Eurasian journal of forest research;Vol.15-1


Understanding High Altitude Reforestation in Mt. Apo, Philippines

Anticamara, Jonathan A.;Pasion, Bonifacio O.;Gonzales, Regielene S.;Duya, Mariano Roy M.;Ong, Perry S.

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KEYWORDS : Forest Management;Forest Recovery and Resiliency;Philippines Forest;Reforestation;Restoration;Tropical Diversity


Comparing the difference in forest community structure between a reforested area and a nearby old growth forest is one way to evaluate the ability of a disturbed forest to recover. Here, we show how a high altitude reforested area in Mt. Apo, Philippines is recovering relative to a nearby old growth forest. The species richness of understory vegetation in the old growth forest did not differ significantly from the 11 year-old reforested area, suggesting fast recovery in this aspect. However, the tree assemblage and sizes (i.e., Diameter at Breast Height) in the old growth forest had significantly higher tree diversity as well as larger trees than the reforested area, suggesting slower recovery in this aspect. In addition, the dominant species in terms of understory vegetation cover, tree abundance, and sizes differed significantly between the old growth forest and the 11 year-old reforested area. In general, the composition and structure of vegetation communities (understory and trees) in the old growth forest and the 11 year-old reforested area were about 13-29% similar. This means that, without management interventions (e.g., assisted recovery), it would probably take much longer time (than 11 years) for the reforested area to get to same condition as the nearby old growth forest. More importantly, results showed which aspects of the reforested area could be adjusted to potentially hasten its recovery towards the old growth forest status.