The Philippines and its species-rich ecosystem – Part I

Subli

FLORA

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The Philippine offers nature lovers tremendous biodiversity. Its tropical rainforest is the most species-rich ecosystem on earth. Substantial parts of the archipelago remain unexplored, both on land and under water. The country is remarkable for its dwarf and pigmy species of many ecological families. Unfortunately, the natural environment is being destroyed at an alarming rate. Logging and mining, dynamiting of coral reefs, and enormous population pressures are having a devastating ecological effect. For the conservationist, a journey through the islands may be both exciting and depressing.

Fertile volcanic soil of the Philippines, abundant rain and sunshine, and the wide range of habitats and elevations give rise to an incredible variety of plant life in every category, from mosses and lichens (including 1,000 species of fern) to giant trees (about 3,000 species).

Plants are mainly of the type found in Indonesia and Malaysia, although Australian (e.g. eucalyptus) and Sino-Himalayan (e.g…

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