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PRIMARY RESEARCH PAPER | Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology DOI 10.26757/pjsb2021a15013

Tree species inventory and their economic uses in Mt. Agad- Agad, Iligan city, Philippines

Abstract

Iligan City has an estimated 30,000 ha forest cover that is still declining up to this day. Trees are an important part of the vegetation that play a fundamental role for stability, provide services in the forest ecosystem and resources for human consumption. Tree species diversity in Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City has not been studied, hence an inventory of trees was conducted to assess their conservation and ecological status including their economic uses. A series of transect walks along the trails were employed. Voucher specimens were collected, processed, and identified. Results revealed a total of 127 species of trees distributed into 40 families and 97 genera. The most represented families were Moraceae with 15 species, Arecaceae and Fabaceae with 9 species each, Euphorbiaceae with 8 species, Burseraceae with 7 species, Rubiaceae and Rutaceae with 6 species each and Anacardiaceae, Meliaceae and Myrtaceae with 5 species each. Of these tree species, 18 are Philippine endemics, 2 Mindanao endemics, 4 (IUCN, 2021-3) and 2 (DENR, 2017-11) endangered, 2 (IUCN, 2021-3) and 5 (DENR, 2017-11) vulnerable, 79 (IUCN, 2021-3) and 6 (DENR, 2017-11) least concern, 5 (DENR, 2017-11) other threatened species, and 5 (IUCN, 2021-3) and 1 (DENR, 2017-11) near threatened. Most of the trees were economically important as food, medicine, timber, handicrafts, building materials and ornamentals. Numerous anthropogenic threats included introduction of non-native tree species for forest rehabilitation, conversion of forest to agricultural land and improper garbage disposal. Results of this study will provide information as bases in the ecotourism program and proposal for Mt. Agad-Agad as Local Conservation Area (LCA) and future directions and implication for restoration and conservation of the remaining forest.

Keywords: assessment, biodiversity, conservation, ecotourism, flora, inventory

Introduction

Tree diversity is vital for forest ecosystem stability and services but suffers from taxonomic difficulty. An estimated 73,000 species of trees have been reported and around 9,000 tree species are yet to be discovered (Gatti et al. 2022). Trees dominate the forested areas in the Philippines, yet this group faces threats because of their economic significance in the timber industry. However, the country is experiencing

biodiversity loss because of rapid deforestation rate brought about by conversion of natural lowland forest to agricultural lands for cash crops and uncontrolled forest extraction (Carandang et al., 2013).

Mindanao Island hosts diverse natural forests with interesting and unique species of plants and animals while being subjected to environmental pressures such as potential expansion for agricultural activities tied with anthropogenic threats, i.e., introduction of invasive species and unsustainable ecotourism development. Few studies have been reported on trees on Mindanao Island including those in Mt. Malindang Range in Misamis Occidental (Arances et al. 2006), Mt. Tago Range in Bukidnon (Coritico et al. 2020), Mt. Musuan, Bukidnon (Amoroso et al. 2000) and Mt. Apo in Davao (Zapanta et al. 2019).

Mt. Agad-Agad in Lanao del Norte is located 69.7 km east of Mt. Malindang, 65.3 km west of Mt. Kalatungan, 35.6 km north of Lake Lanao, an area of high biodiversity conservation

1Center for Biodiversity Research and Extension in Mindanao (CEBREM), Central Mindanao University, Musuan, Maramag, Bukidnon, Philippines

2Department of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences, Central Mindanao University, Musuan, Maramag, Bukidnon, Philippines

*Corresponding author: lanie_medecilo@yahoo.com

Maria Melanie P. Medecilo-Guiang

1,2,*

, Fulgent P. Coritico

1,2

, Joevina C. Nobleza

1

,

Novy Grace B. Casinillo

1

, and Victor B. Amoroso

1,2

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Medecilo-Guiang et al: Tree species inventory and their economic uses in Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City, Philippines

numerous areas in Mindanao. The mountain is composed of limestone karst aggregate with patches of semi-ultramafic soil forming a slope, rugged hilly terrain, and lowland ridges. Only few river systems were observed encompassing Sitio Lumbatin and Pindunganan of Barangays Pugaan and Tipanoy in the vicinity of the mountain. The vegetation is characterized as lowland secondary growth forest and mixed agroforest ecosystem hosting interesting terrestrial fauna (Mohagan et al.

2020), six species of Sphingidae (Mohagan et al. 2022) and ferns and lycophytes (Coritico et al. 2020). Its highest point is about 520 masl and affords a full view of Iligan City making the site more vulnerable to human disturbances.

This mountain is home to many endemic birds such as Halcyon gularis, Centropus viridis, Phapitreron brevirostris, Rhipidura nigritorquis, Dicaeum australe and an endemic pygmy grasshopper, Diotarus verrucifer (Mohagan et al., 2020). The only botanical study focused on ferns and lycophytes (Coritico et. al, 2020) accounting for 10% of the total pteridophyte species on Mindanao Island. No study has been made on the tree flora in Mt. Agad-Agad, thus, this study aimed to document and assess the ecological and conservation status of its tree species. The results will serve as baseline information to declare Mt. Agad-Agad as a Local Conservation Area (LCA) and ecotourism site. Furthermore, the data can be used to formulate conservation and protection policies for tourism development of the site.

Materials and Methods A. Research ethics

Prior informed consent (PICs) from the City Mayor of Iligan City and from the Barangay Captains of Barangay Pugaan and Tipanoy were obtained. PICs, letter of request and research proposal were submitted to Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region X for acquisition of Gratuitous Permit (GP number 2020-43).

