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The availability of freshwater fish resources is maintained across a land-use gradient in Sabah, Borneo

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Title: The availability of freshwater fish resources is maintained across a land-use gradient in Sabah, Borneo
Authors: Wilkinson, CL
Yeo, DCJ
Tan, HH
Fikri, AH
Ewers, RM
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Freshwater fish are a vital resource for local communities across the rural tropics. In Southeast Asia, biodiversity‐rich forests are being logged and converted to extensive oil palm monocultures. This clearly has impacts on associated freshwater ecosystems, but the impact on their biodiversity remains largely understudied and poorly understood, despite the important provisioning service that freshwater fishes provide for human well‐being. This study quantifies the biomass stocks of freshwater fish across a land‐use gradient encompassing primary forest, twice‐logged forest, and oil palm plantations in Sabah, Malaysia, in an area where local communities are known to harvest freshwater fish. Stream fish were sampled using a cast net, the dominant technique used by local fishermen, in 200‐m‐long transects in 16 streams over three sampling years (2011, 2013, and 2015). Unexpectedly, no impact from land use on total fish availability was detected. There were no significant differences in fish species richness or, most importantly, biomass per unit fishing effort across the land‐use gradient. There was variation in the responses of five known food species (Tor tambra, Hampala sabana, Barbodes sealei, Barbonymus balleroides, and Gastromyzon lepidogaster), and these small differences are attributed to variation in species habitat selection that co‐vary with land‐use change. Despite evidence to suggest that freshwater fish communities are resilient to land‐use change, they still face risks associated with disturbance, such as invasion by alien species; furthermore, several of the more stenotopic species were only present in primary forest catchments. Nonetheless, freshwater fish in small headwater streams appear to represent a sustainable food resource for villages established in human‐modified forests or in developed oil palm plantations.
Issue Date: 1-Oct-2018
Date of Acceptance: 3-Mar-2018
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/64541
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/aqc.2920
ISSN: 1052-7613
Publisher: WILEY
Start Page: 1044
End Page: 1054
Journal / Book Title: AQUATIC CONSERVATION-MARINE AND FRESHWATER ECOSYSTEMS
Volume: 28
Issue: 5
Copyright Statement: © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. This is the accepted version of the following article: Wilkinson CL, Yeo DCJ, Tan HH, Hadi Fikri A, Ewers RM. The availability of freshwater fish resources is maintained across a land‐use gradient in Sabah, Borneo. Aquatic Conserv: Mar Freshw Ecosyst. 2018;28:1044–1054. https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.2920
Sponsor/Funder: Rainforest Research Sdn Bhd
Funder's Grant Number: LBEE_P34395
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Physical Sciences
Environmental Sciences
Marine & Freshwater Biology
Water Resources
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
agriculture
fish
fishing
forestry practice
land use
stream
TROPICAL RAIN-FOREST
BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION
PROTECTED AREAS
OIL-PALM
DEFORESTATION RATES
SPECIES-DIVERSITY
SOUTHEAST-ASIA
INLAND WATERS
HILL NUMBERS
CONGO BASIN
07 Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences
05 Environmental Sciences
06 Biological Sciences
Marine Biology & Hydrobiology
Publication Status: Published
Online Publication Date: 2018-08-02
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Natural Sciences