This study was carried out during the period 1989-2011. The following areas were included: Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Climax tropical forest and anthropogenically transformed ecosystems, including those damaged by the chemical warfare program of the United States in Vietnam, were investigated. Some regularities in the structure dynamics and functioning of forests ecosystems under a tropical monsoon climate have been revealed. The principles of classification of tropical forests have been elaborated. The major results of investigation of the tropical monsoon forests in Vietnam are given.
The amended diagnosis of the genus Pratylenchoides and list of its valid species with synonyms are given. All the efficient diagnostic characters are listed. Modern taxonomic standard for the description of Pratylenchoides species is proposed; it may be used also in taxonomic databases. Tabular and text keys for all species of the genus are given. Five following groups are considered within the genus Pratylenchoides. The group arenicola differs from other groups in the primitive adanal bursa type; the groups magnicauda, crenicauda, ritteri, and megalobatus differ from each other in the position of cardium along the body axis in relation to the pharyngeal gland nuclei, pharynx types are named according to the stages of its evolution from the primitive tylenchoid pharynx (cardium situated posteriorly) to the advanced hoplolaimoid one (cardium situated anteriorly). Diagnoses and species compositions of the groups are given. Basing on the matrix of species characters, the dendrogram has been generated for all species of Pratylenchoides and for all characters (UPGMA, distance, mean character difference, random, characters ordered). Taking in view that the PAUP software gives equal weights to all characters, including the most important ones which define the prognostic species groups, the separate dendrograms for each prognostic species group were generated using the same above mentioned tree parameters. On the base of the records of Pratylenchoides species the matrices of plant host ranges, geographic distribution, and preferred soil-climatic conditions were developed. The dendrograms of the faunal similarities were generated using these matrices, with conclusions on a possible origin and evolution of the genus. The genus evolved from the flood lands with swampy soils and prevalence of dicotyledons (herbaceous Lamiaceae and woody Salicaceae families) to the forest mainland communities with balanced humidity and predominance of herbaceous Poaceae and Fabaceae with woody Fagaceae, Betulaceae, and Oleaceae. The leading factor of the evolutional adaptation to soil-climatic conditions was the factor of humidity, but its significance gradually decreased with the host change to more advanced plant taxa adapted to the communities with more dry balanced humidity. The genus took its origin on the south shores of Laurasia in the Cainozoe. Later, when Hindistant and Arabian Peninsula joined with Laurasia creating the Himalayas barrier, the Pratylenchoides spp. distributed by two branches: the northern one moved into Central Asia, East Europe and North America, and the south branch came into Indo-Malaya, West Asia and the north of Africa. The remnants of the ancient species groups remain in West Europe and East Asia. In the North America the genus gave an origin to its sister genus Apratylenchoides, which spread to the south up to Antarctica; another advanced branch spread in the North America reaching Alaska.
We report on fleas collected from small mammals in a lower mountane rainforest in the Crocker Range National Park, Sabah, Borneo. Macrostylophora durdeni n. sp., collected from Dremomys everetti and, of minor importance, Tupaia montana, is described. Further records include Gryphopsylla jacobsoni segragata and Lentistivalius vomerus from T. montana.
The widespread occurrence of microplastic has invaded the environment to an extent that it appears to be present throughout the globe. This review investigated the global abundance and distribution of microplastics in marine and freshwater ecosystems. Furthermore, the issues and challenges have been addressed for better findings in microplastics studies. Findings revealed that the accumulation of microplastics varies geographically, with locations, hydrodynamic conditions, environmental pressure, and time. From this review, it is crucial that proper regulations are proposed and implemented in order to reduce the occurrence of microplastics in the aquatic environment. Without appropriate law and regulations, microplastic pollution will eventually threaten human livelihood.