B. Description of the Study Site

Mt. Agad-Agad is situated 8°12’32.86” N and 124°

16’17.16” E and located within the city of Iligan in the northern Mindanao region (Figure 1). This site has a mountainous landscape with 520 masl as its highest peak. It covers ca. 50 ha covering the barangays of Pugaan, Tipanoy and Ubaldo Ulas.

The soil is characterized as limestone with small patches of semi-ultramafic formations. It consists of secondary growth forest, mixed agroforestry ecosystem and man-made plantations (Figure 2). Mt. Agad-Agad is a well-known tourism site where trekkers go for the full vista of Iligan City from its summit. Its natural landscape which consists of steep slopes and ridges

provides favorable habitat for species of trees and herbs.

The study sites are in Barangay Pugaan and Barangay Tipanoy. The sites are widely dominated by non-native trees like mahogany (Sweitenia macrophylla King), mangium (Acacia mangium Willd.), gmelina (Gmelina arborea Roxb. ex Sm.) and Eucalyptus sp. that were introduced by the reforestation project of DENR and Rotary Club of Iligan. There were also fruit trees in the area, namely guyabano (Annona muricata L.), mango (Mangifera indica L.), tamarind (Tamarindus indica L.) and avocado (Persea americana Mill.). Surprisingly, remnants of indigenous tree species such as Vitex parviflora Juss., Pterocarpus indicus Willd., Cananga odorata (Lam.) Hook. f.

& Thomson and Koordersiodenron pinnatum (Blanco) Merr.

were noted. In open or idle lands, grasses and weeds are the primary vegetation. In remnant forests various epiphytes like orchids, pteridophytes and lianas were also encountered.

The study was conducted in Sitio Langilanon and Sitio Lumbatin within Barangay Pugaan and Sitio Pindugangan and Sitio Mibolo within Barangay Tipanoy of Mt. Agad Agad, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte. Field surveys were conducted in three separate visits (February 21-29, 2020, November 25 to December 5, 2020, and March 26-29, 2021).

The first site is in So. Langilanon, Brgy. Pugaan (08°

10’45.84 N, 124°17’23” E). It is extended from the base of the mountain to the upper part of Mt. Agad-Agad and overgrown with agro-reforested type of vegetation. It has an elevation of 200–520 masl and a total distance of 2 km. Ecologically, Mt.

Agad-Agad was once a natural forest but anthropogenic activities such as agriculture, logging and extraction of fuelwood have changed the original vegetation significantly. The land is now mainly covered with exotic species such as mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), Acacia mangium, Gmelina arborea, and Eucalyptus sp. Aside from trees, understory plants were also present such as makahiya (Mimosa pudica L.), hagonoy (Chromolaena odorata (L.) R.M. King & H. Rob.), and ferns (Nephrolepis spp., Lygodium circinnatum (Burm. f.) Sw.). This site has no water body. The soil was dry. Fruit trees were also present in the area such as coconut (Cocos nucifera L.), mango (Mangifera indica L.), jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.) and soursoup or guyabano (Annona muricata L.). The lower part of Mt. Agad-Agad is characterized by agro-secondary forest type of vegetation with an elevation of 70-200 masl and a total distance of 3 km (N 08°21.523’, E 124°26.625’). Few individuals of original trees such as Koordersiodendron pinnatum, Pterospermum diversifolium (Spreng.) Kuntze, Diospyros philippinensis A. DC., antipolo (Artocarpus blancoi (Elmer) Merr., and ilang-ilang (Cananga odorata (Lam.) Hook.

f. & Thomson were documented in the area. Several flowering and fruit trees were observed in the area. Head water was

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Medecilo-Guiang et al: Tree species inventory and their economic uses in Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City, Philippines

observed running from the community to the entrance making most of the subterranean part wet. Ferns such as Adiantum spp., Angiopteris spp., Asplenium spp., and Selaginella spp. were observed. Other original plants such as Schismatoglottis calyptrata (Roxb.) Zoll. & Moritzi and Homalomena philippinensis Engl. are still thriving forming a community along the streams and at the ridge with a cooler temperature.

The second site is located in Sitio Lumbatin, Brgy. Pugaan with coordinates of 8⁰13’01” N and 124⁰16’40” E and elevation of 238 masl. The area is dominated by introduced species such as mahogany, gmelina, and mangium. Part of this site is managed by private organization (De La Salle School in Iligan) and planted with native tree species like Pterocarpus indicus Willd., Cynometra ramiflora L. and Ficus gigantifolia Merr.

The other side of Sito Lumbatin is also owned by private individuals but fortunately remnant stands of native trees were

observed despite massive plantation of coconuts as well as other fruit trees like mango and durian dominating this site.

The third site is located at Sitio Pindugangan, Brgy.

Tipanoy (8⁰12’12” N and 124⁰16’30” E) with an altitude of 378 masl. Several native tree species like Koordersiodendron pinnatum (Blanco) Merr., Dasymaschalon clusiflorum (Merr.) Merr., Shorea polysperma (Blanco) Merr. and Artocarpus blancoi (Elmer) Merr. were documented. Furthermore, numerous individuals of Arenga pinnata (Wurmb.) Merr. grow near the boulders where water is available. There are areas difficult to reach because of the presence of limestone boulders.

The last site is Sitio Mibolo, Brgy. Tipanoy (8⁰12’20” N and 124⁰16’52” E) with an average elevation of 290 masl..

Similar to the third site, Sitio Mibolo is also owned by farmers, but it covers mountainous areas with plantation of yautia (Xanthosoma sagittifolium (L.) Schott, banana, coconut and Figure 1. Map of Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City in relation to Philippine Islands (inset map) and Mindanao Island (inset) showing the study sites.

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Medecilo-Guiang et al: Tree species inventory and their economic uses in Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City, Philippines

other fruit trees. On the north side, limestone and karts areas were observed.

