Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Are riparian forest reserves sources of inverte...

Electronic data

  • 1-s2.0-S0006320715301956-main

    Rights statement: © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

    Final published version, 872 KB, PDF document

    Available under license: CC BY: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License


Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

Are riparian forest reserves sources of invertebrate biodiversity spillover and associated ecosystem functions in oil palm landscapes?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>02/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Biological Conservation
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)176-183
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date29/12/15
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The world's forested landscapes are increasingly fragmented. The effects of fragmentation on community composition have received more attention than the effects on ecological processes, particularly in the tropics. The extent to which populations from forest fragments move (spillover) into surrounding agricultural areas is of particular interest. This process can retain connectivity between populations and alter the rate of beneficial or detrimental ecological functions. We tested whether riparian forest fragments (riparian reserves), are sources of two functionally important invertebrate groups (dung beetles and scavenging ants) within oil palm plantations in Malaysia. We also assessed whether forest fragments enhance rates of associated ecosystem functions (dung and bait removal). We found that oil palm sites with and without adjacent riparian reserves had similar overall beetle and ant communities and functional rates. However, dung beetle species richness, abundance and diversity declined with distance from a riparian reserve, providing evidence for a weak spillover effect. In addition, dung beetle community metrics within a riparian reserve predicted corresponding values in adjacent oil palm areas. These relationships did not hold for dung removal, ant community metrics or bait removal. Taken together, our results indicate that although riparian reserves are an important habitat in their own right, under the conditions in which we sampled they have a limited role as sources of functionally important invertebrates. Crucially, our results suggest that contiguous habitat corridors are important for maintaining connectivity of invertebrate populations, as forest dependent species may not easily be able to disperse through the agricultural matrix.

Bibliographic note

© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).