Sabah Parks

Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Sabah Parks

Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
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Phung C.-C.,Universiti Malaysia Sabah | Yu F.T.Y.,Sabah Parks | Liew T.-S.,Universiti Malaysia Sabah
ZooKeys | Year: 2017

Sabah, situated in one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, has the largest number of islands in Malaysia with more than 500 of various sizes and degrees of isolation. However, information on the islands’ biodiversity is limited. This study provides an up-to-date checklist of land snail species found on 24 west coast islands in Sabah. A total of 67 species (nearly 20% of the total number of land snail species in the state) representing 37 genera and 19 families is enumerated based on systematic field surveys of 133 sampling plots, BORNEENSIS database records and species checklists published between 2000 and 2016. The number of species on the islands ranges from four to 29. Labuan Island has the highest number of species (29), followed by Tiga Island (25), Mantanani Besar Island (24) and Gaya Island (23). However, the populations of some land snail species may have declined as several previously recorded species on the islands were not found in a recent systematic field sampling. This checklist is provided as a baseline inventory for future island land snail studies and to better inform biodiversity conservation plans of marine parks and other islands on the Sabah west coast. © Chee-Chean Phung et al.

Wells K.,Biodiversity and Climate Research Center | Wells K.,University of Ulm | Lakim M.B.,Sabah Parks | Beaucournu J.-C.,University of Rennes 1
Medical and Veterinary Entomology | Year: 2011

The diversity of ectoparasites in Southeast Asia and flea-host associations remain largely understudied. We explore specialization and interaction patterns of fleas infesting non-volant small mammals in Bornean rainforests, using material from a field survey carried out in two montane localities in northwestern Borneo (Sabah, Malaysia) and from a literature database of all available interactions in both lowland and montane forests. A total of 234 flea individuals collected during our field survey resulted in an interaction network of eight flea species on seven live-captured small mammal species. The interaction network from all compiled studies currently includes 15 flea species and 16 small mammal species. Host specificity and niche partitioning of fleas infesting diurnal treeshrews and squirrels were low, with little difference in specialization among taxa, but host specificity in lowland forests was found to be higher than in montane forests. By contrast, Sigmactenus alticola (Siphonaptera: Leptopsyllidae) exhibited low host specificity by infesting various montane and lowland nocturnal rats. However, this species exhibited low niche partitioning as it was the only commonly recorded flea from rats on Borneo. Overall complementary specialization was of intermediate intensity for both networks and differed significantly from random association; this has important implications for specific interactions that are also relevant to the potential spread of vector-borne diseases. © 2011 The Authors. Medical and Veterinary Entomology © 2011 The Royal Entomological Society.

Wells K.,University of Ulm | O'Hara R.B.,Biodiversity and Climate Research Center | Pfeiffer M.,University of Ulm | Pfeiffer M.,National University of Mongolia | And 3 more authors.
Oecologia | Year: 2013

Patterns of host-parasite association are poorly understood in tropical forests. While we typically observe only snapshots of the diverse assemblages and interactions under variable conditions, there is a desire to make inferences about prevalence and host-specificity patterns. We studied the interaction of ticks with non-volant small mammals in forests of Borneo. We inferred the probability of species interactions from individual-level data in a multi-level Bayesian model that incorporated environmental covariates and advanced estimates for rarely observed species through model averaging. We estimated the likelihood of observing particular interaction frequencies under field conditions and a scenario of exhaustive sampling and examined the consequences for inferring host specificity. We recorded a total of 13 different tick species belonging to the five genera Amblyomma, Dermacentor, Haemaphysalis, Ixodes, and Rhipicephalus from a total of 37 different host species (Rodentia, Scandentia, Carnivora, Soricidae) on 237 out of 1,444 host individuals. Infestation probabilities revealed most variation across host species but less variation across tick species with three common rat and two tree shrew species being most heavily infested. Host species identity explained ca. 75 % of the variation in infestation probability and another 8-10 % was explained by local host abundance. Host traits and site-specific attributes had little explanatory power. Host specificity was estimated to be similarly low for all tick species, which were all likely to infest 34-37 host species if exhaustively sampled. By taking into consideration the hierarchical organization of individual interactions that may take place under variable conditions and that shape host-parasite networks, we can discern uncertainty and sampling bias from true interaction frequencies, whereas network attributes derived from observed values may lead to highly misleading results. Multi-level approaches may help to move this field towards inferential approaches for understanding mechanisms that shape the strength and dynamics in ecological networks. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Wells K.,Biodiversity and Climate Research Center | Lakim M.B.,Sabah Parks | Schulz S.,TU Braunschweig | Ayasse M.,University of Ulm
Journal of Tropical Ecology | Year: 2011