C. Species richness of trees and assessment

A series of transect walks along the established trail was used in the sampling of tree species. Inventory of trees within the study areas involved a method of opportunistic sampling to document the tree species. GPS coordinates of the transect line were recorded. Likewise, the economic importance of each tree was also documented with the help of local guides/researchers.

The trees within the trails were recorded, photographed, and collected. In addition, data and information about the trees was determined and recorded based on the following: collector’s name, date of collection, family name, scientific name, common name, locality, municipality, and province. The features of its flowers and fruit’s color, odor, and texture and its economic

importance were also noted. Photographs of selected tree species were also taken for documentation.

Voucher specimens were collected, pressed, dried, identified and deposited in Central Mindanao University Herbarium (CMUH). A checklist of all trees was also prepared.

The collected plants were identified by the first author with the use of monographs, floras, and digitized plant specimens of Co’s Digital Flora (Pelser et al., 2011 onwards).

The conservation and ecological assessment for each species was determined whether critically endangered, endangered, and vulnerable based on the DENR DAO (2017-11) and IUCN (2021-3).

Figure 2. Aerial view of Mt. Agad-Agad showing the surrounding communities and trees.

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Medecilo-Guiang et al: Tree species inventory and their economic uses in Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City, Philippines

Climatic and Edaphic Factors Soil Properties

5 kg of soil from different sites were collected, mixed and dried. The dried soil was then brought to Soil and Plant Analysis Laboratory (SPAL) of Central Mindanao University for analysis (texture, pH, phosphorus content, exchangeable potassium, water holding capacity and particle density).

Ecological data such as temperature and relative humidity (RH) was recorded using HOBO Pro Series Data Logger which was placed at the peak of Mt. Agad-Agad. Data were recorded at 1-h interval for air temperature and relative humidity. The mean, S.D., minimum, and maximum of HOBO data by month was computed. The data covers one (1) year (November 2020 to November 2021). Likewise, one (1) year rainfall data was obtained from Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Results and Discussion A. Tree species richness

A total of 127 species of trees belonging to 40 families and 97 genera (Table 1) was documented in Mt. Agad-Agad.

Moraceae is the most represented family with 15 species, followed by Arecaceae and Fabaceae with 9 species each, Euphorbiaceae with 8 species, Burseraceae with 7 species, Rubiaceae and Rutaceae with 6 species each and Anacardiaceae, Meliaceae and Myrtaceae with 5 species each.

Moreover, Lauraceae and Sapotaceae were also species rich while other families were represented by one species only.

Ficus is the most represented genus with 11 species followed by Canarium with 6 species.

The documented tree richness in this study is higher compared to the studies of Aribal and Fernando (2018) in peat swamp forest on Mindanao Island where they recorded 101 vascular plants while Amoroso et al. (2019) with 118 trees species in the proposed expansion site of Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary (MHRWS), Canencia and Daba (2015) with 36 species of trees in Initao Libertad Protected Landscape and Seascape, and de Guzman et al. (2014) in Mt. Malinao, Albay, where they only recorded 70 species of trees. However, our results are lower when compared to those of Santiago and Buot (2018) from Mount Banahaw-San Cristobal Protected Landscape with 137 species of trees, Castillo et al. (2018) in Mt. Makiling with 1,266 tree species, and Medecilo and Lagat (2018) in Cavite province with 501 plant species. The low number of species recorded in Mt. Agad-Agad could be due to its present condition which is characterized as secondary and disturbed forests resulted from land-use change and other

anthropogenic disturbances. Tree species richness is higher in Brgy. Tipanoy with 132 species while lower in Brgy. Pugaan with 85 species only (Table 1).

The same results were recorded in the studies of Garces (2019), Medecilo and Lagat (2018), de Guzman et al. (2014) and Gascon et al. (2013). These families were considered as nurse trees for slow growing species (Manuel et al. 2018).

Moreover, some species of trees from the families of Annonaceae, Burseraceae, Myrtaceae, Phyllanthaceae and Rutaceae were also species rich.

Important timber species such as Vitex parviflora, Ficus minahassae, Canarium ovatum, and highly utilized timber species (Ficus gigantifolia, and Pterocarpus indicus) were also relatively common whereas Ficus pseudopalma and Diospyros philippinensis, both important edible plants, were present in all sites.

Tree species richness is higher in Brgy. Tipanoy with 123 species while lower in Brgy. Pugaan with 80 species only (Table 1). Recent fieldwork in Brgy. Tipanoy recorded a noteworthy and interesting species of ferns such as Helminthostachys zeylanica (L.) Hook. which is critically endangered (DAO 2017- 11), and Antrophyum plantagenium (Cav.) Kaufl. while Onychium japonicum (Thunb.) Kunze, which is a new record in Mindanao was also documented in Brgy. Pugaan. These species were added to the latest report of Coritico et al. (2020) in their study of ferns and lycophytes in Mt. Agad-Agad.

B. Conservation and assessment of tree species

Of the total tree species encountered, 18 are Philippine endemics, 2 Mindanao endemics, 2 endangered, 5 vulnerable, 6 least concern, 5 other threatened species, 2 endangered and 5 species are classified as near threatened. However, based on IUCN 2021-3 assessment, 79 species are least concern, 5 near threatened, 4 endangered and 2 vulnerable (Table 2). Some endemic, endangered, vulnerable and other threatened species of trees include Pterocarpus indicus Willd., Dillenia philippinensis Rolfe, Vitex parviflora Juss., Artocarpus blancoi (Elmer) Merr., Dracontomelon dao (Blanco) Merr. & Rolfe, Saribus rotundifolius (Lam.) Blume and Pterospermum cumingii Merr.

