Native Trees on Mount Lantoy Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA), Argao, Cebu, Philippines
Edgardo P. Lillo1,3*, Archiebald B. Malaki1, Steve Michael T. Alcazar1,
Ritchie U. Nuevo1, and Raamah Rosales2
1Cebu Technological University – Argao Campus, Argao 6021 Cebu, Philippines
2Cebu Technological University – Main Campus, Cebu City 6000 Cebu, Philippines
3Forest Biological Sciences, College of Forestry and Natural Resources,
University of the Philippines Los Baños, College 4031 Laguna, Philippines
The forest cover of Cebu Island was now less than 1% of its total land area. The almost complete deforestation of Cebu Island has apparently led to the extinction of many native trees, birds, and other wildlife. Assessing native trees on Mount Lantoy key biodiversity areas (KBA) was important in providing materials to support the human decision-making process in the management of the area. Permanent plots with 20 m x 100 m dimension were established both in lower and upper elevations of Mount Lantoy KBA. A total of four plots were established in highly stratified vegetation to generate information in all vegetation classes.
A total of 112 species, classified into 64 families and 84 genera, were recorded. Out of 112 species, 88 were native trees, 10 shrubs, three ferns, three herbs, four vines, and four epiphytes. Majority of the species were recorded in Plots 1, 2, and 4. Seventeen native trees were categorized as threatened – with two species considered as critically endangered, three endangered, nine vulnerable, and three other threatened species identified. Mount Lantoy KBA has high species diversity (‘H = 3.5”), dominated by the species of Parishia malabog Merr. (15.287%) in terms of diameter, richness, and density per hectare. Majority of the native trees have a diameter of 10–19 cm (66%) and basal area of 8 m2/ha. Native trees of Mount Lantoy were threatened by illegal cutting, hunting, and the rampant conversion of forests to agriculture, with disturbance index value of moderately disturbed. All this information on native trees were essential for decision making, particularly in the rehabilitation and conservation of Mount Lantoy KBA.
The island of Cebu is located in Central Visayas and considered as the most denuded island in the central Philippines (Collar et al. 1999). Rapid depletion of Philippine forest resources began during the Spanish colonial period. During this period, the island of Cebu was completely stripped of its large hardwood trees to provide lumber for building Spanish galleons plying the Manila-Acapulco trade route during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. American colonialists further developed forest extraction and engaged in the wanton exportation of logs to their home country (Asia Magazine 1984). Bensel (2008) reiterated further that expansion of agriculture and fuel wood gathering is still increasing and creating pressure on the last remaining forests on Cebu. . . . . read more
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