Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 12, Issue 7, pp 1371–1389 | Cite as

Size does matter – effects of tropical rainforest fragmentation on the leaf litter ant community in Sabah, Malaysia

  • Carsten A. Brühl
  • Thomas Eltz
  • K. Eduard Linsenmair
Article

Abstract

Primary tropical lowland rainforest in Sabah, Malaysia, has been largely reduced to small to medium-sized, often isolated, forest islands surrounded by a highly altered agricultural landscape. The biodiversity patterns of leaf litter ant communities were monitored in two forest fragments of differing size as well as in a contiguous forest over the course of two years. Species number and diversity in the forest isolates was significantly lower, reaching only 47.5% of the species number collected in the contiguous forest. Species density was also lower, which had led to a thinning of the ant community in the fragments. Community composition was substantially altered in the forest remnants, and an increase of tramp species with smaller fragment size was detected. These results were unexpected and alarming, as the medium-sized forest is with its 42.9 km2 a comparatively large primary forest fragment for Sabah.

Biodiversity Conservation Formicidae Isolation Species loss 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carsten A. Brühl
    • 1
  • Thomas Eltz
    • 1
  • K. Eduard Linsenmair
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical BiologyTheodor-Boveri-Institut, Biocenter, Am HublandWürzburgGerman

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