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Land-use change is associated with a significant loss of freshwater fish species and functional richness in Sabah, Malaysia

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Title: Land-use change is associated with a significant loss of freshwater fish species and functional richness in Sabah, Malaysia
Authors: Wilkinson, CL
Yeo, DCJ
Hui, TH
Fikri, AH
Ewers, RM
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Global biodiversity is being lost due to extensive anthropogenic land cover change. In Southeast Asia, biodiversity-rich forests are being extensively logged and converted to oil-palm monocultures. The impacts of this land-use change on freshwater ecosystems, and particularly on freshwater biodiversity, remain largely understudied and poorly understood. We assessed the differences between fish communities in headwater stream catchments across an established land-use gradient in Sabah, Malaysia (protected forest areas, twice-logged forest, salvage-logged forest, oil-palm plantations with riparian reserves, and oil-palm plantations without riparian reserves). Stream fishes were sampled using an electrofisher, a cast net and a tray net in 100 m long transects in 23 streams in 2017. Local species richness and functional richness were both significantly reduced with any land-use change from protected forest areas, but further increases in land-use intensity had no subsequent impacts on fish biomass, functional evenness, and functional divergence. Any form of logging or land-use change had a clear and negative impact on fish communities, but the magnitude of that effect was not influenced by logging severity or time since logging on any fish community metric, suggesting that just two rounds of selective impact (i.e., logging) appeared sufficient to cause negative effects on freshwater ecosystems. It is therefore essential to continue protecting primary forested areas to maintain freshwater diversity, as well as to explore strategies to protect freshwater ecosystems during logging, deforestation, and conversion to plantation monocultures that are expected to continue across Southeast Asia.
Issue Date: 1-Jun-2018
Date of Acceptance: 2-Apr-2018
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/60824
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.004
ISSN: 0006-3207
Publisher: Elsevier
Start Page: 164
End Page: 171
Journal / Book Title: Biological Conservation
Volume: 222
Copyright Statement: © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This manuscript is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Sponsor/Funder: Rainforest Research Sdn Bhd
Funder's Grant Number: LBEE_P34395
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Biodiversity Conservation
Ecology
Environmental Sciences
Biodiversity & Conservation
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Deforestation
Freshwater fish
Land-use change
Oil-palm
Southeast Asia
SELECTIVE TIMBER EXTRACTION
OIL PALM PLANTATIONS
BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION
HEADWATER STREAMS
TROPICAL FORESTS
SOUTHEAST-ASIA
RAIN-FOREST
DIVERSITY
DEFORESTATION
COMMUNITIES
05 Environmental Sciences
06 Biological Sciences
07 Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences
Publication Status: Published
Online Publication Date: 2018-04-19
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Natural Sciences