Not much has been done on the depth of biodiversity in Eastern Indonesia. Moreover, serpentinite soils can be considered as an extreme ecosystem. Exploration activities and exploitation of laterite nickel deposits associated with serpentinite rocks in eastern Indonesia, such as in Halmahera, North Maluku, also pose a threat to plant diversity in this soil type. Therefore, research related to the influence of the environment (geological conditions) on the status of biodiversity in serpentinite soils needs to be carried out for reference in developing strategies/policies and technologies to maintain and utilize Indonesia’s biodiversity as an effort to increase disaster resilience and climate change.
Geochemical Exploration of Trace Elements and Plant Diversity in Serpentinite Soil, Wasile Region, Halmahera, North Maluku was carried out on 14 – 27 October 2022 in Subaim and surrounding areas, Kec. Wasile, Kab. East Halmahera, Prov. North Maluku. This is joint research involving Dr. Dian Agus Widiarso, ST., MT., and Rinal Khaidar Ali, ST., M.Eng. from the Department of Geological Engineering, Diponegoro University, together with researchers from the National Innovation Research Agency. This study aims to explore the geological-geochemical conditions, as well as plant diversity in the serpentinite soil area in the Wasile area, Halmahera, North Maluku. It is important to carry out this exploration activity to enrich the collection of biological and geological data through the collection of plant, soil, rock, and water samples for the purpose of revealing biodiversity in serpentinite soils in Eastern Indonesia and characterizing the geological-geochemical conditions of the local area.
The study area is composed of lithology in the form of serpentinite rocks and serpentinized mafic and ultramafic rocks. Several plant species identified in the study area and have been collected include the Casuarinaceae, Orchidaceae, Poaceae, Malvacea, Fabaceae, Rubiaceae, Zingiberaceae, Nephentaceae, Verbenaceae, Dileneaeceae, Pittosporaceae, Myrtaceae and Moraceae tribes. The forest area that has not been disturbed by mining activities has a very high species diversity, including Shorea sp., Vatica sp. (Dipterocarpaceae). This species has great potential as a timber tree. In addition, Nepenthes sp., Commersonia bartramia, Syzygium sp., Glochidion sp. The outputs generated from this exploration activity include 100 plant collections, 60 serpentinite rock samples, and 5 water samples, 1 field geological data package, and 1 ecological data package. This field activity will be followed by laboratory analysis to determine the relationship between geological and geochemical conditions with plant diversity in the research area.