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A Comparison of the Mangrove Forest at Taman Alam, Kuala Selangor and Primary Lowland Dipterocarp Forest at Gombak Reserve

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A Comparison of the Secondary Forest of Kuala Selangor at Kuala Selangor Nature Park and Primary Lowland Dipterocarp Forest of the Gombak Reserve

ABSTRACT

A study was conducted by using stratified haphazard sampling at secondary forest at Taman Alam, Kuala Selangor and primary lowland dipterocarp forest at Gombak Reserve. This study aimed to compare the distribution of different types of species and plants and also to investigate the links between abiotic and biotic factors with the density of species in both secondary forest and primary lowland dipterocarp forest. The secondary forest had higher number of species (1214 species) compared to the primary lowland dipterocarp forest at Gombak which only contained 248 species. In the secondary forest, the soil was grey clay whereas at Gombak the soil was clay and coarse sand and it was yellow-brownish in colour. The salinity obtained from the secondary forest was 2.1‰ higher than primary forest which was zero because of the location of the secondary forest was nearer to the seawater that provided salts.The percentage of canopy cover and leaf litter cover were higher in primary lowland dipterocarp and the percentage of ground cover was higher in the secondary forest. The species that was highly abundant in the secondary forest were Asystasia intrusa (herb), Stenoclaena palustris(fern), Nephrolepis biserrata (fern) whereas the primary lowland dipterocarp rich in Tectaria semipinnata (fern), Licuala sp (fan palm), Hill Coconut, and etc.

(208 words)

INTRODUCTION

Secondary forest is formed as consequence of human activities on forest lands. In this study, the secondary forest of Kuala Selangor Taman Alam and the primary lowland dipterocarp forest at Gombak Reserve were studied. Originally, the Kuala Selangor Taman Alam was mostly developed with mangrove ecosystem extended along the coastline of the Selangor river estuary. In the 1960's, redevelopment was marked to this park and an embankment was built in order to drain the swampland habitats and reduce flooding of Kuala Selangor village. Then, the area had an extreme logging and occupied by secondary growth species including Acacia trees, creepers, and mangrove ferns and strangling figs. This area had now become a secondary forest and full with a lot of species such as Stenoclaena palustris.

The primary lowland dipterocarp forest constitute to the primary forest of the plains, undulating land and about up to 300m altitude. Commonly, high proportions of emergent and dominant strata are formed from dipterocarps (Krishnapillay, 2004). Dipterocarp species is suitable to grow in the equatorial climate and temperature of Malaysia which is 25ºC to 27 ºC (Manokaran & Konchummen, 1992). This forest has diverse forest types and species up to 85% canopy layer and it has two-winged fruit structure mostly abundant with dipterocarpaceae family (Appanah, 1993). Lowland dipterocarp forest constitute mostly in Borneo, Sumatra, Java, and Peninsular of Malaysia.

The purpose of this study was to differentiate between these two types of forests in the form of its structure and biodiversity and also to determine the links between biotic and abiotic factors. In order to study the individual plants distribution and the types of plants present in both forests, many studies had been performed. For instance, Manokaran and Kochummen (1992) performed a study in the primary lowland and hill dipterocarp forest to investigate the growth of trees by calculating the diameter breat height (DBH) for each species.

(311 words)

METHODS & MATERIALS

There were two different forests chosen for this studies which were secondary forest of Kuala Selangor and primary lowland dipterocarp forest of the Gombak Reserve. The total area studied in both secondary forest and primary lowland dipterocarp forest were 90m2. Three sites were chosen at the secondary forest which was near the chalets (N 3o20' 19.1" E 101o14' 36.0"), at the mid region (N 3o20' 19.8" E 101o14' 33.3") and near the bund (N 3o20' 10.6" E 101o14' 278"). The other three sites of primary lowland dipterocarp forest were at the top of ridge (N 3o18' 56.4" E 101o44' 28"), at the mid region (N 3o18' 57.3" E 101o44' 26.2") and near the river (N 3o18' 59.4" E 101o44' 24.4"). Each forest in each sites were used similar size of quadrat which were 30m2 quadrats and stratified haphazard sampling was used in this study.

Two factors were measured which were biotic and abiotic factors. Biotic factors such as number of species, diameter at breast height, percentage of canopy cover, ground cover and leaf litter cover were pooled. The quadrat was placed in every site based on the elevation to count the number of species exist in both forests. There were so many species present in the primary forest at Gombak, thus, in order to determine the existence of species easier, taxonomy was given to each group. Estimation scale was given in the handout given to determine the percentage of canopy, ground and leaf litter covers in each site. The structure of the forest was determined by looking to the top layer of the forest and estimated whether the forest absent any layer such as emergent, canopy, understory or seedling layer. Besides, diameter at breast height (dbh) of the plants species was also measured by using a ruler and the canopy height was determined by the estimation method using clinometer.

Besides biotic factor, the plants species also were influenced by the abiotic factors such as air and soil temperature, type of soils, tidal range, and salinity of soil, depth of water table and density of light. Soil and air temperature were measured using an oven thermometer, whereas density of photosynthetically active radiation of light was measured using a light meter. The salinity of soil in both forest were measured using a conductivity meter and auger was used to determine the type of soils and the depth of water table. The tidal range was determined and calculated by the distance from the ground to the lowermost lichen growing on the trees in both secondary and primary forests. All the data of biotic and abiotic factors were pooled and the standard deviation, mean, and standard error were calculated statistically by using Excel.

(449 words)

RESULTS

In the secondary forests, there were canopy, understory and seedlings layers found. However in the primary lowland dipterocarp forest, there had complete forest layers which were emergent, canopy, understory and seedlings layers. The average

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