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Analysis of the farmers' knowledge on the ecosystem services of trees in the Molawin-Dampalit Watershed, Makiling Forest Reserve, Philippines

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The degree of knowledge on ecosystem services of trees largely depend on the farmers' experiential association including goods and services derived from the trees. This paper sought to determine the farmers' knowledge on the ecosystem services derived from trees found within the Molawin-Dampalit Watershed. Specifically, it aimed to acharacterize the socio-demographic conditions of the farmer respondents and determine farmers' knowledge on the ecosystem services. Results reveal that 11 major woody perennial (trees) species provide economic, ecological and cultural services. These include acacia (Samanea saman), malunggay (Moringa oleifera), narra (Pterocarpus indicus), coconut (Cocos nucifera), banaba (Lagerstroemia speciosa), neem (Azadirachta indica), pine (Pinus sp) and various species of fruit trees. The ecological services had the highest knowledge score of 13.29, while the cultural services had the lowest score of 0.38. The farmers' knowledge on the economic service of on-farm trees got an average score of 10.23. Furthermore, the correlation of the knowledge scores on the ecosystem services indicates a negative correlation of the cultural services with the ecological services. These results suggest that the farmers are aware of the positive ecological value of integrating trees in their production system. Furthermore, the level of the farmers' knowledge on the ecosystem services of trees indicates the probable significant influence on the farmers' production system, particularly in integrating woody perennials in their farming system. Therefore, scaling-up the domestication of trees on-farm for better ecosystem services is imperative.

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