Volume 2 Number 1 (2008)

Table of Contents

Tree elements along the western slope of Mt. Lobo: species composition from 700 to 1, 007m altitudes

Research Paper, pages 4-11

by Anacleto M. Caringal


Mt. Lobo, the highest peak in the coastal province of Batangas, Luzon Island was sampled for its dendrological elements. The forest community along the western slope proved to be diverse in terms of representative tree species. Families and genera of medium altitude (700-800m.asl) such as Anacardiaceae (Buchanania, Dracontamelon), Combretaceae (Terminalia),
Dipterocarpaceae (Parashorea, Shorea), Euphorbiaceae (Drypetes, Glochidion, Mallotus, Neotrewia), Meliaceae (Aglaia, Amoora, Dysoxylum), Moraceae (Ficus, Artocarpus), Sapotaceae (Palaquium, Pouteria) were gradually replaced by the characteristics montane families like Clethraceae (Clethra), Fagaceae (Lithocarpus), Lauraceae (Cinnamomum, Litsea, Phoebe), Melastomataceae (Astronia, Astrocalyx, Medinilla, Memecylon), Myrtaceae (Leptospermum), Podocarpaceae (Podocarpus), Rutaceae (Melicope) and Theaceae (Eurya). Ascending to 1,007m altitude, Mt. Lobo’s mossy forest community appeared simple which was composed of relatively fewer families, genera and species typical of temperate distribution or the “microtherms” (cold-adapted) like conifers (Podocarpus), oak (Fagaceae), Clethra (Clethraceae), Astronia and Medinilla (Melastomataceae), and Leptospermum (Myrtaceae). Such speciation is typical of the oak-laurel type of forest in the montane tropics.

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Development of an interactive database to the species of Philippine Mussaenda (Rubiaceae)

Research Paper, pages 13-20

by Grecebio Jonathan D. Alejandro and Ulrich Meve


An illustrated database of the 27 (including three varieties) Philippine species of Mussaenda was developed using the DELTA format and translated to an interactive key. The database, based on field observations and herbarium specimens, comprises more than 200 characters from which detailed descriptions of habit and both vegetative and reproductive parts were drawn. Full illustrations of important characters and each taxon (including field and type specimens) as well as key to the species, phenology, distribution maps, vouchers of specimen examined, discussion, and internal transcribed spacer (nrDNA) sequence are also associated with this database. The interactive identification uses 146 characters, the flower morphology and type of external indumentum score with the highest character reliabilities. The database is available at http://www.uni-bayreuth.de/departments/planta2/wgl/delta_ru/index.html.

Key words: DELTA, INTKEY, Mussaenda, Philippines, Rubiaceae

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Blooms of the colonial green algae, Botryococcus braunii Kützing, in Paoay Lake, Luzon Island, Philippines

Resaerch Paper, pages 21-31

by Rey Donne Papa, Jiunn-Tzong Wu, Susana Baldia, Carmela Cho, May Ann Cruz, Angelica Saguiguit and Riyel Aquino


Blooms of the colonial green algae, Botryococcus braunii, have been widely known to exert toxic effects on a variety of aquatic organisms and have been noted to cause fish deaths in some environments. In this study, a monitoring of the abundance and distribution of B. braunii in Paoay Lake was done in 2006. Samples were taken from the surface and deep portions in the lake from 4 sampling sites. The density of B. braunii was found to increase with time from an average  of 9,670 colonies/L in May to 24,656 colonies/L in June. The highest recorded density was 44,732 colonies/L near the area surrounding the town of Nagbacalan in July. It was also found that the abundance of some zooplankton species was lowered when the abundance of B. braunii was elevated in the lake. This study showed that the B. braunii bloom has likewise caused a decrease in dissolved oxygen and might have attributed to the toxic effects exerted by this green alga on the other organisms found in the lake. This is the first reported occurrence of a B. braunii bloom in Paoay Lake.

Keywords: Algal bloom, Botryococcus braunii, Paoay Lake

Phenotypic characterization of pink pigmented facultative methylotrophic bacteria from soil exposed to vehicular soot

Research Paper, pages 32-39

by Seung Bong Jang and Anthony C. Lee


Twenty three (23) pink pigmented facultative methylotrophic bacterial isolates were obtained from soil collected along the island pavement of Taft Avenue fronting De La Salle University-Manila campus. They were described in terms of morphological and biochemical properties, as well as, responses to selected antimicrobials. All isolates were gram-negative rod shaped cells with sudanophilic cysts. Colonial morphologies of the isolates were described after growing them in both minimal and enriched media. All bacterial isolates showed circular, entire, opaque, raised to convex colonies regardless of the media used. Differences however, in terms of intensity of pink pigmentation and consistency were observed when the isolates were grown in different media. In terms of biochemical characteristics, all isolates exhibited urease, catalase, amylase and oxidase activities. Variations in terms of their ability to oxidize different sugars and citrate as carbon and energy sources were observed among the isolates. All isolates yielded negative to blood hemolysis test, indole production methyl red and Voges Proskauer tests. The temperature for the optimum growth of the bacterial isolates was at 30°C. Some strains however, were observed to grow at 37oC and 4oC. All isolates were susceptible to imipinem, β-lactams and β-lactam- β-lacatamase inhibitor formulations, tetracycline but resistant to meropenem. Based on the phenotypic characteristics observed, the isolates are assigned to the genus Methylobacterium.

Keywords: PPFM bacteria, Methylobacterium, soil bacteria, air pollution.

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A checklist of Philippine Ericaceae

Review Paper, pages 40-46

by George Argent


The family Ericaceae are still very imperfectly known in the Philippines despite an accumulation of recent collections. Rhododendron because of its horticultural importance and mostly large flowers is relatively well known but some of the older species have still to be recollected so that they can be better assessed. Species such as R. taxifolium, R. mendumiae and R. wilkei are only known from very small areas of montane forest. These forests are under threat from El Niño drought events, and these species endemic to them could easily become extinct. The small flowered Rhododendron quadrasianum has very complex variation and badly needs more field study. Diplycosia with its small and often insignificant flowers needs further and better collections for a revision of the species as does the Gaultheria leucocarpa complex. Vaccinium with 32 species is the largest genus in the family. It also needs a great deal of further study. The account in Flora Malesiana (Sleumer, 1966) is difficult to use for the Philippine species and a field key is needed so that the species can be accurately named for conservation assessments.

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Philippine Porphyra species: their economic potentials

Research Paper, pages 47-54

by Paciente A. Cordero, Jr.


A description of the Philippine species of Porphyra and their economic potential is presented.

Keywords: Porphyra, economic algae

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Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology ISSN 1908-6865