The Strongylophthalmyia punctata subgroup, comprising 24 species with armored fore femora, and restricted primarily to SE Asia, is reviewed. Eighteen new species, S. albisternum, n. sp. (Thailand), S. borneensis, n. sp. (Borneo), S. caestus, n. sp. (Philippines), S. darlingi, n. sp. (Sumatra), S. federeri, n. sp. (Philippines), S. hauseri, n. sp. (Thailand, Vietnam), S. indochinensis, n. sp. (Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam), S. inundans, n. sp. (Philippines), S. laosensis, n. sp. (Laos), S. lowi, n. sp. (Peninsular Malaysia), S. malayensis, n. sp. (Peninsular Malaysia), S. nigripalpis, n. sp. (Peninsular Malaysia), S. oxybeles, n. sp. (Sumatra), S. pappi, n. sp. (Thailand), S. phillindablank, n. sp. (China), S. sichuanica, n. sp. (China), S. sumatrana, n. sp. (Sumatra), and S. thailandica, n. sp. (Thailand) are described and illustrated, S. microstyla Shatalkin and S. punctata Hennig are redescribed based on examination of the holotypes, and a key to species of the subgroup is presented. A general taxonomic overview of the genus Strongylophthalmyia is given with discussion of and keys to proposed species groups.
Edge-effects greatly extend the area of tropical forests degraded through human activities. At Pasoh, Peninsular Malaysia, it has been suggested that soil disturbance by highly abundant wild pigs (Sus scrofa), which feed in adjacent Oil Palm plantations, may have mediated the invasion of Clidemia hirta (Melastomataceae) into the diverse tropical lowland rain forest. To investigate this hypothesis, we established three 1 km transects from the forest/Oil Palm plantation boundary into the forest interior. We recorded the distribution of soil disturbance by wild pigs, C. hirta abundance, and environmental variables. These data were analyzed using a hierarchical Bayesian model that incorporated spatial auto-correlation in the environmental variables. As predicted, soil disturbance by wild pigs declined with distance from forest edge and C. hirta abundance was correlated with the level of soil disturbance. Importantly there was no effect of distance on C. hirta abundance, after controlling for the effect of soil disturbance. Clidemia hirta abundance was also correlated with the presence of canopy openings, but there was no significant association between the occurrence of canopy openings and distance from the edge. Increased levels of soil disturbance and C. hirta abundance were still detectable approximately 1 km from the edge, demonstrating the potential for exceptionally large-scale animal mediated edge effects.
Tropical forests are highly diverse systems involving extraordinary numbers of interactions between species, with each species responding in a different way to the abiotic environment. Understanding how these systems function and predicting how they respond to anthropogenic global change is extremely challenging. We argue for the necessity of 'whole-ecosystem' experimental manipulations, in which the entire ecosystem is targeted, either to reveal the functioning of the system in its natural state or to understand responses to anthropogenic impacts. We survey the current range of whole-ecosystem manipulations, which include those targeting weather and climate, nutrients, biotic interactions, human impacts, and habitat restoration. Finally we describe the unique challenges and opportunities presented by such projects and suggest directions for future experiments.
This study assesses the influence of water quality on fish occurrences in Sungai Pahang, Maran District, Pahang, Malaysia. Water quality and fish samplings were conducted at seven sampling sites in the district for 13 consecutive months. We used canonical correspondence analyses (CCA) to determine the influence of water quality on monthly fish species occurrences. The ranges of water quality parameters were quite high considering the measurements were made during rainy and dry seasons throughout the year. A total of 2,075 individual fish was captured which comprised of 22 different families and 65 species. Family Cyprinidae recorded the highest number of fish species of the area (27 species; 41.5%), followed by Bagridae (five species; 7.69%) and Pangasiidae (five species; 7.69%). Three fish species categorized as endangered, including Balantiocheilos melanopterus, Probarbus jullieni and Pangasianodon hypophthalmus were also collected. The collected fish species were divided into three groups (A to C), which was clearly separated in the CCA ordination diagram. The most important water quality variables for the fish occurrences in this river were pH, followed by temperature, conductivity, alkalinity and phosphate. Data analysis indicates that the occurrence of fishes were influenced by a combination of water quality parameters, but not associated with sampling month. The results present a new data from a study of fish assemblage and their habitat condition which may be important in fisheries activity and fish conservation of the river in the future.
