Discipline: Biological Science
Forest litter is an important aspect for healthy forest ecosystems. Hence, this study monitored the litterfall production and turnover in the established two-hectare permanent plots in the three Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Sites in Mindanao, viz., Mt. Apo, Mt. Hamiguitan and Mt. Musuan. Litter samples were collected from 2w0 installed traps at each site and consequently sorted to components, processed and oven-dried. Data revealed that the estimated annual litter production was highest in Mt. Musuan with 11211.5 kg ha-1, followed by Mt. Apo with 6648.0 kg ha-1 and Mt. Hamiguitan with 4919.5 kg ha-1. Agathis philippinensis contributed the highest litterfall production in Mt. Apo, whereas Barringtonia racemosa and Artocarpus blancoi in Mt. Hamiguitan and Mt. Musuan, respectively. Highest litter turnover was observed in Mt. Musuan (5.35%/day). Litterfall production showed to have a positive correlation with temperature for Mt. Hamiguitan and Mt. Musuan. Among the studied sites, Mt. Musuan had the highest forest primary production. Results of this study support previous reports that lowland forests have high forest productivity. Further, there is a need to plant Philippine endemic and threatened trees, such as A. philippinensis since these prove to have high productivity as in the case of Mt. Apo and Mt. Hamiguitan.