Diversity of the riparian vegetation of lower agusan river towards establishing the sago-based eco belt for disaster risk reduction

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Research Paper 01/04/2017
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Diversity of the riparian vegetation of lower agusan river towards establishing the sago-based eco belt for disaster risk reduction

Roger T. Sarmiento, Glenn Arthur A. Garcia, Rowena P. Varela
J. Bio. Env. Sci.10( 4), 70-80, April 2017.
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The study describes the floristic diversity of Lower Agusan river as basis in enhancing riparian vegetation as buffer zone to reduce flash flood impacts. A survey was conducted in the 5-kilometer easement of the river to determine existing floristic composition and soil characteristics using transect and quadrat method. Results showed that the vegetation is composed of 105 species of vascular plants belonging to 85 genera and 42 families, with composite Shannon-Weiner diversity index (H’) of 1.338 for the entire ecobelt. Despite low diversity index, a number of important floral species are present in the riverbanks wherein six species under threatened status were recorded. The vegetation structures differ in every site covered by the survey. In Pagatpatan, the palm Nipa fruticansis predominant although significant portions are also occupied by dense grass species. The lowest diversity of plant species was in the Banza site because it is already densely populated,. In species richness, the highest species count comprising 63% of the total identified species was recorded in Mahay site. This is followed by Pagatpatan and Banza at 61% and 50%, respectively. The stocking density of the ecobelt area was assessed to be very poor to function ecologically as a riparian buffer, having a mean density of 48 stems per hectare only. This indicated that all areas surveyed were classified to be of high risk, thus immediate rehabilitation is necessary to enhance vegetation cover especially those with low plant diversity status.


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