Tropical peat swamp forest (PSF) is one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world. However, the impacts of
anthropogenic activities in PSF and its conversion area towards fish biodiversity are less understood. This study
investigates the influences of water physico-chemical parameters on fish occurrences in peat swamp, paddy field and
oil palm plantation in the North Selangor peat swamp forest (NSPSF), Selangor, Malaysia. Fish and water samples were
collected from four sites located in the peat swamps, while two sites were located in the paddy field and oil palm plantation
areas. Multivariate analyses were used to determine the associations between water qualities and fish occurrences in
the three habitats. A total of 1,382 individual fish, belonging to 10 families, 15 genera and 20 species were collected.
The family Cyprinidae had the highest representatives, followed by Bagridae and Osphronemidae. The most abundant
species was Barbonymus schwanefeldii (Bleeker 1854), while the least abundant was Wallago leerii Bleeker, 1851. The
paddy field and oil palm plantation area recorded significantly higher fish diversity and richness relative to peat swamp
(p<0.05). The water physico-chemical parameters, such as pH, DO, NH3
-N, PO4, SO4
, and Cl2 showed no significant
difference between paddy field and oil palm plantation (p>0.05), but was significantly different from the peat swamp
(p<0.05). However, no water quality parameter was consistently observed to be associated with fish occurrences in all
of the three habitats, but water temperature, NH3
-N, Cl2, SO4
, and EC were at least associated with fish occurrences in
two habitats studied. This study confirmed that each habitat possess different water quality parameters associated with
fish occurrences. Understanding all these ecological aspects could help future management and conservation of NSPSF.
The Bio-ecological Drainage System, or BIOECODS, is an urban drainage system located at the Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia. It consists of a constructed wetland as a part of the urban drainage system to carry storm water in a closed system. In this closed system, the constructed wetland was designed particularly for further treatment of storm water. For the purpose of studying the water balance of the constructed wetland, data collection was carried out for two years (2007 and 2009). The results show that the constructed wetland has a consistent volume of water storage compared to the outflow for both years with correlation coefficients (R(2)) of 0.99 in 2007 and 0.86 in 2009.
This paper discusses the outcome of a research that examines the relationships between vulnerability and adaptation of urban dwellers to the slope failure threat in the Klang Valley Region. Intense urban landuse expansions in the Klang Valley Region have increased urban dwellers vulnerability to slope failures in recent years. The Klang Valley Region was chosen as the study area due to the increasing intensities and frequencies of slope failures threat. This paper examines urban dwellers vulnerability based on their (1) population and demographics characteristics, (2) the state of physical structures of dwellings and (3) the situation of the immediate environment threatened by slope failures. The locations of slope failure incidents were identified, mapped and examined followed with a detailed field study to identified areas. The results identified significant relationships between vulnerability indicators and slope failures in the Klang Valley Region. The findings of the study are envisaged to give valuable insights on addressing the threat of slope failures in the Klang Valley Region.
A preliminary study on the vertical dispersal of Aedes populations in high-rise apartments was carried out in Presint 9, Putrajaya, Malaysia. Ovitraps were placed indoors within four blocks of high-rise apartments from the ground floors (0.0 - 3.0 m) until up to the tenth floors (28.1 - 30.0 m). Aedes aegypti was the dominant species found in the ovitraps (87.85%), while Aedes albopictus was found in lower numbers. From total number of larvae collected (650), 40.92% of these larvae were obtained from the fourth block; Block D. The peak density of Aedes sp. was observed at level 6 (16.1 - 18.0 m), while Ae. aegypti was found until the tenth floor (28.1 - 30.0 m). In contrast, Ae. albopictus was found only up to the sixth floor (16.1 - 18.0 m). A poor correlation of the mean number of Aedes larvae collected with the level of high-rise apartments occupied (N=40; ρ=-0.349) was also observed which indicated the possibility of lesser Aedes populations to be found at higher level of high-rise apartments. Therefore, larger scale studies are strongly recommended to examine the vertical dispersal of Aedes mosquitoes.
