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FBS 101: Forest Biodiversity

Biodiversity Assessment in PFLA 1, Mount Makiling Forest Reserve using various

Biodiversity Assessment and Monitoring Techniques
Abulencia, J., Alcantara, R., Barcela, J., Fagara, K., Inzon, L., Manicad, R., Soriano, P., Ver, F.

This study is focused on the biodiversity assessment of the vegetation present in the Mount Makiling
Forest Reserve. It was conducted in PFLA 1 of MMFR. Different biodiversity assessment techniques
were used such as the Opportunistic Method, Line Intercept Method, Point-Centered Quarter Method and
Quadrat Sampling. Using the data gathered, different parameters were computed. It was found out that
Sweitenia macrophylla had the highest importance value while, Parashorea malaanonan and Strombosia
philippinensis had the least importance values.

Keywords: Biodiversity, Opportunistic Sampling, Line Intercept, Point-Center Quarter Method, Quadrat


The world is contained of millions of various species of plants, insects and animals, each with
their own distinct characteristics and has a role in keeping the balance of the environment. This variety of
different species of plants and animals in a given habitat or ecosystem is called biodiversity. On the other
hand,Vegetation refers to all the plant species covering a particular area or land surface. Vegetation is also
affected by different factors such as climate, humidity, temperature. Assessment of the biodiversity of
vegetation, which will be the focus of this exercise, is important to acquire more information about the
species of plants in an area which can help improve the management of conservation and utilization of
these plants.
Various methods and techniques can be done in biodiversity assessment and monitoring such as
the use of photographs or collecting various data and parameters which include density, cover and
frequency. The four (4) common biodiversity assessment techniques are 1.) Opportunistic Method 2.)
Line Intercept Technique (LIT), 3.) Point-Centered Quarter Method (PCQM), and 4.) Quadrat Sampling
Technique (QST)
The Line Intercept Technique, is easier to use and provides much more accurate measurement of
plant, although it may be more time consuming. This method makes use of transect lines wherein every
plant or trees encountered by the line will be identified.
In the Point-Centered Quarter Method or PCQM also uses a transect line with points at fixed
intervals along the line. A center point is determined and four (4) quadrants are established around the
point wherein plant species near the point are identified. The PCQM is said to be effective in estimating
the density in an area.
The Quadrat Sampling Technique uses many quadrats of different shapes and sizes wherein all
species of plants are identified in each quadrat. Having more and larger quadrats increases the accuracy of
this method.
This exercise specifically aims to a.) train the students in conducting the different biodiversity
assessment techniques, b.) learn how to compute for the importance value of a tree species and analyze
FBS 101: Forest Biodiversity

the computed data and c.) assess which species has the most importance in the area.


The study was conducted at the upper portion of the Mt. Makiling, Mt. Makiling Forest Reserve
at Permanent Field Laboratory Area 1. The study was conducted last February 3, 2019. Four sections
were given an assigned area of a 20 x 20 meter area. There are four different vegetative analysis methods
provided among 4 groups. These are Rapid Biodiversity Assessment, Line Intercept Sampling, Quadrat
Sampling and Point-Centered Quarter Method. The materials used while the study was conducted were
meter tape to measure the distances with precision and to mark the area boundaries, the bamboo pegs
were used. All the data were recorded with a field notebook and a pen.

Discussion of the
laboratory work and

Each group plotted a 20 X

20meter area to conduct
the study

Setting up the methods to

be used to conduct the

Applied the assigned method

Gathered all the data of

each group to process the

Opportunistic Method
In the Opportunistic Method, a 20 x 20 meter area was established using a diameter tape and to
mark the boundaries, bamboo pegs and plastic straw were used. Inside the 20 x 20 meter area, all of the
tree species was identified by the group.
FBS 101: Forest Biodiversity

Line Intercept Sampling

In the Line Intercept Sampling, 20 meter path was established along the side of the road and
measured 5 meter horizontally starting from the baseline. The boundaries were marked with bamboo pegs
and plastic straw rope for easy identification. The study was executed by the Line Intercept Sampling
within the transect path and the students identified the tree species, estimated the crown size, and
measured the diameter at breast height (DBH) using a diameter tape. All the observed species were
recorded in a data sheet.

