Tree community structure, dynamics, and diversity partitioning in a Bornean tropical forested landscape

Michiko Nakagawa*, Kuniyasu Momose, Keiko Kishimoto-Yamada, Tamaki Kamoi, Hiroshi O. Tanaka, Michi Kaga, Satoshi Yamashita, Takao Itioka, Hidetoshi Nagamasu, Shoko Sakai, Tohru Nakashizuka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Human-modified forested landscapes are prevalent in the tropics, and the role of complex mosaics of diverse vegetation types in biodiversity conservation remains poorly understood. Demographic traits and the spatial pattern of biodiversity are essential information when considering proper forest management and land use strategies. We compared the tree community structure (stem density, basal area, tree diversity, abundance of rare, endemic, and upper-layer trees, and species composition) and the forest dynamics (mortality, recruitment rate, and increments of basal area, and above- and below-ground biomass) of 39–46 plots among five dominant forest types: young and old fallows, rubber plantations, and fragmented and old-growth forests in Sarawak, Malaysia. We also explored how tree diversity was distributed across different spatial scales using additive partitioning of diversity. Swidden cultivation and rubber plantations showed decreased stem density, basal area, tree diversity, abundance of rare, endemic, and upper-layer trees, and increments of above- and below-ground biomass, which affected tree mortality, dominant trees, and species composition. Little distinction in species composition was observed among young and old fallows and rubber plantations, indicating a relatively quick recovery of the tree community in the early stages. The highest diversity was found among forest types, indicating that the whole forested landscape comprises a suitable scale for tree biodiversity conservation in the region. Our results suggest that although fragmented and old-growth forests have an irreplaceable role and a high priority in conserving biodiversity and sustaining the function of the forest ecosystem, secondary forests may also have a reinforcing role in maintaining tree diversity in the region, especially under the current circumstances in which a large portion of the landscape is human-modified and faces an increasing threat from the expansion of oil palm plantations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-140
Number of pages14
JournalBiodiversity and Conservation
Volume22
Issue number1
Early online date1 Dec 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

User-Defined Keywords

  • Anthropogenic disturbance
  • Beta diversity
  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Forest dynamics
  • Swidden cultivation

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