The pitchers of Nepenthes rajah, a montane carnivorous plant species from Borneo, are large enough to capture small vertebrates such as rats or lizards, which occasionally drown therein. The interactions of N. rajah with vertebrates, however, are poorly understood, and the potential mechanisms that lure vertebrates to the pitchers are largely unknown. We observed frequent visits (average: one visit per 4.2 h) of both the diurnal tree shrew Tupaia montana and the nocturnal rat Rattus baluensis to pitchers by infrared sensor camera and video recording. Both mammalian species often licked the inner surface of the pitcher lid, which harbours numerous exudate-producing glands. Analysis of volatiles extracted from the secretions of the pitcher lids by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC/MS) revealed 44 volatile compounds, including hydrocarbons, alcohols, esters, ketones and sulphur-containing compounds, which are commonly present in sweet fruit and flower odours. The faeces of small mammals were repeatedly observed inside the pitcher, whereas we found the body of only one Tupaia montana drowned in the 42, vital and reasonably large, surveyed pitchers. Our findings suggest that the N. rajah pitcher makes use of the perceptual biases of rats and tree shrews by emitting volatiles known from fruits. The profits that the plant obtains from the repeated visits of two small mammals, together with the provision of exudates for the mammals, comprise an exceptional case of plant-vertebrate interaction. © 2011 Cambridge University Press.

Wells K.,University of Adelaide | Wells K.,University of Ulm | Lakim M.B.,Sabah Parks | O'Hara R.B.,Biodiversity and Climate Research Center
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2014

Urbanization has paved the way for the spread of commensal rodents at global scale. However, it is largely unknown how these species use tropical anthropogenic landscapes originally covered with forests and inhabited by diverse small mammal assemblages. We surveyed non-flying small mammals in various urban and suburban habitat types and adjacent forest in the tropical town of Kota Kinabalu in Borneo. We used occupancy and polynomial regression models to determine variation in species occurrences along gradients of land-use intensity. Müller's sundamys (Sundamys muelleri) was the only native small mammal species found in urban and suburban landscapes with a continuous decrease in occurrence probability from forests to urban habitats. The invasive Asian black rat (Rattus rattus species complex) and the invasive Asian house shrew (Suncus murinus) had the highest occurrence probabilities in habitats of intermediate land-use intensity, but Asian black rats are also likely to occasionally invade forested habitats and occupied urban habitats in sympatry with the Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus). In urban and suburban habitats, fallow land possibly favoured the occurrence of S. muelleri and S. murinus. Other native small mammal species (Muridae, Sciuridae, Tupaiidae) were found only in forested areas. Our study shows that native small mammals found in forest are largely replaced by invasive species in urban and suburban habitats. Due to their occurrence in habitats of various land use intensities, S. muelleri and R. rattus comprise central links between forest wildlife and urban species, an association that is important to consider in studies of parasite and disease transmission dynamics. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Greenwood M.,Monash University | Clarke C.,University of Selangor | Gunsalam A.,Sabah Parks | Clarke R.H.,Monash University
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

The carnivorous pitcher plant genus Nepenthes grows in nutrient-deficient substrates and produce jug-shaped leaf organs (pitchers) that trap arthropods as a source of N and P. A number of Bornean Nepenthes demonstrate novel nutrient acquisition strategies. Notably, three giant montane species are engaged in a mutualistic association with the mountain treeshrew, Tupaia montana, in which the treeshrew defecates into the pitchers while visiting them to feed on nectar secretions on the pitchers' lids. Although the basis of this resource mutualism has been elucidated, many aspects are yet to be investigated. We sought to provide insights into the value of the mutualism to each participant. During initial observations we discovered that the summit rat, R. baluensis, also feeds on sugary exudates of N. rajah pitchers and defecates into them, and that this behavior appears to be habitual. The scope of the study was therefore expanded to assess to what degree N. rajah interacts with the small mammal community. We found that both T. montana and R. baluensis are engaged in a mutualistic interaction with N. rajah. T. montana visit pitchers more frequently than R. baluensis, but daily scat deposition rates within pitchers do not differ, suggesting that the mutualistic relationships are of a similar strength. This study is the first to demonstrate that a mutualism exists between a carnivorous plant species and multiple members of a small mammal community. Further, the newly discovered mutualism between R. baluensis and N. rajah represents only the second ever example of a multidirectional resource-based mutualism between a mammal and a carnivorous plant. © 2011 Greenwood et al.

Toda M.J.,Institute of Low Temperature Science | Toda M.J.,Hokkaido University | Lakim M.B.,Sabah Parks
Entomological Science | Year: 2011

A total of 21 Colocasiomyia species, including 17 undescribed species, are reported from Sabah (Mt. Kinabalu and neighboring areas), Malaysia, based on samples collected from inflorescences of 14 or 15 Araceae species. This number of species is the largest as a local fauna of this genus in the world. The high species diversity is attributed to 12 undescribed species belonging to the Colocasiomyia baechlii species group. A particular breeding habit of Colocasiomyia is sharing of the same inflorescence by a pair of species, with partial niche separation between them: one species uses exclusively the pistillate (lower female-flower) section of the spadix for oviposition and larval development, whereas the other mostly uses the staminate (upper male-flower) section. However, the baechlii group species show quite different patterns of host plant use: many (up to eight) species cohabit on the same inflorescence. It is unlikely that they separate their breeding niches micro-allopatrically within an inflorescence. Instead, species composition and their proportions of individual numbers vary among different localities, seasons and host plants, with partial overlap among them. Such partial separations in local distribution, phenology and host selection would in combination contribute to their coexistence and promote the species diversity of this group. © 2011 The Entomological Society of Japan.

