Discipline: Botany, Geology, Science
The paper determined the species richness, distribution, and status of mosses in selected mountains in Mindanao, Philippines. Field collections of mosses were conducted in Mt. Kalatungan, Bukidnon Province ,Mt. Matutum, South Cotabato Province , and Mt. Malambo, Davao Province at 10 meters on each side of the trails using alphataxonomy method. The mosses were collected, classified, and identified. Its status were also assessed. The study revealed 137 species, 87 genera and 33 families of mosses. Of the 137 species, 109 were found in Mt. Kalatungan , 59 in Mt. Matutum. and 20 in Mt. Malambo. Assessment of status of the species revealed 7 species as Philippine record, 37 new to Mindanao, 1 collected only twice, 29 widespread, 12 rare species, and all species collected were new record in terms of locality. Mt. Kalatungan had the highest species richness, followed by Mt. Matutum, and Mt. Malambo had the least number of species. Based on the findings, with the alarming rate of degradation of the mountains which is basically caused by human activities such as land clearing, slash and burn method for expanding crop plantation, urbanization, firewood consumption, over collection of moss plant materials of horticulture, landscaping and other commercial purposes. Some species are epiphytes on tree trunks or branches of live trees while others are on rotten logs, rock surfaces, moist stones along the stream banks and some grow well on soil. Hence, the identified habitats of new records in the Philippines, new to Mindanao , new in terms of locality, widespread , and rare species of mosses should be protected through a strict implementation of the forest laws by concerned authorities.