Urban forest fragmentation impoverishes native mammalian biodiversity in the tropics

Sze Ling Tee, Liza D. Samantha, Norizah Kamarudin, Zubaid Akbar Mukhtar Ahmad, Alex M. Lechner, Adham Ashton-Butt, Badrul Azhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Urban expansion has caused major deforestation and forest fragmentation in the tropics. The impacts of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity are understudied in urban forest patches, especially in the tropics and little is known on the conservation value of the patches for maintaining mammalian biodiversity. In this study, camera trapping was used to determine the species composition and species richness of medium- and large-sized mammals in three urban forest patches and a contiguous forest in Peninsular Malaysia. We identified the key vegetation attributes that predicted mammal species richness and occurrence of herbivores and omnivores in urban forest patches. A total number of 19 mammal species from 120 sampling points were recorded. Contiguous forest had the highest number of species compared to the urban forest patches. Sunda Pangolin and Asian Tapir were the only conservation priority species recorded in the urban forest patches and contiguous forest, respectively. Top predators such as Malayan Tiger and Melanistic Leopard were completely absent from the forest patches as well as the contiguous forest. This was reflected by the abundance of wild boars. We found that mammal species richness increased with the number of trees with DBH less than 5 cm, trees with DBH more than 50 cm, and dead standing trees. In the future, the remaining mammal species in the urban forest patches are expected to be locally extinct as connecting the urban forest patches may be infeasible due to land scarcity. Hence, to maintain the ecological integrity of urban forest patches, we recommend that stakeholders take intervention measures such as reintroduction of selected species and restocking of wild populations in the urban forest patches to regenerate the forest ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12506-12521
Number of pages16
JournalEcology and Evolution
Volume8
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

Fingerprint

habitat fragmentation
tropics
fragmentation
biodiversity
mammal
mammals
species diversity
species richness
Panthera
Pholidota (mammals)
species reintroduction
Tapiridae
urban population
Panthera tigris
omnivores
wild boars
species occurrence
reintroduction
deforestation
urbanization

Keywords

  • contiguous forest
  • herbivores
  • omnivores
  • species composition
  • species richness
  • urban forest patches

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Tee, S. L., Samantha, L. D., Kamarudin, N., Mukhtar Ahmad, Z. A., Lechner, A. M., Ashton-Butt, A., & Azhar, B. (2018). Urban forest fragmentation impoverishes native mammalian biodiversity in the tropics. Ecology and Evolution, 8(24), 12506-12521. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.4632

Urban forest fragmentation impoverishes native mammalian biodiversity in the tropics. / Tee, Sze Ling; Samantha, Liza D.; Kamarudin, Norizah; Mukhtar Ahmad, Zubaid Akbar; Lechner, Alex M.; Ashton-Butt, Adham; Azhar, Badrul.

In: Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 8, No. 24, 01.12.2018, p. 12506-12521.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tee, SL, Samantha, LD, Kamarudin, N, Mukhtar Ahmad, ZA, Lechner, AM, Ashton-Butt, A & Azhar, B 2018, 'Urban forest fragmentation impoverishes native mammalian biodiversity in the tropics', Ecology and Evolution, vol. 8, no. 24, pp. 12506-12521. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.4632
Tee SL, Samantha LD, Kamarudin N, Mukhtar Ahmad ZA, Lechner AM, Ashton-Butt A et al. Urban forest fragmentation impoverishes native mammalian biodiversity in the tropics. Ecology and Evolution. 2018 Dec 1;8(24):12506-12521. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.4632
Tee, Sze Ling ; Samantha, Liza D. ; Kamarudin, Norizah ; Mukhtar Ahmad, Zubaid Akbar ; Lechner, Alex M. ; Ashton-Butt, Adham ; Azhar, Badrul. / Urban forest fragmentation impoverishes native mammalian biodiversity in the tropics. In: Ecology and Evolution. 2018 ; Vol. 8, No. 24. pp. 12506-12521.
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