Habitat Associations and Community Structure of Dipterocarps in Response to Environment and Soil Conditions in Brunei Darussalam, Northwest Borneo

Rahayu S. Sukri*, Rodzay A. Wahab, Kamariah A. Salim, David F.R.P. Burslem

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Plant habitat associations are well documented in Bornean lowland tropical forests, but few studies contrast the prevalence of associations across sites. We examined habitat associations and community composition of Dipterocarpaceae trees in two contrasting Bornean lowland mixed dipterocarp forests separated by approximately 100 km: Andulau (uniform topography, lower altitudinal range, sandy soils) and Belalong (highly dissected topography, higher altitudinal range, clay-rich soils). Dipterocarpaceae trees ≥ 1 cm diameter at breast height (dbh) were censused in 20-m wide belt transects established along topographic gradients at each site. Dipterocarp density, evenness, species richness, and diversity were significantly higher at Andulau than Belalong. Significant site associations (with either Andulau or Belalong) were detected for 19 (52%) of the 37 dipterocarp species tested. Dipterocarpaceae community composition at Belalong correlated with soil nutrient concentrations as well as measures of vegetation and topographic structure, but community composition at Andulau correlated with fewer habitat variables. Within each site, dipterocarp density, species richness, and diversity were consistently higher on ridges than in slopes and valleys. Significant within-site associations to topographic habitats were less common at Andulau (10% of species tested) than at Belalong (15%). We conclude that edaphic and other environmental factors influence dipterocarp community composition at a local scale, and are more important drivers of community structure in the more variable environment at Belalong. Species richness and diversity of dipterocarps on small plots, however, were higher at Andulau, suggesting that factors other than environmental heterogeneity contribute to contrasts in dipterocarp tree species richness at small scales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-605
Number of pages11
JournalBiotropica
Volume44
Issue number5
Early online date24 Nov 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012

Fingerprint

Brunei
Dipterocarpaceae
Borneo
community composition
soil quality
community structure
species richness
species diversity
habitat
habitats
topography
mixed forest
clay soil
soil nutrient
sandy soil
tropical forest
environmental factor
transect
valley
soil condition

Keywords

  • Dipterocarp
  • Diversity
  • Habitat associations
  • Niche specialization
  • Topography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Habitat Associations and Community Structure of Dipterocarps in Response to Environment and Soil Conditions in Brunei Darussalam, Northwest Borneo. / Sukri, Rahayu S.; Wahab, Rodzay A.; Salim, Kamariah A.; Burslem, David F.R.P.

In: Biotropica, Vol. 44, No. 5, 09.2012, p. 595-605.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Plant habitat associations are well documented in Bornean lowland tropical forests, but few studies contrast the prevalence of associations across sites. We examined habitat associations and community composition of Dipterocarpaceae trees in two contrasting Bornean lowland mixed dipterocarp forests separated by approximately 100 km: Andulau (uniform topography, lower altitudinal range, sandy soils) and Belalong (highly dissected topography, higher altitudinal range, clay-rich soils). Dipterocarpaceae trees ≥ 1 cm diameter at breast height (dbh) were censused in 20-m wide belt transects established along topographic gradients at each site. Dipterocarp density, evenness, species richness, and diversity were significantly higher at Andulau than Belalong. Significant site associations (with either Andulau or Belalong) were detected for 19 (52{\%}) of the 37 dipterocarp species tested. Dipterocarpaceae community composition at Belalong correlated with soil nutrient concentrations as well as measures of vegetation and topographic structure, but community composition at Andulau correlated with fewer habitat variables. Within each site, dipterocarp density, species richness, and diversity were consistently higher on ridges than in slopes and valleys. Significant within-site associations to topographic habitats were less common at Andulau (10{\%} of species tested) than at Belalong (15{\%}). We conclude that edaphic and other environmental factors influence dipterocarp community composition at a local scale, and are more important drivers of community structure in the more variable environment at Belalong. Species richness and diversity of dipterocarps on small plots, however, were higher at Andulau, suggesting that factors other than environmental heterogeneity contribute to contrasts in dipterocarp tree species richness at small scales.",
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note = "Acknowledgements We thank Universiti Brunei Darussalam and Brunei Forestry Department for permission to work at the KBFSC and the Andulau Forest Reserve, respectively; BRUN staff for dipterocarp field identification; and the Soil and Plant Nutrient Unit, Brunei Agricultural Research Centre, for use of their analytical laboratories. We thank Kate Massey for assistance with soil nutrient analysis, Alex Douglas for statistical advice, and Chris Mullins for advice on SMP determinations. Prof. Peter Ashton advised on research design and field site selection, and we thank three referees for comments that improved the manuscript. Nazri, Farhan,Zaini, Bijam, Gani, and Isnawi assisted with SMP sampling. R.S.S. thanks her field assistants and acknowledges financial support under the In-Service Training Scheme from the Government of Brunei Darussalam",
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N1 - Acknowledgements We thank Universiti Brunei Darussalam and Brunei Forestry Department for permission to work at the KBFSC and the Andulau Forest Reserve, respectively; BRUN staff for dipterocarp field identification; and the Soil and Plant Nutrient Unit, Brunei Agricultural Research Centre, for use of their analytical laboratories. We thank Kate Massey for assistance with soil nutrient analysis, Alex Douglas for statistical advice, and Chris Mullins for advice on SMP determinations. Prof. Peter Ashton advised on research design and field site selection, and we thank three referees for comments that improved the manuscript. Nazri, Farhan,Zaini, Bijam, Gani, and Isnawi assisted with SMP sampling. R.S.S. thanks her field assistants and acknowledges financial support under the In-Service Training Scheme from the Government of Brunei Darussalam

