Navigation Links
Leaf litter ants advance case for rainforest conservation in Borneo
Date:10/20/2011

Studies of ant populations in Borneo reveal an unexpected resilience to areas of rainforest degraded by repeated intensive logging, a finding which conservationists hope will lead governments to conserve these areas rather than allow them to be cleared and used for cash crop plantations.

Leaf litter ants are often used to measure the overall ecological health of an area because of the large number of species present and because the health of the leaf litter is a good indication of the overall health of the forest.

It is commonly assumed that repeated logging of rainforests has catastrophic effects on biodiversity. However, studies by Leeds ecologists in northern Borneo, where timber harvests are among the highest globally, have shown that in fact over 80% of ant species found in pristine, unlogged forest were also found in forest that had been logged twice.

The findings have implications for forest conservation as areas of forest where intensive logging has been carried out are typically thought to have little conservation value and are often allowed to be cleared entirely to make way for cash crops such as oil palm.

Keith Hamer, a Reader in Animal Ecology at the Institute of Integrative & Comparative Biology, led the study. He explains: "Rainforests in Borneo are managed through a system called 'selective logging'. In this system, not all the trees are harvested, only the largest, commercially valuable trees. This is supposed to be a sustainable system, but in practice the intensity of harvesting is often too high and areas are then liable to be logged a second time before they have had a chance properly to regenerate.

"These repeatedly logged areas can look awful, with big gaps in the tree canopy which are then invaded by grasses, leading to arguments that such areas are too badly degraded for conservation."

Dr Hamer added: "The logging clearly does have an effect on ant populations but it's not nearly as disastrous as might be expected. These areas are able to support much more diverse communities than oil palm plantations but large areas are still being converted. Preventing this needs to be a priority for policy-makers and conservationists in the region."

The study is part of the Royal Society's Southeast Asia Rainforest Research Programme and is published in a special edition of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. It was supported by a grant from the Leverhulme Trust.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jo Kelly
jo@campuspr.co.uk
44-113-357-2103
University of Leeds
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Significant litter of cheetah cubs born at Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
2. Chicken litter provides organic alternative to synthetic fertilizers
3. Whale sharks may produce many litters from 1 mating, paternity test shows
4. Arsenic in field runoff linked to poultry litter
5. Tracking poultry litter phosphorus: Threat of accumulation?
6. Scientists report major advance in human antibody therapy against deadly Hendra virus
7. CHEO scientist advances biotherapeutics as published in Cancer Cell
8. JBEI identify new advanced biofuel as an alternative to diesel fuel
9. NHTSA Awards Takata-TruTouch $2.25M to Advance Worlds First Touch-based In-Vehicle Alcohol Detection Device
10. Seminar to explore advanced tools for unlocking treasures that lie right at the surface
11. A 3-D reconstructed image of neural dendritic trees using the advanced electron microscope technology
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Leaf litter ants advance case for rainforest conservation in Borneo
(Date:1/13/2017)... 2017 Sandata Technologies, LLC, a leading ... industry, including Electronic Visit Verification™ (EVV™), announced today ... as Senior Vice President of Product Management. ... homecare experience to Sandata, where he will be ... align Sandata,s suite of solutions with the needs ...
(Date:1/11/2017)... NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. , Jan. 11, 2017  Michael Johnson, ... from Foundation Venture Capital Group, Inc., has been named to the ... Johnson, 27,  was one of 600 people in 20 fields ... only four percent of the 15,000 applicants were selected. ... He is currently a PhD ...
(Date:1/4/2017)...  CES 2017 – Valencell , the leading ... the launch of two new versions of its ... sensor modules that incorporate the best of Valencell,s ... The two new designs include Benchmark BE2.0, a ... Benchmark BW2.0, a 2-LED version of its original ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... , Jan. 19, 2017  Market Research Future has a ... Market for Liquid Biopsy is growing rapidly and expected to reach ... Market Highlights ... The Global Liquid Biopsy Market has been assessed as a swiftly ... figures and boom in the coming future. There has been a ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... 19, 2017 , ... November Research Group, LLC, a global ... device manufacturers and regulators, is proud to announce the worldwide release of PRIMO ... to provide product vigilance departments with the flexibility and ease of use of ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... 18, 2017 , ... LabRoots , the leading provider ... world, was today awarded the "Best Science & Technology Social Networking Service 2016" ... decided upon by a dedicated team of researchers and analysts. , The 2016 ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... N.Y. , Jan. 18, 2017 Acupath ... services, announces the formation of an Executive Committee that ... and beyond. John Cucci , a ... promoted from Director of Business Development to Chief ... 2015, Mr. Cucci served in senior sales leadership roles ...
Breaking Biology Technology: