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Artificial nest and seed predation experiments on tropical southeast Asian islands

Abstract

Southeast Asia is rapidly losing native habitats and the consequences of this are poorly understood. Because habitat loss and disturbance can affect avian and seed survivorship, we conducted artificial nest and seed predation experiments on tropical southeast Asian islands. Data among islands and fragments or different forest types (e.g. primary versus exotic forest) within the islands are compared. On Singapore Island, predation among different forest types (primary, secondary and woodland) did not differ. Only at one of the sites, nest predation was higher at 75 m from the forest edge than at 25 m. In other sites, predation did not differ in relation to the distance from the forest edge. Predation among 10 small (0.8–1026 ha) Singaporean islands differed. However, none of the environmental variables (e.g. island area) could explain the predation differences. The lowest predation of both nests and seeds was recorded in the primary forest areas of a contiguous forest (25 500 ha) in central Java (Linggoasri). Small mammals were the main predators on Singapore and other surrounding islands. However, the index of potential predator abundance, overall, did not correlate with predation. While larger and more pristine forests may be better for avian and seed survivorship, pinpointing variables affecting both artificial nest and seed predation may be difficult.

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Correspondence to Navjot S. Sodhi.

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Sodhi, N.S., Peh, K.SH., Ming Lee, T. et al. Artificial nest and seed predation experiments on tropical southeast Asian islands. Biodiversity and Conservation 12, 2415–2433 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1025852214528

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  • Edge effects
  • Forest disturbance
  • Fragmentation
  • Predators
  • Reproduction
  • Tropical rain forest