& Rolfe (Figure 3).

The data on ecological and conservation status demonstrated that several tree species need further protection and conservation. The assessed tree species were comparable to the findings of Paclibar and Tadiosa (2020) in Quezon Protected Landscape. The endemicity (15.8%) indicates a good value compared to those of other studies (Medecilo and Lagat, 2017;

Paclibar and Tadiosa, 2020). This finding suggests that Mt.

Agad-Agad can be declared as a Local Conservation Area.

Furthermore, the endemic and threatened Philippine trees

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Medecilo-Guiang et al: Tree species inventory and their economic uses in Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City, Philippines

Figure 3. Some endemic, endangered, vulnerable, economically-important and other threatened species of trees in Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City. A) Cananga odorata, B) Dillenia philippinensis, C) Vitex parviflora, D) Artocarpus blancoi, E) Cynometra ramiflora, and F) Koordersiodendron pinnata.

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Medecilo-Guiang et al: Tree species inventory and their economic uses in Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City, Philippines

Table 1. List of tree species recorded in Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City with their economic uses.

Family Name Species Name Economic Use Barangay Pugaan Barangay Tipanoy

Actinidiaceae Saurauia clementis Merr. Ornamental ✓ ✓

Anacardiaceae Buchanania arborescens (Blume) Blume Medicinal - ✓

Dracontomelon dao (Blanco) Merr. & Rolfe Timber - ✓

Koordersiodendron pinnatum (Blanco) Merr. Timber ✓ ✓

Mangifera indica L. Food; Medicinal ✓ ✓

Semecarpus cuneiformis Blanco Medicinal - ✓

Annonaceae Annona muricata L. Food; Medicinal ✓ ✓

Cananga odorata (Lam.) Hook.f. & Thomson Medicinal ✓ ✓

Dasymaschalon clusiflorum (Merr.) Merr. Medicinal ✓ ✓

Apocynaceae Alstonia macrophylla Wall. Medicinal - ✓

A. scholaris (L.) R.Br. Medicinal - ✓

Araliaceae Osmoxylon eminens (W. Bull.) Philipson Ornamental ✓ ✓

Polyscias nodosa (Blume) Seem. Medicinal ✓ ✓

Arecaceae Areca catechu L. Food - ✓

Arenga pinnata (Wurmb.) Merr. Food ✓ ✓

Caryota maxima Blume Ornamental - ✓

Caryota mitis Lour. Food; Ornamental ✓ ✓

Cocos nucifera L. Food ✓ ✓

Corypha utan Lam. Handicraft - ✓

Heterospathe elata Scheff. Handicraft; Ornamental - ✓

Orania palindan (Blanco) Merr. Lumber; Ornamental - ✓

Saribus rotundifolius (Lam.) Blume Handicraft; Lumber,

Ornamental ✓ ✓

Byttneriaceae Commersonia bartramia (L.) Merr. Timber - ✓

Kleinhovia hospita L. Medicinal; Firewood - ✓

Theobroma cacao L. Food ✓ ✓

Bignoniaceae Spathodea campanulata P.Beauv. Food; Medicinal;

Ornamental ✓ ✓

Tabebuia rosea (Bertol.) Bertero ex A.DC. Medicinal; Ornamental;

Timber - ✓

Brownlowiaceae Diplodiscus paniculatus Turcz. Timber ✓ ✓

Burseraceae Canarium asperum Benth. Timber - ✓

C. luzonicum (Blume) A. Gray Timber ✓ -

C. ovatum Engl. Food ✓ ✓

C. cf. vrieseanum Engl. Timber ✓ ✓

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Medecilo-Guiang et al: Tree species inventory and their economic uses in Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City, Philippines

Family Name Species Name Economic Use Barangay Pugaan Barangay Tipanoy

C.sp.1 - ✓ ✓

C. sp.2 - ✓ ✓

Garuga floribunda Decne. Food; Medicinal; Timber - ✓

Cannabaceae Trema orientalis (L.) Blume Firewood; Medicinal - ✓

Casuarinaceae Casuarina equisetifolia L. Firewood - ✓

Clusiaceae Garcinia sp. - ✓ ✓

Cordiaceae Cordia dichotoma G.Forst. Medicinal - ✓

Dilleniaceae Dillenia philippinensis Rolfe Food ✓ ✓

Dipterocarpaceae Shorea polysperma (Blanco) Merr. Lumber; Medicinal - ✓

Durionaceae Durio zibethinus Murr. Food ✓ ✓

Ebenaceae Diospyros philippinensis A. DC. Timber ✓ ✓

Euphorbiaceae Aleurites moluccanus (L.) Willd. Timber ✓ ✓

Endospermum peltatum Merr. Timber - ✓

Macaranga grandifolia (Blanco) Merr. Lumber ✓ ✓

M. hispida (Blume) Müll. Arg. in DC. Medicinal; Ornamental ✓ ✓

Mallotus philippensis (Lam.) Müll. Medicinal ✓ ✓

M. tiliifolius (Blume) Müll. Medicinal - ✓

Melanolepis multiglandulosa (Reinw. ex Blume)

Rchb. Medicinal - ✓

Omalanthus populneus (Geiseler) Pax Medicinal - ✓

Fabaceae Acacia mangium Willd. Lumber ✓ ✓

Caesalpinia sappan L. Medicinal; Ornamental - ✓

Cynometra ramiflora L. Medicinal; Timber ✓ ✓

Falcataria moluccana (Miq.) Barneby &

J.W.Grimes Lumber ✓ ✓

Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Kunth ex Steud. Firewood ✓ ✓

Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit Medicinal; Firewood ✓ ✓

Pterocarpus indicus Willd. Medicinal; Ornamental;

Timber ✓ ✓

Samanea saman (Jacq.) Merr. Food; Medicinal; Timber - ✓

Tamarindus indica L. Food; Medicinal ✓ ✓

Hypericaceae Cratoxylum sumatranum (Jack) Blume Charcoal; Timber ✓ ✓

Lamiaceae Gmelina arborea Roxb. ex Sm Timber ✓ ✓

Tectona grandis L.f. Timber - ✓

Vitex parviflora Juss. Timber ✓ ✓

Table 1 cont. List of tree species recorded in Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City with their economic uses.