In lowland areas of Malaysia, Plasmodium knowlesi infection is associated with land use change and high proportions of the vector Anopheles balabacensis. We conducted a 15-month study in two Malaysian villages to determine the effect of habitat on vector populations in understudied high-altitude, high-incidence districts. Anopheles mosquitoes were sampled in human settlements, plantations and forest edges, and screened for Plasmodium species by PCR. We report the first An. donaldi positive for P. knowlesi. This potential vector was associated with habitat fragmentation measured as disturbed forest edge:area ratio, while An. balabacensis was not, indicating fragmented land use could favour An. donaldi. Anopheline species richness and diversity decreased from forest edge, to plantation, to human settlement. Greater numbers of An. balabacensis and An. donaldi were found in forest edges compared to human settlements, suggesting exposure to vectors and associated zoonoses may be greater for people entering this habitat.
Fish movements between aquatic habitats of different salinity ranges (fresh, estuarine, marine) by the tropical catadromous eels Anguilla bicolor bicolor and A. bicolor pacifica were examined by analysing the otolith strontium and calcium concentrations of yellow (immature) and silver (mature) stage eels collected in south-east Asian (Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam) waters. The ratios suggest that all migratory-type eels, including freshwater, brackish water and marine residents, pass the river mouth. However, the habitat preference was different among the sites (countries). In Indonesia and Vietnam, most A. bicolor bicolor and A. bicolor pacifica were either marine or brackish water residents in this study. Alternatively, most A. bicolor bicolor were freshwater residents in Malaysia; such a typical catadromous migration pattern in these eels has not been found in previous studies. The wide range of otolith Sr:Ca in both subspecies indicates that the habitat use of these tropical eels was opportunistic among fresh, brackish and marine waters during their growth phases following recruitment to coastal areas. The geographical variability of migratory histories suggests that habitat use might be determined by the inter and intraspecific competition and environmental conditions at each site.
Temporal variations and regional distributions of dissolved nutrients and their elemental ratios in the Iranian coastal waters of the Southern Caspian Sea were investigated. The data were collected in 1996-97 (Phase I, as a background data and undisturbed ecosystem) and in 2005 (Phase II, as a disturbed ecosystem) at sampling points (from 10 to 100 m depths). In addition to the two main sampling exercises, additional sample collections were carried out during the period of 1994 to 2004 as a long-term study. This study showed that the dissolved inorganic nitrogen/dissolved inorganic phosphorus (DIN/DIP) ratios in the southern Caspian Sea vary within a very narrow range (4.47 to 5.78) within the euphotic and aphotic layers and is by one order of magnitude lower than what have been reported for several other marine ecosystems. Phytoplankton growth seems to be nitrogen limited while the levels of P and Si always remain high. Factor Analysis/Principal Component Analysis (FA/PCA) of the correlation matrix showed that the nitrogen compounds are associated with the main factor accounting for 25.7-26.2% of the total variance for both the sampling periods. During Phase I, the Chrysophyta were the major group, whereas during Phase II the proportion of Chrysophyta in the total community progressively decreased, while the other groups increased.
Vannella samoroda n. sp. (Amoebozoa, Vannellida) was isolated from the mouth of the Malaya Samoroda river flowing into Elton, the largest European hypersaline lake (Russia). Among all rivers of the area, it has the highest salt content (ca. 110‰). Amoebae maintained in seawater medium with ca. 77‰ salts concentration had a set of morphological characters typical of Vannella spp.: rounded, fan-shaped, or spatulate locomotive form, floating form with bent, blunt-ended hyaline pseudopodia, and a cell coat consisting of regularly packed palisade elements and scarce simple filaments. Phylogenetic analyses based on SSU rRNA and cytochrome C oxidase subunit 1 genes show that the amoeba is most closely related to Vannella ebro Smirnov, 2001, but represents a distinct species. The clade of V. ebro and V. samoroda branches among marine species of Vannella. The studied species is the first member of the genus Vannella from a continental saline habitat described using molecular data. Interestingly, it has a broad range of salinity tolerance: cells reproduce above 18‰, while survival of a few cells regularly occurs even in highly diluted Prescott and James medium. The normal culture restores itself when PJ medium is substituted with 77‰ seawater medium even after months of experimental incubation.