A. Computation for density and relative density

Density = number of individuals for species
the area sampled

Relative Density = density for a species X 100

total density for all species

B. Frequency Value
Frequency = number of quadrants with species i
total number of quadrants

Relative Frequency = frequency of species i X 100

sum of all frequencies of all species

C. Computation of Dominance and Relative Dominance

Dominance =
BA = 0.7854 (D2)
Di = diameter of species i
V = 0.7854 (D2) L
Li = height of species i

Relative Dominance = basal area or volume of species I X 100

total sum of the basal area of all the species

Point Centered Quarter Method

The Point Centered Quarter Method required bamboo pegs to mark the edges of the quadrat,
plastic straw to divide the sampling area in quadrats, a diameter tape to measure the Diameter at breast
height (DBH) and a compass to align the quarters. Point-Centered Quarter Method was done by dividing
FBS 101: Forest Biodiversity

the area by 4 quadrants using straw ropes. Using bamboo pegs, the sampling points was divided into 4
equal sampling point. Each sampling points have 4 quarters surrounding it. Inside the quadrant, the
species nearest to the sampling point will be selected. The species with a lower Dbh than 10cm was
overlooked and the closest was selected and its Dbh measured. Using the data gathered, the relative
density, relative dominance, relative frequency and importance value were computed.

A. Computation for density and relative density

Density = number of individuals for species
the area sampled

Relative Density = density for a species X 100

total density for all species
B. Frequency Value
Frequency = number of quadrants with species i
total number of quadrants

Relative Frequency = frequency of species i X 100

sum of all frequencies of all species

Quadrat Sampling Technique

The Quadrat Sampling Technique required a diameter tape to measure the Diameter at breast
height (Dbh), plastic straw rope to divide the sampling area in quadrats and bamboo pegs to mark the
edges of a quadrat. The area was divided in 20 x 20 meter and inside, the trees who is greater than 10cm
should be identified including its Dbh. Inside the 20 x 20m area, another 5 x 5 meter was measured. Poles
and saplings should be identified. Lastly, inside the 5 x 5 meter area another 1 x 1 meter was measured
and the percentage of the ground cover should be measured.

A. Relative Density = density for a species X 100

total density for all species

B. Relative Dominance = basal area or volume of species I X 100

total sum of the basal area of all the species

C. Relative Frequency = frequency of species i X 100

sum of all frequencies of all species
FBS 101: Forest Biodiversity


Four assessment methods and techniques were executed in the field for this exercise namely,
Opportunistic Sampling, Line Intercept Technique (LIT), Point Center Quarter Method (PCQM) and the
Quadrat Sampling Technique (QST).

