1 Department of Forest Biological Sciences, College of Forestry and Environmental Science, Central Mindanao University, Musuan, Bukidnon, Philippines

2 Department of Forest Biological Sciences, College of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of the Philippines, Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines


Leaf size indices of the tree species in the peatland of Agusan del Sur in Mindanao in Philippines was examined to deduce the variation of forest structure and observed forest zonation.  Using raunkiaer and webb’s leaf size classification, the leaf morphometrics of seven tree species consistently found on the established sampling plots were determined.  The species includes Ternstroemia philippinensis Merr., Polyscias aherniana Merr. Lowry and G.M. Plunkett, Calophyllum sclerophyllum Vesque, Fagraea racemosa Jack, Ilex cymosa Blume, Syzygium tenuirame (Miq.) Merr. and Tristaniopsis micrantha Merr. Peter G.Wilson and J.T.Waterh.The LSI were correlated against the variables of the peat physico-chemical properties (such as bulk density, acrotelm thickness, peat depth, total organic carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, pH); water (pH, ammonium, nitrate, phosphate); and leaf tissue elements (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium).  Result showed a decreasing leaf size indices and a three leaf size category consisting of mesophyllous, mesophyllous-notophyllous and microphyllous were observed which corresponds to the structure of vegetation i.e., from the tall-pole forest having the biggest average leaf area of 6,142.29 mm2 to the pygmy forest with average leaf area of 1,670.10 mm2.  Such decreased leaf size indices were strongly correlated to soil nitrogen, acrotelm thickness, peat depth, phosphate in water, nitrogen and phosphorus in the plant tissue.

Graphical Abstract

Leaf size indices and structure of the peat swamp forest


  • Leaf size indices are direct indicators to the physico-chemical conditions of the ecosystem
  • The leaf size indices along with other physico-chemical properties enables to elucidates     the variation in the forest structure and physiognomy of the peat swamp forest
  • Leaf size indices are effective monitoring tool for ecophysiological studies


Main Subjects

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