Prof Sumitro Djojohadikusumo Conservation Area (AK – PSD) ARSARI is home to various tree species and other plants. However, information on the data of every species is still minimal, prompting AK-PSD team to conduct tree identification within the area. The purpose is to record and conduct surveys of tree species in the conservation area. In addition, this activity also serves as educational medium for Wanadhyaksa members whose job is maintaining and protecting Prof. Sumitro Djojohadikusumo Conservation Area (AK – PSD) ARSARI.
Data collection was carried out in one of the forests in Prof. Sumitro Djojohadikusumo Conservation Area (AK – PSD) ARSARI, which is a miniature forest. The location is approximately 20 minutes away from the AK-PSD ARSARI Guard Post by cars or motorcycles. The route to the location is decent, made of soil and rocks, but during rainy season it will be more challenging to navigate due to several damaged and muddy roads.
Before heading to the location, there are several tools that need to be prepared. Among those are field equipment, inventory equipment, and logistics. Field equipment consists of boots, GPS, machetes, backpacks, and first aid kits. Meanwhile, inventory equipment consists of binoculars, 5 kg plastic, hanging labels, black cloth for photo background, parameters, digital camera, and stationery.
The steps for tree identification process are as follow. First, observe the morphology of the tree, such as the shape of leaves, flowers, fruits, and stems. Next, record other supporting characteristics such as existence of sap, aroma (of leaves and bark), color, and others, which will make the identification process easier. Then, collect samples of leaves, fruit, flowers, and bark (if the species is known, there is no need to collect samples). After collection, photograph the samples, label them, and put them into 5 kg plastic bag for further identification in the Herbarium or for expert identification. Then, record the vern name or local name of the tree to help identification process. Also, don’t forget to take note of the coordinates of data collection location and record the general ecological condition.
The process of identifying trees or plants is one of the soft skills that must be mastered by someone who engages in forest or conservation activities on daily basis. Because this is of tremendous importance to identify the potential that exists in the forest, such as the types of rare trees/plants, trees with high economic value, protected trees, etc. In addition, knowledge about tree or plant species will be very useful when venturing the forest, especially for survivors in harsh condition. Therefore, we need to identify forest trees/plants, as an effort to conserve our biodiversity. For further detail on sample collection procedures, see the Youtube channel of the ARSARI Djojohadikusumo Foundation.