Table 1.Computed Data Values of RDn, RDo, and RF for the Line Intercept Method


Buchanania nitida
2 5.469462 5.469462 5.469462 16.40839

malaanonan 1 2.734731 2.734731 2.734731 8.204193

Shorea contorta
4 18.59617 18.59617 18.59617 55.78851

philippinensis 2 2.886661 2.886661 2.886661 8.659982

Ziziphus talanai
1 2.430872 2.430872 2.430872 7.292616

Hymenea courbaril
1 5.773321 5.773321 5.773321 17.31996

Arenga pinnata
3 8.44728 8.44728 8.44728 25.34184

Instia bijuga
1 2.3701 2.3701 2.3701 7.110301

Platymitra arborea
1 1.33698 1.33698 1.33698 4.010939

Pterocarpus indicus
6 21.14859 21.14859 21.14859 63.44576

tinctorium 1 1.762382 1.762382 1.762382 5.287147

macrophylla 3 10.20966 10.20966 10.20966 30.62899
FBS 101: Forest Biodiversity

Triplaris cumingiana
3 2.552416 2.552416 2.552416 7.657247

Celtis luzonica
2 1.823154 1.823154 1.823154 5.469462

pentandrus 1 0.911577 0.911577 0.911577 2.734731

1 1.70161 1.70161 1.70161 5.104831

lanceolata 1 0.790033 0.790033 0.790033 2.3701

Pometia pinnata
1 1.580067 1.580067 1.580067 4.740201

2 7.474932 7.474932 7.474932 22.42479

37 100 100 100 300

As seen in table 1, the Pterocarpus indicus has the highest importance value, which means that it
is the most dominant species using the line intercept method.

Table 2. Endemism and their Categories of the species sighted using opportunistic method.

Scientific Name Family endemi IUCN DAO-2017-11



Ardisia pyramidilis Myrsinaceae

Gnetum gnemon Gnetaceae
FBS 101: Forest Biodiversity

Fabaceae Native Endangered

Meliaceae EX Vulnerable

Dinochloa acutiflora Poaceae threatened

Cyclopeltis crenata

Garuga floribunda Burseraceae

Platymitra arborea Annonaceae

Dracontomelon dao Anacardiaceae Native Vulnerable

Shorea guiso Native Vulnerable

Instia bijuga Fabaceae Native Vulnerable

Ficus ulmifolia Moraceae Vulnerable

Hymenaea courbaril Fabaceae

Diospyros blancoi Ebenaceae Native Vulnerable

Arenga pinnata Arecaceae NE

Chisocheton least
pentandrus concern

Parkia timoriana Fabaceae

Lansium domesticum Meliaceae

FBS 101: Forest Biodiversity

Celtis luzonica Cannabaceae PE Vulnerable

Moringa oleifera Moringaceae

Triplaris cumngiana Polygonaceae NE

Anisoptera thurifera Native Vulnerable

Sandoricum koetjape Meliaceae EX

Pterocarpus indicus Endangere

Fabaceae Native Vulnerable
forma indicus d

Bridelia insulana Phyllanthaceae

Caryota rumphiana Arecaceae NE

Olacaceae Native

Bischofia javanica Phyllanthaceae NE

Helminthostachys Ophioglossace Critically

zeylanica ae endangered

As seen on Table 3, Leucaena leucocephala has the lowest importance value with 8.627 while
Pterocarpus indicus forma indicus has the highest importance value with a an extremely high value of
86.568 under the Quadrat Sampling Method.

Table 3. Computed Data Values of the RDn, RDo and RF for the QST

Species N RDn RDo RF IV

FBS 101: Forest Biodiversity

1 4.167 1.386 4.1667 9.719

Artocarpus ovatus

1 4.167 2.063 4.1667 10.396

Balakata luzonica

1 4.167 0.055 4.1667 8.389

Cananga odorata

1 4.167 0.058 4.1667 8.391

Dillenia philippinensis

2 8.333 6.253 8.3333 22.920

Hymenaea courbaril

1 4.167 0.293 4.1667 8.627

Leucaena leucocephala

1 4.167 0.055 4.1667 8.389

Parashorea malaanonan

3 12.500 0.278 12.5000 25.278

Parmentiera aculeata

2 8.333 0.564 8.3333 17.231

Pouteria duclitan

3 12.500 61.568 12.5000 86.568

Pterocarpus indicus forma indicus

1 4.167 1.123 4.1667 9.456

Samanea saman

1 4.167 10.557 4.1667 18.890

Shorea contorta

1 4.167 0.080 4.1667 8.413

Strombosia philippinensis

3 12.500 15.076 12.5000 40.076

Swietenia macrophylla

2 8.333 0.591 8.3333 17.258

Wallaceodendron celebicum

Grand Total 24 100 100 100 300

FBS 101: Forest Biodiversity

The figure below shows the species relative density values under the quadrat sampling method.
More than half of the species has the same relative density while the rest are higher in value and thus
presents a diverse area in terms of species.

