Title : Inventory, Assessment, and Habitat Association of Ferns and Lycophytes in Forest Fragments of Cavite, Philippines
The rampant land conversions which directly impact a habitat adds up to the anthropogenic pressure that makes the ferns and lycophytes species vulnerable. This study aims to document, assess both ecological and conservation status, and determine the habitat association of ferns and lycophytes that thrive in the forest fragments of the upland Cavite to contribute to the present data on the Philippine pteridophytes. A transect walk was executed in a total of twenty-five quadrats established from July to October 2021. Statistical tests such as Shannon-Wiener diversity, Kruskal Wallis, Canonical Correspondence Analysis, and Spearman’s rank correlation were carried out to analyze the collected data. The inventory has a total of 10 species representing 1 class, 2 orders, and 4 families. Pteridaceae family (88.82 %) was encountered across all the forest fragments with Adiantum philippense L. as the dominating species. The ferns and lycophytes species diversity are high in Sadati forest (H’=0.97) and Evercrest forest (H’=0.83). Most fern species are associated with low levels of wind, water pH, phosphorous, high elevation, and an average temperature of 23°C. Significantly, all documented species are categorized as least concerned and are still widely distributed in the wild.