As a landscape becomes increasingly fragmented through habitat loss, the individual patches become smaller and more isolated and thus less likely to sustain a local population. Metapopulation theory is appropriate for analyzing fragmented landscapes because it combines empirical landscape features with species-specific information to produce direct information on population extinction risks. This approach contrasts with descriptions of habitat fragments, which provide only indirect information on risk. Combining a spatially explicit metapopulation model with empirical data on endemic species' ranges and maps of habitat cover, we calculated the metapopulation capacity-a measure of a landscape's ability to sustain a metapopulation. Mangroves provide an ideal model landscape because they are of conservation concern and their patch boundaries are easily delineated. For 2000-20015, we calculated global metapopulation capacity for 99 metapopulations of 32 different bird species endemic to mangroves. Northern Australia and Southeast Asia had the highest richness of mangrove endemic birds. The Caribbean, Pacific coast of Central America, Madagascar, Borneo, and isolated patches in Southeast Asia in Myanmar and Malaysia had the highest metapopulation losses. Regions with the highest loss of habitat area were not necessarily those with the highest loss of metapopulation capacity. Often, it was not a matter of how much, but how the habitat was lost. Our method can be used by managers to evaluate and prioritize a landscape for metapopulation persistence.
The choice of a sleeping site is crucial for primates and may influence their survival. In this study, we investigated several tree characteristics influencing the sleeping site selection by proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus) along Kinabatangan River, in Sabah, Malaysia. We identified 81 sleeping trees used by one-male and all-male social groups from November 2011 to January 2012. We recorded 15 variables for each tree. Within sleeping sites, sleeping trees were taller, had a larger trunk, with larger and higher first branches than surrounding trees. The crown contained more mature leaves, ripe and unripe fruits but had vines less often than surrounding trees. In addition, in this study, we also focused on a larger scale, considering sleeping and non-sleeping sites. Multivariate analyses highlighted a combination of 6 variables that revealed the significance of sleeping trees as well as surrounding trees in the selection process. During our boat surveys, we observed that adult females and young individuals stayed higher in the canopy than adult males. This pattern may be driven by their increased vulnerability to predation. Finally, we suggest that the selection of particular sleeping tree features (i.e. tall, high first branch) by proboscis monkeys is mostly influenced by antipredation strategies.
Given predicted increases in urbanization in tropical and subtropical regions, understanding the processes shaping urban coral reefs may be essential for anticipating future conservation challenges. We used a case study approach to identify unifying patterns of urban coral reefs and clarify the effects of urbanization on hard coral assemblages. Data were compiled from 11 cities throughout East and Southeast Asia, with particular focus on Singapore, Jakarta, Hong Kong, and Naha (Okinawa). Our review highlights several key characteristics of urban coral reefs, including "reef compression" (a decline in bathymetric range with increasing turbidity and decreasing water clarity over time and relative to shore), dominance by domed coral growth forms and low reef complexity, variable city-specific inshore-offshore gradients, early declines in coral cover with recent fluctuating periods of acute impacts and rapid recovery, and colonization of urban infrastructure by hard corals. We present hypotheses for urban reef community dynamics and discuss potential of ecological engineering for corals in urban areas.
It is important to obtain frequent measurements of the abundance, distribution, and seasonality of mosquito vectors to determine the risk of disease transmission. The number of cases of dengue infection has increased in recent years on Penang Island, Malaysia, with recurring epidemics. However, ongoing control attempts are being critically hampered by the lack of up-to-date information regarding the vectors. To overcome this problem, we examined the current situation and distribution of dengue vectors on the island. Residences throughout the urban, suburban, and rural areas were inspected through wet and dry seasons between February 2009 and February 2010. Two vectors were encountered in the survey, with Aedes aegypti present in especially high numbers mostly in urban areas. Similar observations were noted for Ae. albopictus in rural areas. The former species was more abundant in outdoor containers, while the latter showed almost equivalent abundance both outdoors and indoors. The dengue virus was active in both urban and rural areas, and the number of cases of infection was higher in areas where Ae. aegypti was predominant. The abundance of immature Ae. albopictus was positively correlated with rainfall (r2 = 0.461; P < 0.05), but this was not the case for Ae. aegypti. For both species, the size of immature populations tended to increase with increasing intensity of rain, but heavy rains resulted in population loss. In addition to updating data regarding the larval habitats and locations (outdoors and indoors), this study highlighted the importance of spatial vector control stratification, which has the potential to reduce costs in control programs.