Developing a Georeferenced Database of Selected Threatened Forest Tree Species in the Philippines


Lawrence Tolentino Ramos1, Alfie Misena Torres1,
Florencia Bacani Pulhin1,2, and Rodel Diaz Lasco1

1World Agroforestry Centre, 2F Khush Hall, IRRI Campus,
Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines
2Forestry Development Center, College of Forestry and Natural Resources,
University of the Philippines Los Banos, College, Laguna, Philippines

corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Georeferenced species occurrence is a prerequisite in species distribution modeling and species-ecosystem correlation analysis and also aids in tracking plant species and prioritizing scarce resources for conservation. The Global Biodiversity Information Facility, legacy literature of biodiversity, contemporary literature, technical reports and biodiversity surveys are important sources of species occurrence data waiting to be georeferenced. In this paper, we discussed a method used to georeference occurrences of threatened forest tree species from the above sources. Locality descriptions were initially narrowed down in geographic information system using administrative maps and further confined using two criteria: 1) elevation and 2) surface cover information from remotely-sensed images. The result was a georeferenced database of 2,067 occurrence records of 47 threatened forest species on a national scale. Each record had a unique point feature per species and enough metadata directing the database user to the source of occurrence data. The database can be used as a tool in determining priority species for specimen or germplasm collection, for taxonomic identification and historical mapping. It also serves as an integral component in spatially modeling the distribution of tree species and forest formations in the past and in a possible future scenario.



The Philippines is a tropical country hosting a high concentration of plant species diversity, ranking 5th in the world, and housing 5% of the world’s flora (RP 2009). Yet ironically, it is also a leading biodiversity hotspot of threatened forest trees in the world due to anthropogenic habitat alteration (Myers et al. 2000). The environment department’s administrative order (DAO) 2007-01 (DENR 2007), which constitutes the official country listing of threatened plant species, lists 174 vulnerable species, 101 critically-endangered species, 187 endangered species and 64 other threatenedplant speciesin the Philippines. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN 2003) Red list of threatened plant species also provides an annually updated listing. . . . . . . . . . . .





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