Key roles of Dipterocarpaceae, bark type diversity and tree size in lowland rainforests of northeast Borneo—using functional traits of lichens to distinguish plots of old growth and regenerating logged forests

Thüs, Holger; Wolseley, Pat; Carpenter, Dan; Eggleton, Paul; Reynolds, Glen; Vairappan, Charles S.; Weerakoon, Gothamie; Mrowicki, Robert J.. 2021 Key roles of Dipterocarpaceae, bark type diversity and tree size in lowland rainforests of northeast Borneo—using functional traits of lichens to distinguish plots of old growth and regenerating logged forests [in special issue: Lichen Functional Traits and Ecosystem Functions] Microorganisms, 9 (3), 541. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9030541

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9030541

Abstract/Summary

Many lowland rainforests in Southeast Asia are severely altered by selective logging and there is a need for rapid assessment methods to identify characteristic communities of old growth forests and to monitor restoration success in regenerating forests. We have studied the effect of logging on the diversity and composition of lichen communities on trunks of trees in lowland rainforests of northeast Borneo dominated by Dipterocarpaceae. Using data from field observations and vouchers collected from plots in disturbed and undisturbed forests, we compared a taxonomy-based and a taxon-free method. Vouchers were identified to genus or genus group and assigned to functional groups based on sets of functional traits. Both datasets allowed the detection of significant differences in lichen communities between disturbed and undisturbed forest plots. Bark type diversity and the proportion of large trees, particularly those belonging to the family Dipterocarpaceae, were the main drivers of lichen community structure. Our results confirm the usefulness of a functional groups approach for the rapid assessment of tropical lowland rainforests in Southeast Asia. A high proportion of Dipterocarpaceae trees is revealed as an essential element for the restoration of near natural lichen communities in lowland rainforests of Southeast Asia.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Subjects: Botany
Ecology and Environment
Marine Sciences
Divisions: Marine Biological Association of the UK > Other (MBA)
Depositing User: Dr Robert J. Mrowicki
Date made live: 06 Apr 2021 16:07
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2021 16:07
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/9160

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