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Medecilo-Guiang et al: Tree species inventory and their economic uses in Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City, Philippines

Family Name Species Name Economic Use Barangay Pugaan Barangay Tipanoy

Lauraceae Cinnamomum mercadoi S.Vidal Medicinal - ✓

C. utile Korsterm Food; Medicinal ✓ ✓

Litsea philippinensis Merr. Timber - ✓

Persea americana Mill. Food ✓ ✓

Lythraceae Lagerstroemia speciosa (L.) Pers. Medicinal; Ornamental ✓ ✓

Malvaceae Pterospermum cumingii Merr. & Rolfe Lumber ✓ -

P. diversifolium (Spreng.) Kuntze. Lumber - ✓

Melastomataceae Memecylon paniculatum Jack. Lumber - ✓

Meliaceae Dysoxylum cyrtobotryum Miq. Timber - ✓

Lansium domesticum Correa Food - ✓

Melia azedarach L. Medicinal; Lumber ✓ ✓

Sandoricum koetjape (Burm.f.) Merr. Food ✓ ✓

Swietenia macrophylla King Medicinal; Lumber ✓ ✓

Moraceae Artocarpus blancoi (Elmer) Merr. Food; Lumber ✓ ✓

A. camansi Blanco Food - ✓

A. heterophyllus Lam. Lumber ✓ ✓

Broussonetia luzonica (Blanco) Bureau in DC. Food ✓ ✓

Ficus balete Merr. Timber; Ornamental ✓ ✓

F. benjamina L. Lumber ✓ ✓

F. cumingii Miq. Medicinal ✓ ✓

F. gigantifolia Merr. Lumber ✓ ✓

F. minahassae (Teijsm. & Vriese) Miq. Medicinal ✓ ✓

F.nota (Blanco) Merr. Food - ✓

F. odorata (Blanco) Merr. Food; Medicinal ✓ ✓

F. pseudopalma Blanco Food ✓ ✓

F.septica Burm.f. Medicinal ✓ ✓

F. variegata Blume Food; Medicinal - ✓

Ficus sp. - ✓ ✓

Myristicaceae Knema glomerata (Blanco) Merr. Timber ✓ ✓

Myrtaceae Psidium guajava L. Food; Medicinal ✓ ✓

Syzygium aqueum (Burm.f.) Alston Food ✓ ✓

S. cumini (L.) Skeels Food; Medicinal ✓ ✓

Table 1 cont. List of tree species recorded in Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City with their economic uses.

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Medecilo-Guiang et al: Tree species inventory and their economic uses in Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City, Philippines

Family Name Species Name Economic Use Barangay Pugaan Barangay Tipanoy

S. samarangense (Blume) Merr. Medicinal; Timber - ✓

S.toppingii (Elmer) Merr. Firewood ✓ ✓

Oxalidaceae Averrhoa bilimbi L. Food ✓ ✓

A. carambola L. Food ✓ -

Phyllanthaceae Antidesma ghaesembilla Gaertn. Food; Medicinal ✓ ✓

Antidesma pleuricum Tul. - ✓ ✓

Bridelia glauca Blume Food; Timber - ✓

Poaceae Bambusa vulgaris Schrad. Industrial - ✓

Bambusa sp. - ✓ ✓

Primulaceae Ardisia mindanaensis Mez in Engl. Medicinal ✓ ✓

Rubiaceae Greeniopsis cf. multiflora (Elmer) Merr. Timber ✓ ✓

Morinda citrifolia L. Medicinal ✓ ✓

Nauclea orientalis (L.) L. Food; Medicinal - ✓

Neonauclea bartlingii (DC.) Merr. Timber - ✓

Tarrena sp. Timber ✓ -

Tarrenoidea wallichii (Hook. f.) Tirveng. & Sastre Timber - ✓

Rutaceae Citrus maxima (Burm.) Merr. Medicinal - ✓

Clausena anisum-olens (Blanco) Merr. Food ✓ ✓

Melicope latifolia (DC.) T.G. Hartley Medicinal ✓ ✓

Micromelum compressum (Blanco) Merr. Lumber - ✓

Murraya paniculata (L.) Jack Medicinal ✓ ✓

Zanthoxylum rhetsa (Roxb.) DC. Medicinal ✓ ✓

Sapindaceae Allophylus leptocladus Radlk. Timber - ✓

Guioa diplopetala (Hassk.) Radlk Medicinal ✓ ✓

Nephelium lappaceum L. Food; Lumber; Firewood ✓ ✓

Sapotaceae Chrysophyllum cainito Linn Food; Lumber; Firewood ✓ ✓

Manilkara zapota (L.) Royen Timber - ✓

Pouteria campechiana (Kunth) Baehni Food ✓ ✓

Palaquium mindanaense Merr. Timber - ✓

Sterculiaceae Heritiera javanica (Blume) Kosterm. Medicinal - ✓

Urticaceae Oreocnide rubescens (Blume) Miq. Medicinal ✓ ✓

Total Number of Trees 80 123

Table 1 cont. List of tree species recorded in Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City with their economic uses.

