Agriculturally altered vegetation, especially oil-palm plantations, is rapidly increasing in Southeast Asia. Low species diversity is associated with this commodity, but data on anuran diversity in oil-palm plantations are lacking. We investigated how anuran biological diversity differs between forest and oil-palm plantation, and whether observed differences in biological diversity of these areas is linked to specific environmental factors. We hypothesized that biological diversity is lower in plantations and that plantations support a larger proportion of disturbance-tolerant species than forest. We compared species richness, abundance, and community composition between plantation and forest areas and between site types within plantation and forest (forest stream vs. plantation stream, forest riparian vs. plantation riparian, forest terrestrial vs. plantation terrestrial). Not all measures of biological diversity differed between oil-palm plantations and secondary forest sites. Anuran community composition, however, differed greatly between forest and plantation, and communities of anurans in plantations contained species that prosper in disturbed areas. Although plantations supported large numbers of breeding anurans, we concluded the community consisted of common species that were of little conservation concern (commonly found species include Fejervarya limnocharis, Microhyla heymonsi, and Hylarana erythrea). We believe that with a number of management interventions, oil-palm plantations can provide habitat for species that dwell in secondary forests.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.