Figure 1. Species Relative Density Values for QST

Figure 2 on the other hand, presents the relative dominance in the area. It clearly shows one
species that dominated the rest which was Pterorcarpus indicus. Since dominance is computed using the
basal area, it can said that the reason why Pterorcarpus indicus is the dominant species is because of
crown cover or species distribution in the area.

Figure 2. Species Relative Dominance Values for QST

FBS 101: Forest Biodiversity

Similar to the Relative Dominance, the Relative Frequency generally shows the same trend and
thus, presents a precise set of data values with 9 species having the same frequency and with the rest,
higher than those of the majority.

Figure 3. Frequency of Species for QST

Table 4. Analyzed and computed values of RDn, RDo, RF and IV in Point-Centered Quarter Method

Species No. of Trees RDn RDo RF IV

Artocarpus 1 4.17 17.74 4.17 26.08


Parashorea 1 4.17 0.02 4.17 8.36


Balakata 1 4.17 49.54 4.17 57.87


Diplodiscus 1 4.17 1.17 4.17 9.50


Wallaceodendr 1 4.17 0.83 4.17 9.16

on celebicum

Swietenia 5 20.83 18.20 20.83 59.86


Leucaena 1 4.17 0.95 4.17 9.28


Planchonia 1 4.17 1.00 4.17 9.34

FBS 101: Forest Biodiversity


Celtis luzonica 2 8.33 0.31 8.33 16.98

Gonocaryum 1 4.17 0.10 4.17 8.43


Pterocarpus 2 8.33 6.96 8.33 23.62

indicus forma

Canarium 2 8.33 0.48 8.33 17.15


Triplaris 2 8.33 0.61 8.33 17.27


Bridelia 1 4.17 0.52 4.17 8.86


Syzygium 1 4.17 1.54 4.17 9.87


Strombosia 1 4.17 0.03 4.17 8.37


Total 24 100.00 100.00 100.00 300.00

Figure 4. Graphical

Representation of RDn and RDo of Point-Centered Quarter Method

FBS 101: Forest Biodiversity

Figure 4 shows the relative density together with the relative dominance after using the Point-
centered quarter method. It clearly shows that Swietenia macrophylla is the most dense among other tree
species, while Balakata luzonica dominated the area.

Figure 5. Graphical Representation of Relative Frequency of Point-Centered Quarter Method

Relative frequency data results after doing Point-centered quarter method was similar to its
relative density. The figure shows that Swietenia macrophylla has the most frequent occurrence compared
to other tree species in the area.

Table 5. Diversity Indices of the Sampling Methods Used

Assessment Method Shannon-Weiner Index Simpson’s Diversity Index

Line Intercept 2.75339 0.93512

Point Center Quarter Method 2.61171 0.05072

Quadrat Sampling 2.59280 0.95652

FBS 101: Forest Biodiversity

For the Line Intercept Technique (LIT), a total of 37 species were observed and analyzed.
Pterocarpus indicus (6) was found to be the highest number of species, noting that it is the dominant
species in the area, then followed by Shorea contorta (4). The highest importance value is 63.44576 of
Pterocarpus indicus, making it to be the most important species in the area, followed by Shorea contorta
having an importance value of 55.78851 and the rest of the species having less than 31 importance value.
It was also found out that Pterocarpus indicus has the highest relative frequency of 21.14859, same as the
relative dominance and the relative density. As seen in the results in Table 1, Pterocarpus indicus is the
most important species for it obtained the highest IV. If Pterocarpus indicus and Shorea contorta were
removed, it will lead to a drastic change in the ecosystem diversity because these are the trees that have
the greatest effect on this community.

