Workshops in Ecology and Behaviour: Dr. Katja Rembold
Dr. Katja Rembold hosted by Dr. Ulrike Bauer
Life Sciences Building, G13/14 Seminar Room
Paradise Lost? Land use change and biodiversity in Indonesia
Indonesia is a global centre of biodiversity, but at the same time the country with the highest deforestation rates worldwide. We studied the impact of forest conversion on biodiversity with a focus on vascular plant diversity across four dominant land-use systems in Sumatra (Indonesia): lowland rainforest, jungle rubber agroforests, rubber plantations, and oil palm plantations. Forest had the highest levels of taxonomic plant diversity including alpha and beta diversity followed by jungle rubber. Oil palm plantations had a high density of herbaceous weeds, but low species numbers and low beta diversity. Rubber plantations had the lowest species numbers across all systems, but showed higher beta diversity than oil palm plantations. The same pattern was observed for phylogenetic diversity and functional diversity. Further, forest had a clearly distinct floristic composition while the other systems showed a higher floristic similarity to each other. While forest was almost entirely composed by indigenous species, all three transformation systems showed high numbers of alien plant species. The changes in floristic composition were accompanied by changes in structural complexity, affecting the species richness of other organisms. Most taxa showed a clear decline of species richness with declining structural complexity. Forest conversion therefore not only causes a loss in taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional diversity, but also a change in structural complexity and species composition including a shift from native to alien species.