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N2 - Plant habitat associations are well documented in Bornean lowland tropical forests, but few studies contrast the prevalence of associations across sites. We examined habitat associations and community composition of Dipterocarpaceae trees in two contrasting Bornean lowland mixed dipterocarp forests separated by approximately 100 km: Andulau (uniform topography, lower altitudinal range, sandy soils) and Belalong (highly dissected topography, higher altitudinal range, clay-rich soils). Dipterocarpaceae trees ≥ 1 cm diameter at breast height (dbh) were censused in 20-m wide belt transects established along topographic gradients at each site. Dipterocarp density, evenness, species richness, and diversity were significantly higher at Andulau than Belalong. Significant site associations (with either Andulau or Belalong) were detected for 19 (52%) of the 37 dipterocarp species tested. Dipterocarpaceae community composition at Belalong correlated with soil nutrient concentrations as well as measures of vegetation and topographic structure, but community composition at Andulau correlated with fewer habitat variables. Within each site, dipterocarp density, species richness, and diversity were consistently higher on ridges than in slopes and valleys. Significant within-site associations to topographic habitats were less common at Andulau (10% of species tested) than at Belalong (15%). We conclude that edaphic and other environmental factors influence dipterocarp community composition at a local scale, and are more important drivers of community structure in the more variable environment at Belalong. Species richness and diversity of dipterocarps on small plots, however, were higher at Andulau, suggesting that factors other than environmental heterogeneity contribute to contrasts in dipterocarp tree species richness at small scales.

AB - Plant habitat associations are well documented in Bornean lowland tropical forests, but few studies contrast the prevalence of associations across sites. We examined habitat associations and community composition of Dipterocarpaceae trees in two contrasting Bornean lowland mixed dipterocarp forests separated by approximately 100 km: Andulau (uniform topography, lower altitudinal range, sandy soils) and Belalong (highly dissected topography, higher altitudinal range, clay-rich soils). Dipterocarpaceae trees ≥ 1 cm diameter at breast height (dbh) were censused in 20-m wide belt transects established along topographic gradients at each site. Dipterocarp density, evenness, species richness, and diversity were significantly higher at Andulau than Belalong. Significant site associations (with either Andulau or Belalong) were detected for 19 (52%) of the 37 dipterocarp species tested. Dipterocarpaceae community composition at Belalong correlated with soil nutrient concentrations as well as measures of vegetation and topographic structure, but community composition at Andulau correlated with fewer habitat variables. Within each site, dipterocarp density, species richness, and diversity were consistently higher on ridges than in slopes and valleys. Significant within-site associations to topographic habitats were less common at Andulau (10% of species tested) than at Belalong (15%). We conclude that edaphic and other environmental factors influence dipterocarp community composition at a local scale, and are more important drivers of community structure in the more variable environment at Belalong. Species richness and diversity of dipterocarps on small plots, however, were higher at Andulau, suggesting that factors other than environmental heterogeneity contribute to contrasts in dipterocarp tree species richness at small scales.

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