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CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

The University of St. La Salle Eco-park, a five hundred acre land at Barangay

Granada, Bacolod City, was donated to the university during the nineties. The area that

was formerly a sugarcane field was made into an extension of the school campus to be

used for ecological and biological studies. About two hectares of the land were developed

to accommodate the university’s facilities which included two small buildings that

housed student projects, two butterfly gardens, a greenhouse, and mini gardens. The

Eco-park is still in the early stages of development, thus little information on its

environmental conditions, biodiversity, and facilities are available to the public.

In the year 1997, a study on the proposed Eco-park site, which was then referred

to as an Eco-land, was conducted by Mrs. Rose Marie L Guardamano. Plans were made

on how to best utilize the land by providing a resource inventory of the site. These plans

were then put into action and after nine years, the Eco-park was developed into what it is

today.

Biodiversity refers to the totality of genes, species, and ecosystems of a region

(Simpson, 1946). The diversity of organisms in a particular area contributes much in

sustaining a particular ecosystem. Areas that contain well diverse ecosystems are

consequently more productive and are able to withstand stress caused by the conditions

of the environment. The ecological role of species biodiversity is to provide the


ecosystem with a better chance of adapting to environmental change. Plant diversity is

the number of plant species presently found in a certain ecosystem.

Plant diversity in the Granada Eco-park ecosystem would imply that it has a

suitable range of conditions for the successful growth and development of various plants

and fruit crops. This would also indicate that plants would thrive and flourish in these

conditions, thus making the Eco-park a good place for the conservation of an ecological

community.

The different environmental conditions that affect the growth and development of

plants influence its diversity. Growth and development include all the stages related to the

progressive relationship between the plants genetic information to environmental cues. It

is important to study plant diversity and environmental conditions because these

ecological factors suggest how productive an ecosystem is.

Statement of the Problem

The study aimed to document the plant diversity and the associated environmental

conditions of the University of St. La Salle Eco-park. Specifically, this study intended to:

1. investigate the environmental conditions of the site, specifically its

physical and chemical properties and

2. construct a listing of plant species present in the Eco-park.

Significance of the Study

The identification of the different plant species and the investigation of the

environmental conditions of the Eco-Park will determine whether the park would be a

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suitable place to support plant life. Conservation of plant life would enhance the

community’s ability to support other biotic life as well. Thus, it would provide students

taking natural science classes such as biology, microbiology, ecology, and botany, with a

venue for collecting specimens from various plant and insect species. A well developed

land area would provide sites required for agriculture and ecology students’ field work

studies. This study may also be used as reference for future research that will be

conducted at the Eco-park.

Scope and Limitations

The Granada Eco-park, its plant diversity and environmental conditions, were the

focus of this study. Plant diversity was determined by obtaining data on density, relative

density, frequency, relative frequency and dominance. The environmental conditions

observed included the Eco-park’s soil temperature, pH, nutrient content, moisture content

and texture, water temperature and pH, air temperature and humidity.

Random sampling was employed in the selection of the different sites that were

used in the study. Data gathering was conducted at least twice a week, during both the dry

and wet seasons. This was done to ensure that the information gathered was

representative of the entire area, during two different seasons of the year.