Ecology and conservation value of Tanjung Tuan, the Myrtaceae-dominated coastal forest reserve of Malaysia

K. Mat-Salleh, R. Tami, A. Latiff

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    5 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The 122-ha lowland forest of Tanjung Tuan is a unique coastal myrtaceaous forest remnant of the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Situated close to Port Dickson, the most popular beach nearest to Kuala Lumpur, the areas surrounding the forest are rapidly being converted into condominiums and resorts. A total of 0.75 ha of sampling area was selected in the reserve for basic ecological studies in which five 30 × 50 m plots were established to represent dominant habitats in different topographies of the forest. All trees in the plots with 5.0 cm dbh and above were measured and identified. A total of 834 trees belonging to 34 families, 85 genera and 125 species were recorded with average 14.03 cm dbh and 16.82 m height. Although the most diverse family is Euphorbiaceae with 12 genera and 19 species, the most dominant species is Syzygium grande (Myrtaceae). The above-ground biomass of the forest reserve was estimated at 233.4 t ha-1. Among the trees in the plots, 78% represented by canopy trees (Class 4) and 88% were from Classes 3 and 4 trees. About 20% of the biomass was contributed by Myrtaceae and only 18% by the Dipterocarpaceae. Although no endemic or rare species were recorded from this site, the floristic composition of Tanjung Tuan is unique because it includes species from other forest types. Species such as Callicarpa maingayi (Verbenaceae) and Mallotus penangensis (Euphorbiaceae) are normally recorded in lowland dipterocarp forests up to about 1000 m altitudinal range, and Breynia coronata (Euphorbiaceae) normally inhabits montane areas of about 1200 m. Some other species recorded in this area such as Gordonia singaporiana (Theaceae) and Aglaia odoratissima (Meliaceae) are not common, the latter species normally found in hill to lower montane forests far away from coastal areas. Analysis of timber stumpage value in this study indicated that this forest is comparatively poor in timber stocks for commercial exploitation and too steep for logging operations. It is strongly recommended that this forest should not be developed, and instead be conserved for its important historical value, coastal ecological functions and unique biodiversity attributes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)59-73
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of Tropical Forest Science
    Volume15
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2003

    Fingerprint

    Myrtaceae
    coastal forests
    forest reserves
    Malaysia
    Ecology
    ecology
    Euphorbiaceae
    Dipterocarpaceae
    Gordonia (Theaceae)
    Breynia
    Callicarpa
    Mallotus (Euphorbiaceae)
    Aglaia
    Theaceae
    Syzygium
    tree classes
    stumpage
    Verbenaceae
    Meliaceae
    ecological function

    Keywords

    • Biomass
    • Coastal myrtaceaous forest
    • Rachado
    • Species composition
    • Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve
    • Valuation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

    Cite this

    Ecology and conservation value of Tanjung Tuan, the Myrtaceae-dominated coastal forest reserve of Malaysia. / Mat-Salleh, K.; Tami, R.; Latiff, A.

    In: Journal of Tropical Forest Science, Vol. 15, No. 1, 01.2003, p. 59-73.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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