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Inter-annual dynamics and persistence of small mammal communities in a selectively logged tropical forest in Borneo

Chapman, PM; Wearn, OR; Riutta, T; Carbone, C; Rowcliffe, JM; Bernard, H; Ewers, RM; (2018) Inter-annual dynamics and persistence of small mammal communities in a selectively logged tropical forest in Borneo. Biodiversity and Conservation , 27 (12) pp. 3155-3169. 10.1007/s10531-018-1594-y. Green open access

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Abstract

Understanding temporal change and long-term persistence of species and communities is vital if we are to accurately assess the relative values of human-modified habitats for biodiversity. Despite a large literature and emerging consensus demonstrating a high conservation value of selectively logged tropical rainforests, few studies have taken a long-term perspective. We resampled small mammals (≤ 1 kg) in a heavily logged landscape in Sabah, Borneo between 2011 and 2016 to investigate temporal patterns of species-level changes in population density. We found that small mammal population density in heavily logged forest was highly variable among years, consistent with patterns previously observed in unlogged forest, and uncovered evidence suggesting that one species is potentially declining towards local extinction. Across nine species, population densities varied almost sevenfold during our 6-year study period, highlighting the extremely dynamic nature of small mammal communities in this ecosystem. Strictly terrestrial murid species tended to exhibit strong temporal dynamics, whereas semi-arboreal foraging species such as treeshrews had more stable dynamics. We found no relationships between population density and fruit/seed mass, and therefore no evidence that our patterns represent responses to inter-annual mast fruiting of the dominant canopy dipterocarp trees. This may be due to the removal of most of the canopy during logging, and hence the dipterocarp seed resource, although it possibly also reflects spatiotemporal limitations of our data. Our results underline the importance of understanding long-term variability in animal communities before developing conservation and management recommendations for human-altered ecosystems.

Type: Article
Title: Inter-annual dynamics and persistence of small mammal communities in a selectively logged tropical forest in Borneo
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10531-018-1594-y
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-018-1594-y
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Tropical forest, Population dynamics, Logging, Temporal change, Small mammals
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10055312
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