Diversity of Tree Species Within an Urban Forest Fragment in Albay Province, Eastern Philippines
Dean Carlo F. Galias, Jonathan Jaime G. Guerrero*, Mheljor A. General, Erwin N. Bañares and Jocelyn E. Serrano
Keywords:Bicol Kalikasan Park, Ficus septica, Gmelina arborea, point-centered quarter method, urban forest fragment
Forest fragments in urban areas are important in many aspects of the urban landscape. In this study, tree species within the Bicol Kalikasan Park—an urban forest fragment in the province of Albay, Eastern Philippines—were accounted for the first time. Its community structure was assessed using the PointCentered Quarter Method (PCQM). Diversity, dominance, and evenness indices were likewise computed. Results indicated that the 25 recorded tree species were distributed to at least among 25 families. There is moderate diversity (H’ = 2.84), very high evenness (J = 0.88) and very low dominance (D = 0.08) in the sampled forest. The species Ficus septica (IV = 28.93), Melanolepis multiglandolosa (IV = 9.74) and Omalanthus populneus (IV = 2.94) are indicative of a facilitated regrowth forest. Invasive species such as Gmelina arborea (IV = 40.12) and Swietenia macrophylla (IV = 21.75) were recorded, with importance values (IV) ranked first and sixth, respectively. Tree diversity within the Bicol Kalikasan Forest Park was suggestive of the diversity of other organisms that were dependent on the tree species. Existing threats to the forest fragment, such as the expansion of the city and an adjacent university campus may be addressed by a strong policy that defines the extent of expansion and urbanization.