Functional structure of ant and termite assemblages in old growth forest, logged forest and oil palm plantation in Malaysian Borneo

Luke, Sarah H., Fayle, Tom M., Eggleton, Paul, Turner, Edgar C. and Davies, Richard G. (2014) Functional structure of ant and termite assemblages in old growth forest, logged forest and oil palm plantation in Malaysian Borneo. Biodiversity and Conservation, 23 (11). pp. 2817-2832. ISSN 0960-3115

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Abstract

Forested tropical landscapes around the world are being extensively logged and converted to agriculture, with serious consequences for biodiversity and potentially ecosystem functioning. Here we investigate associations between habitat disturbance and functional diversity of ants and termites—two numerically dominant and functionally important taxa in tropical rain forests that perform key roles in predation, decomposition, nutrient cycling and seed dispersal. We compared ant and termite occurrence and composition within standardised volumes of soil and dead wood in old growth forest, logged forest and oil palm plantation in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Termites occurred substantially less frequently in converted habitats than in old growth forest, whereas ant occurrences were highest in logged forest and lowest in old growth forest. All termite feeding groups had low occurrence in disturbed habitats, with soil feeders occurring even less frequently than wood feeders. Ant functional groups showed more variable associations, with some opportunist and behaviourally dominant groups being more abundant in degraded habitats. The importance of ants and termites in tropical ecosystems and such differing patterns of assemblage variation suggest that ecosystem functioning may be significantly altered in converted habitats.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2014. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited. The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10531-014-0750-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Uncontrolled Keywords: feeding groups,formicidae,functional groups,habitat disturbance,logging,safe,project,termitoidae
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2016 00:03
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2020 01:33
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/59791
DOI: 10.1007/s10531-014-0750-2

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