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Medecilo-Guiang et al: Tree species inventory and their economic uses in Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City, Philippines

No. Scientific Name Family Common Name

Conservation Status IUCN

(2021-3) DENR

(2017-11) Endemicity

1 Saurauia clementis Merr. Actinidiaceae EC

2 Buchanania arborescens (Blume)

Blume Anacardiaceae Sparrows’ Mango,

Balinghasay LC

3 Dracontomelon dao (Blanco)

Merr. & Rolfe Dao LC VU

4 Koordersiodendron pinnatum

(Blanco) Merr. Amugis OTS

8 Cananga odorata (Lam.) Hook.f.

& Thomson Ilang-ilang LC

10 Alstonia macrophylla Wall. Apocynaceae Devil tree, batino LC

11 A. scholaris (L.) R.Br. Apocynaceae dita LC

12 Polyscias nodosa (Blume) Seem. Araliaceae Malapapaya LC

13 Areca catechu L. Arecaceae Betel nut, nganga LC

14 Arenga pinnata (Wurmb.) Merr. Kaong, idyok LC

15 Caryota mitis Lour. pugahan LC NT

16 Corypha utan Lam. Buri, cabbage palm LC

17 Heterospathe elata Scheff. Sagisi palm LC

18 Orania palindan (Blanco) Merr. Ajabu, palindan LC LC

19 Saribus rotundifolius (Lam.)

Blume Anahaw OTS

20 Commersonia bartramia (L.)

Merr. Byttneriaceae Scrub Christmas

tree, LC

21 Kleinhovia hospita L. Guest tree, tan-ag LC

22 Spathodea campanulata P.Beauv. Bignoniaceae African Tulip LC

23 Tabebuia rosea (Bertol.) Bertero

ex A.DC. Pink trumpet tree LC

24 Diplodiscus paniculatus Turcz. Brownlowiaceae Balobo LC

25 Canarium asperum Benth. Burseraceae Pili, sahing LC

26 C. ovatum Engl. Pili LC OTS

27 C. luzonicum Piling liitan NT OTS

28 Garuga floribunda Decne. Bogo, garuga LC

29 Trema orientale (L.) Blume Cannabaceae Anabiong, Hanadi-

ong LC

30 Casuarina equisetifolia L. Casuarinaceae Agoho LC

31 Cordia dichotoma G.Forst. Cordiaceae Indian cherry,

anonang LC

32 Dillenia philippinensis Rolfe Dilleniaceae Katmon NT EC

33 Shorea polysperma (Blanco)

Merr. Dipterocarpaceae Tanguile LC VU EC

Table 2. List of tree species with IUCN (2021) and DAO 2017-11 assessment.

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Medecilo-Guiang et al: Tree species inventory and their economic uses in Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City, Philippines

No. Scientific Name Family Common Name

Conservation Status IUCN

(2021-3) DENR

(2017-11) Endemicity 34 Diospyros philippinensis A. DC. Ebenaceae Mabolo, kamagong

NT VU

35 Macaranga grandifolia (Blanco)

Merr. Euphorbiaceae Coral tree, binunga VU

36 Endospermum peltatum Merr. LC

37 Mallotus philippensis (Lam.)

Müll. Kamala tree LC

38 M. tiliifolius (Blume) Müll. Banato LC

39 Melanolepis multiglandulosa

(Reinw. ex Blume) Rchb. Alim LC

40 Acacia mangium Willd. Fabaceae Mangium LC

41 Caesalpinia sappan L. Sappan LC

42 Cynometra ramiflora L. Balitbitan, katong LC

43 Cassia fistula L. Golden shower LC

44 Falcataria moluccana (Miq.)

Barneby & J.W.Grimes Falcata LC

45 Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Kunth

ex Steud. Madre de Cacao LC

46 Pterocarpus indicus Willd. Narra EN VU

47 Samanea saman (Jacq.) Merr. Akasya LC

48 Tamarindus indica L. Sampalok LC

49 Callicarpa micrantha S.Vidal,

Phan Lamiaceae LC EC

50 Gmelina arborea Roxb. ex Sm. Melina, Gmelina LC

51 Vitex parviflora Juss. Molave, tugas LC EN

52 Cinnamomum mercadoi S.Vidal Lauraceae Kalingag LC OTS EC

53 C. utile Korsterm CR EC

54 Litsea philippinensis Merr. Bakan NT EC

55 Persea americana Mill. Avocado LC

56 Pterospermum cumingii Merr. &

Rolfe Malvaceae Baloi EN EN EC

57 P. diversifolium (Spreng.)

Kuntze. Bayog LC LC

58 Dysoxylum cyrtobotryum Miq. Meliaceae Kalantupak LC

59 Melia azedarach L. Neem tree LC

60 Sandoricum koetjape (Burm.f.)

Merr. Santol LC

61 Swietenia macrophylla King Mahogany VU

62 Artocarpus blancoi (Elmer) Merr. Moraceae Tipolo, antipolo LC EC

Table 2 cont. List of tree species with IUCN (2021) and DAO 2017-11 assessment.

