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Sabak Bernam, Malaysia

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.

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.

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.

Short F.T.,SeagrassNet | Short F.T.,University of New Hampshire | Coles R.,James Cook University | Fortes M.D.,University of the Philippines | And 4 more authors.
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2014

Seagrass systems of the Western Pacific region are biodiverse habitats, providing vital services to ecosystems and humans over a vast geographic range. SeagrassNet is a worldwide monitoring program that collects data on seagrass habitats, including the ten locations across the Western Pacific reported here where change at various scales was rapidly detected. Three sites remote from human influence were stable. Seagrasses declined largely due to increased nutrient loading (4 sites) and increased sedimentation (3 sites), the two most common stressors of seagrass worldwide. Two sites experienced near-total loss from of excess sedimentation, followed by partial recovery once sedimentation was reduced. Species shifts were observed at every site with recovering sites colonized by pioneer species. Regulation of watersheds is essential if marine protected areas are to preserve seagrass meadows. Seagrasses in the Western Pacific experience stress due to human impacts despite the vastness of the ocean area and low development pressures. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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.

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