A comparative diversity study of myxomycetes in the lowland forests of Mt. Malasimbo and Mt. Siburan, Mindoro Island, Philippines

Authors: Pecundo, Melissa H. & Dagamac, Nikki Heherson A. & dela Cruz, Thomas Edison E.
Journal: Karstenia, Volume 58 (2020), Issue 2, pages 275-291.
Doi: https://doi.org/10.29203/ka.2020.500
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Key words: Biosphere reserve, Ecotourism, Forest watershed, Plasmodial slime mold, UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme

Abstract: Million years ago, the island of Mindoro separated from mainland Asia. Its geologic origin led to many species distinct from Asia and the other islands of the Philippines. In this study, two lowland mountain forests – Mt. Malasimbo (MM) in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, and Mt. Siburan (MS) in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro – were surveyed for myxomycetes. The combined opportunistic sampling in the field and the setting up of 1,260 moist chamber cultures retrieved a total of 1,007 fruiting body collections representing 50 species from 17 genera. A relatively higher number of taxa (49 species) was recorded in Mt. Siburan than in Mt. Malasimbo (36). Seventeen species were classified as rare with only four taxa that were widely distributed in both study sites, namely, Arcyria cinerea, Perichaena pedata, Diderma hemisphaericum, and Lamproderma scintillans. Higher species diversity and richness were noted for Mt. Siburan than Mt. Malasimbo, but a clear similarity in species composition (CC = 0.80) and abundance (PS = 0.72) can be observed between forest sites. This suggest that lowland natural forest habitats of Mt. Malasimbo and Mt. Siburan are hotspots of myxomycete diversity. This research represents the most comprehensive survey of myxomycetes in Mindoro Island.