and Mimusops elengi; whereas undisturbed lowland forest is dominated by Trema orientalis, Dendrocnide orbicularis and Ficus ulmifolia. Securinega flexuosa dominates both disturbed and undisturbed montane forest. Meanwhile, Dacrycarpus imbricatus covers 80% of mossy forest disturbed and undisturbed areas. Disturbed and undisturbed montane forests (1323-1372 masl) demonstrate the most species-rich area. Species diversity index is highest in the disturbed montane forest (0.96) and lowest in undisturbed lowland forest (0.85). Two critically endangered and 16 vulnerable species were identified – of which 5 are Philippine endemics indicating that an efficient biodiversity conservation measure must continuously be undertaken in MMPL.