van der Ent A.,University of Queensland | Erskine P.,University of Queensland | Sumail S.,Sabah Parks
Chemoecology | Year: 2015

Sabah (Malaysia) has one of the largest surface expressions of ultramafic rocks on Earth and in parallel hosts one of the most species-rich floras. Despite the extensive knowledge of the botanical diversity and the chemistry of these substrates, until recently the records for nickel (Ni) hyperaccumulator plants in the area have been scant. Recent intensive screening has resulted in 19 new records, adding to the 5 previously known from Sabah. The results of this study indicate that most Ni hyperaccumulator plants in Sabah are restricted to successional habitats (ridges, river banks, secondary vegetation) at elevations <1200 m a.s.l. Moreover, Ni hyperaccumulators are locally common both in terms of number of individuals and relative number of species. Nickel hyperaccumulation occurs most frequently in the Order Malpighiales (families Dichapetalaceae, Phyllanthaceae, Salicaceae, Violaceae), and is particularly common in the Phyllanthaceae (genera Phyllanthus, Glochidion). Comparison of soil chemistry with elements accumulated in hyperaccumulator foliage showed significant correlation between soil exchangeable Ca, K, P and the foliar concentrations of these elements. No direct relationship was found between soil Ni and foliar Ni, although foliar Ni was negatively correlated with soil pH. Nickel hyperaccumulation has been hypothesised to fulfil herbivory protection functions, but extensive herbivory-induced leaf damage on Ni hyperaccumulators in Sabah was common, and specialist (Ni-tolerant) insect herbivores were found on several species in this study. The identification of Ni hyperaccumulators is necessary to facilitate their conservation and potential future utilisation in Ni phytomining. © 2015, Springer Basel.

Takano K.T.,Hokkaido University | Repin R.,Sabah Parks | Mohamed M.B.,Universiti Malaysia Sabah | Toda M.J.,Hokkaido University
Plant Biology | Year: 2012

Two taxonomically undescribed Colocasiomyia species were discovered from inflorescences of Alocasia macrorrhizos in Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia. The aims of this study were to investigate the reproductive ecology of the flies and the plant, ascertain the importance of the flies as pollinators and examine the intimate association between flowering events and life history of the flies. We conducted sampling, observations and field pollination experiments. The flies were attracted by the odour of female-phase inflorescences in the early morning on the first day of anthesis. They fed, mated and oviposited in the inflorescences for 1day. On the second day, the flies, covered with pollen grains, left the male-phase inflorescences for the next female-phase inflorescences. The immature forms of both fly species hatched, developed and pupated within the infructescences without damaging the fruits, and developed adults emerged when the mature infructescences dehisced. The flowering events and fly behaviours were well synchronized. In field pollination experiments, inflorescences bagged with a fine mesh (insect exclusion) produced almost no fruits, whereas those bagged with a coarse mesh (bee exclusion) produced as many fruits as the open-pollinated controls. These results indicate that these flies are the most efficient and specialised pollinators for their host, A. macrorrhizos. These flies, in return, depend on A. macrorrhizos for food and habitat through most of their life cycle. This study provides a deeper insight into the less recognised, highly intimate pollination mutualism between Araceae plants and Colocasiomyia flies. © 2012 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

Liew T.,National Museum of Natural History Naturalis | Schilthuizen M.,National Museum of Natural History Naturalis | bin Lakim M.,Sabah Parks
Journal of Biogeography | Year: 2010

Aim: We investigated the patterns of species richness in land snails and slugs along a tropical elevational gradient and whether these patterns correlate with area, elevation, geographic constraints, and productivity. We did so both at the scale at which land snail population processes take place and at the coarser scale of elevational zones. Location: Mount Kinabalu (4096 m) and the adjacent Mount Tambuyukon (2588 m) in Kinabalu Park, Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Methods: We used an effort-controlled sampling protocol to determine land snail and slug species richness in 142 plots of 0.04 ha at elevations ranging from 570 to 4096 m. Extents of elevational ranges were determined by interpolation, extended where appropriate at the lower end with data from lowlands outside the study area. We used regression analysis to study the relationships between species density and richness on the one hand and elevation and area on the other. This was done for point data as well as for data combined into 300-m elevational intervals. Results: Species density (based on the individual samples) showed a decline with elevation. Elevational range length profiles revealed that range lengths are reduced at greater elevations and that a Rapoport effect is absent. Diversity showed a mild mid-domain effect on Kinabalu, but not on Tambuyukon. When the data were combined into 300-m elevational intervals, richness correlated more strongly with elevation than with area. Ecomorphospace was seen to shrink with increasing elevation. Main conclusions: The elevational species richness patterns show the combined effects of (1) reduced niche diversity at elevations with lower productivity and (2) historical events in which the upward migration of lowland species as well as the speciation of highland endemics took place. © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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