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Medecilo-Guiang et al: Tree species inventory and their economic uses in Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City, Philippines

No. Scientific Name Family Common Name

Conservation Status IUCN

(2021-3) DENR

(2017-11) Endemicity

63 Ficus balete Merr. Balete LC EC

64 F. benjamina L. Weeping fig LC

65 F. cumingii Miq. LC

66 F. gigantifolia Merr. NT EC

67 F. minahassae (Teijsm. & Vriese)

Miq. Cluster fig tree,

hagimit LC

68 F. nota (Blanco) Merr. Sacking tree, tibig LC

69 F. odorata (Blanco) Merr. Isis, pakiling LC EC

70 F. pseudopalma Blanco Lubi-lubi, niyog-

niyogan EC

71 F.septica Burm.f. Hauili tree LC

72 F. variegata Blume Tangisang bayawak LC

73 S. cumini (L.) Skeels Black plum, duhat LC

74 S. samarangense (Blume) Merr. Makopa LC

75 S.toppingii (Elmer) Merr. EN EC

76 Antidesma ghaesembilla Gaertn. Phyllanthaceae Bugnay, bignay LC

77 Breynia cernua (Poir.) Mull. Arg.

in DC. Coffee bush LC

78 Bridelia glauca Blume Balitahan LC

79 Glochidion cauliflorum Merr. Monkey apple EC

80 Ardisia mindanaensis Mez. in

Engl. Primulaceae EC

81 Greeniopsis multiflora (Elmer)

Merr. Rubiaceae LC EC

82 Nauclea orientalis (L.) L. Bangkal LC

83 Neonauclea bartlingii (DC.)

Merr. LC

84 Micromelum compressum

(Blanco) Merr. Rutaceae EC

85 Zanthoxylum rhetsa (Roxb.) DC. LC

86 Allophylus leptocladus Radlk. Sapindaceae Tarangisi EN EC

87 Guioa diplopetala (Hassk.) Radlk LC

88 Nephelium lappaceum L. Rambutan LC

89 Manilkara zapota (L.) Royen Sapotaceae Sapodilla, Chico LC

90 Pouteria campechiana (Kunth)

Baehni Tiesa LC

91 Palaquium mindanaense Merr. Pinulog CR VU EC

Oreocnide rubescens (Blume)

Table 2 cont. List of tree species with IUCN (2021) and DAO 2017-11 assessment.

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Medecilo-Guiang et al: Tree species inventory and their economic uses in Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City, Philippines

species must be given exceptional protection measures to ensure their survival in the wild and considered threatened by habitat loss. The studies of Lumista et al. (2016) in selected mountains in Mindanao, Amoroso et al. (2019) in Mt. Hamiguitan Wildlife Sanctuary in Davao Oriental, and Amoroso et al. (2011) in Mt.

Kitanglad Natural Park in Bukidnon, recorded higher endemic species. All the mentioned sites have already been established as protected areas by the local government and policies were employed to protect the important plant species. Some economically important species were utilized as food, medicine, timber, handicrafts, building material and ornament. These includes Saribus rotundifolius (Lam.) Blume, Garuga floribunda Decne., Pterocarpus indicus Willd., Koordersiodendron pinnatum (Blanco) Merr., Caryota mitis Lour., Orania palindan (Blanco) Merr., Cananga odorata (Annonaceae), and Trema orientalis (L.) Blume.

Some threatened trees are also economically important species being utilized as food, medicine, timber, handicrafts,

building material and ornament. These includes Cananga odorata (Annonaceae), Dillenia philippinensis (Dilleniaceae), Pterospermum cumingii (Malvaceae) and Artocarpus blancoi (Moraceae).

Arenga pinnata (kaong) is abundant in the area and one of the untapped resources that can be used as livelihood opportunities in the community. The young fruits of this plant can be harvested and processed into kaong, and possible food product for the tourists. Majority of the tree species are medicinal (26%), while 17% of the species are edible. The rest of the species are used as timber or lumber (25%), ornamental (2%), and other uses (7%) (Figure 4). Other uses include handicraft, industrial, firewood, etc. It was also observed that most tree species have more than two uses like lumber at the same time ornamental, food and timber and firewood and medicinal. These economically important plants must be given high priority for protection.

Figure 4. Economic uses of tree species in Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte.

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Medecilo-Guiang et al: Tree species inventory and their economic uses in Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City, Philippines

C. Climatic and Edaphic Factors

One year data on temperature and relative humidity were taken from data logger installed in the site using a HOBOWARE software while rainfall data was taken from PAGASA.

The monthly average temperature showed that the months of July and November have the highest temperature with 27.0°C and 26.2°C, respectively, while the lowest temperature was observed during the month of January with 24.0°C. The hottest month was recorded on the month of July of 2020 with an average temperature of 27⁰C while January and August have the lowest temperature with 24 and 24.5⁰C respectively. The recorded air temperature is lower compared to the study of Berame et al. (2021) in Arroceros Forest Park with a temperature of 31.43⁰C. On the other hand, the highest value (94.6%) on relative humidity (RH) was recorded on the month of March 2020, followed by 92.2% on November of 2021 while July has the lowest RH with a value of 75.7%. Our result is opposite to the study of Lee et al. (2006) in Mt. Makiling on the

RH values. November has 89% RH, followed by July with a value of 85% while April has the lowest RH value (77%). Our values are due to the tropical location of Iligan City that does not experience cold weather and with lower elevation (highest is

> 500 masl only).

The rainfall in Mount Agad-Agad, Iligan City is not evenly distributed throughout the year. Dry season is between the months of January to April while the wet season is between months of May to December (Figure 5). The climate is basically categorized as tropical climate based on Köppen (1936) climate classification in which there are two seasons, wet and dry, usually found within 10 to 15 degrees latitude of the equator.

The analysis of soil properties is important to determine soil quality in an area. It reveals the surface and the subsurface characteristics and qualities, namely depth, texture, structure, drainage conditions, and soil-moisture relationships, which directly affect plant growth. Soil characteristic is vital in the function of an ecosystem and food security, and thus also important in sustaining life. Mount Agad-Agad soil quality

Figure 5. Average climatic data in Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte (November 2020 - November 2021).