Endemism is the ecological state of a species being unique to a specific geographic location.
Species that are indigenous to a place are not endemic if the species can also be located or found in other
places. Using the opportunistic method, 31 species has been identified. Under the non-endemic, 8 of them
has been classified as Native, 2 are Exotic, 1 has been classified as PE, and 4 are Non-endemic. Under
IUCN, 6 species has been classified as least concern, 5 are Vulnerable, and 1 Endangered species. On the
other hand, under the classification of DAO-2017-11, 4 species has been classified as Vulnerable and 1
species has been classified to Endangered, Critically Endangered and Other Threatened species. As seen
in the table 2, most of the native species in the area are vulnerable. Pterocarpus indicus forma indicus is a
species that is native, endangered and vulnerable. The reasons why the species classified as endangered
are loss of habitat and loss of genetic variation.

For Quadrat Sampling Technique, Table 3 shows that among 15 species there are three
species that project highest value of IV. The highest is Pterocarpus indicus forma indicus followed by
Swietenia macrophylla and Parmentiera aculeata with computed IV of 86.568, 40.076 and 25.278
respectively. These three species got the same computed relative density with the value of 12.500% and
the same value of 12.5000% in terms of relative frequency. Among these species figure 2 shows that
Pterocarpus indicus forma indicus is dominant with computed value of 61.568%. On the other hand
Cananga odorata, Dillenia philippinensis, Parashorea malaanonan and Strombosia philippinensis got
the lowest values of the computed parameters. The three species that got the highest value of IV have
relative importance on the diversity of the community because they are considered as the dominant trees
in the area. It simply implies that removing these trees will cause extreme effect on the other species
below them and the diversity of the community will be affected. Unlike from the other species that got the
lowest values in computed parameters may have no such big impact when culled or deceased because
species like these can continuously regenerate from other areas.

Another method used for biodiversity assessment is the Point-Centered Quarter Method. Using
this method, sixteen (16) different tree species have been analyzed from the area. As seen in Table 4,
Swietenia macrophylla(5) has the most number of tree species observed in the area. Followed by Celtis
luzonica(2), Pterocarpus indicus forma indicus(2), Canarium asperum(2) and Triplaris cumingiana(2).
Given in Table 4 and Figure 4, Swietenia macrophylla is the most dense compared to other tree species
having 20.83 relative density followed again by Celtis luzonica, Pterocarpus indicus, Canarium asperum
and Triplaris cumingiana, all have 8.33 relative density with a 12.5 difference from Swietenia
macrophylla. In terms of Relative Dominance, Balakata luzonica places first with 49.54 RDo followed by
FBS 101: Forest Biodiversity

Swietenia macrophylla having RDo of 18.20 Based on the results on Table 4, and as seen in Figures 4
and 5, Swietenia macrophylla can be considered the most important tree species since it exhibits the
highest Importance Value (59.86) RDn and RF. Balakata luzonica is the second most important species
after Swietenia macrophylla. While Parashorea malaanonan and Strombosia philippinensis can be
considered the least important species having an IV of 8.36 and 8.37, respectively.


There are methods that reach the limit by encountering uneven slopes and there are some slopes that are
practical when applying the study in grassland communities and there are methods that are not practical to
use because of the extensive labor. However, by applying the different vegetation methods, the students
were able to see the advantages and disadvantages. Each method has different procedures up course, and
it provides different results. These methods can never measure a diversity of a forest stand because
measurements are not precise, and it is random, and it can also provide systematic error. These methods
provide different yield results and the group only measured a certain plot that serves a representation of
the forest stand.


Beasom S. and Haucke H., 1975. A comparison of four distance sampling techniques in South Texas live
oak mottes. Retrieved from http: //www.jstor.org/stable/3897447

Canfield, R.H. 1941. Application of the line interception method in sampling range vegetation. J.
Forestry.Retrieved from: https://jornada.nmsu.edu/biblio/application-line-interception-method-

(2018, May 17). Endemism: Definition, Species, Disease & Types. Retrieved from
FBS 101: Forest Biodiversity