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Medecilo-Guiang et al: Tree species inventory and their economic uses in Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City, Philippines

revealed slightly acidic soil ranging from pH 6.31-6.65 of which the upper slopes had the most acidic substrate. For the percent organic material and nitrogen, upper Mount Agad-Agad had the highest value, followed by middle and lower portion. For the expectable phosphorus content, middle substrate had the greatest concentration which is two times higher compared to upper substrate. Same trend was also observed in exchangeable potassium of which the middle substrate had the highest concentration. Other soil qualities such as water holding capacity, field capacity, particle density, sand, clay, and silt composition is not so comparable across elevations. The substrate of Mount Agad-Agad is mostly composed of sand with some small percentage of clay. Indeed, this type of soil is good for holding water substances.

D. Threats

The Philippines, being one of the megadiverse and biodiversity hotspots of the world, is losing its forest cover at a very alarming rate (Domingo and Manijar, 2019). In all the trails covered by the transect walk, various threats had been observed including improper waste disposal by trekkers, introduction of exotic species, clearing of forests to have accessible way for climbers and deforestation (Figure 7). In addition, human activities like charcoal making and conversion of forested land into agricultural land were also observed. These similar disturbances were also noted by Garces (2019) in the areas of Mount Manunggal, Cebu Island, and by Alberto and Cabotaje (2018) in the ecotone ecosystem in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija. Such practices have contributed to the continuous decline of the forests (Agduma et al. 2011).

To address this issue, a reforestation project was executed in Mt. Agad-Agad in 1999 to rehabilitate the deforested areas.

This project was initiated by the Rotary Club, the Australian government and the seedlings were provided by the DENR Region X. Tree seedlings included mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla King), mangium (Acacia mangium Willd.) and bagras (Eucalyptus deglupta Blume). However, the existence of these introduced species like mahogany which exerts an allelopathic inhibition, brought an intensive change of species composition in the area. Allelopathy can affect many aspects of plant ecology, including occurrence, growth, and plant succession (Das and Kato-Noguchi 2018). Mahogany seeds contain food reserves and germinate hypogeal (Pollisco 2001). This means that young mahogany plant develops even without initial photosynthesis. Hardened mahogany seedlings are even relatively drought resistant. It is a common observation in mature mahogany plantations in the country that the understorey vegetation is dominated by mahogany seedlings as well and nearby areas can also be invaded by mahogany. This scenario was also observed in Mt. Agad-Agad.

Intensive removal of valuable trees like dipterocarps and other climax species in the past, either by legal or illegal means, took place relentlessly. According to the study of Polinar et al.

(2010), there was a problem in natural restoration regenerations of seed trees of the same species and that results to a change in the floristic composition and structure of the species, which is somewhat different from that of the original vegetation.

E. Recommendation to protect and practice sustainable use of resources

Figure 6. Soil profile analysis in the lower (120 masl), middle (300 masl) and upper (420 masl) of Mount Agad-Agad, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte.

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Medecilo-Guiang et al: Tree species inventory and their economic uses in Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City, Philippines

Figure 7. Some of the anthropogenic disturbances observed in Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City. A) Plantation of mahogany (introduction of invasive species), B) Tourist/trekkers going up to Mt. Agad-Agad, C) Conversion of forest to agricultural land, and D) Improper disposal of garbage in the trails.

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Medecilo-Guiang et al: Tree species inventory and their economic uses in Mt. Agad-Agad, Iligan City, Philippines

Based on the findings, a recommendation to declare Mt.

Agad-Agad as a Local Conservation Area be implemented to ensure appropriate protection. Policy declaring the area for ecotourism and LCA should be legislated not only at the barangay level but also in higher level, i.e., Iligan City Council.

In this study it was observed that there were saplings of native and indigenous trees recorded in the area and it is notable that other tree species along the trails were smaller in size and scarce in number. Other recommendations include implementing forest rehabilitation programs using native tree species, including research in the propagation of native tree species, promoting public awareness on biodiversity and conservation and conducting feasibility studies towards the development of nature tourism and recreation to benefit local communities. The enumerated threats were very alarming, thus there is a need for urgent formulation of policies, regulations, and proper implementation of forest protection law.

Conclusion

Mt. Agad-Agad is home to 127 species of trees belonging to 40 families and 97 genera. The families Moraceae (15 species), Arecaceae and Fabaceae (9 species each), Euphorbiaceae (8 species), Burseraceae, Rutaceae and Phyllantaceae (7 species each) and Myrtaceae (6 species) were the most represented. Among the 127 species, 18 are Philippine endemics, 2 Mindanao endemics, 4 (IUCN, 2021-3) and 2 (DENR, 2017-11) endangered, 2 (IUCN, 2021-3) and 5 (DENR, 2017-11) vulnerable, 79 (IUCN, 2021-3) and 6 (DENR, 2017- 11) least concern, 5 (DENR, 2017-11) other threatened species, and 5 (IUCN, 2021-3) and 1 (DENR, 2017-11) near threatened.

There are 20 endemic species out of 127 implying that endemicity was quite high (25%). Most of the trees were economically important plants which were utilized for food, medicine, timber, handicrafts, building material, ornamentals and industrial application. Threats documented included improper waste disposal by tourists, introduction of exotic and invasive species, clearing of forests for climber and trekker access, deforestation, charcoal making, and conversion of forested land into agricultural land. These threats were further enhanced by anthropogenic activities. The result of this study will serve as bases in future planning towards the restoration and conservation of the remaining forests for ecotourism and sustainable development. The data will also be useful for the Local Government Units of Iligan City, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the community towards proposing Mt. Agad-Agad as an LCA.

Acknowledgement

Financial support for this research from the DOST- National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) is gratefully acknowledged. We also thank the officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Region X, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office for the gratuitous permit. We are also grateful to the City Mayor of Iligan City, Barangay Captains of Pugaan and Tipanoy and local researchers of both barangays for the assistance during our fieldwork. We thank Mary Cor Salolog for consolidating the initial data and the Central Mindanao University for logistical support.

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