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.
Arboreal animals negotiate a highly three-dimensional world that is discontinuous on many spatial scales. As the scale of substrate discontinuity increases, many arboreal animals rely on leaping or gliding locomotion between distant supports. In order to successfully move through their habitat, gliding animals must actively modulate both propulsive and aerodynamic forces. Here we examined the take-off and landing kinetics of a free-ranging gliding mammal, the Malayan colugo (Galeopterus variegatus) using a custom-designed three-dimensional accelerometry system. We found that colugos increase the propulsive impulse to affect longer glides. However, we also found that landing forces are negatively associated with glide distance. Landing forces decrease rapidly as glide distance increases from the shortest glides, then level off, suggesting that the ability to reorient the aerodynamic forces prior to landing is an important mechanism to reduce velocity and thus landing forces. This ability to substantially alter the aerodynamic forces acting on the patagial wing in order to reorient the body is a key to the transition between leaping and gliding and allows gliding mammals to travel long distances between trees with reduced risk of injury. Longer glides may increase the access to distributed resources and reduce the exposure to predators in the canopy or on the forest floor.
The rapid expansion of oil palm cultivation in the Neotropics has generated great debate around possible biodiversity impacts. Colombia, for example, is the largest producer of oil palm in the Americas, but the effects of oil palm cultivation on native fauna are poorly understood. Here, we compared how richness, abundance and composition of terrestrial mammal species differ between oil palm plantations and riparian forest in the Colombian Llanos region. Further, we determined the relationships and influence of landscape and habitat level variables on those metrics. We found that species richness and composition differed significantly between riparian forest and oil palm, with site level richness inside oil palm plantations 47% lower, on average, than in riparian forest. Within plantations, mammalian species richness was strongly negatively correlated with cattle abundance, and positively correlated with the density of undergrowth vegetation. Forest structure characteristics appeared to have weak and similar effects on determining mammal species richness and composition along riparian forest strips. Composition at the landscape level was significantly influenced by cover type, percentage of remaining forest and the distance to the nearest town, whereas within oil palm sites, understory vegetation, cattle relative abundance, and canopy cover had significant effects on community composition. Species specific abundance responses varied between land cover types, with oil palm having positive effects on mesopredators, insectivores and grazers. Our findings suggest that increasing habitat complexity, avoiding cattle and retaining native riparian forest-regardless of its structure-inside oil palm-dominated landscapes would help support higher native mammal richness and abundance at both local and landscape scales.
Pangolins, unique mammals with scales over most of their body, no teeth, poor vision, and an acute olfactory system, comprise the only placental order (Pholidota) without a whole-genome map. To investigate pangolin biology and evolution, we developed genome assemblies of the Malayan (Manis javanica) and Chinese (M. pentadactyla) pangolins. Strikingly, we found that interferon epsilon (IFNE), exclusively expressed in epithelial cells and important in skin and mucosal immunity, is pseudogenized in all African and Asian pangolin species that we examined, perhaps impacting resistance to infection. We propose that scale development was an innovation that provided protection against injuries or stress and reduced pangolin vulnerability to infection. Further evidence of specialized adaptations was evident from positively selected genes involving immunity-related pathways, inflammation, energy storage and metabolism, muscular and nervous systems, and scale/hair development. Olfactory receptor gene families are significantly expanded in pangolins, reflecting their well-developed olfaction system. This study provides insights into mammalian adaptation and functional diversification, new research tools and questions, and perhaps a new natural IFNE-deficient animal model for studying mammalian immunity.
Pairwise similarity coefficients are downward biased when samples only record presences and sampling is partial. A simple but forgotten index proposed by Stephen Forbes in 1907 can help solve this problem. His original equation requires knowing the number of species absent in both samples that could have been present. It is proposed that this count should simply be ignored and that the coefficient should be adjusted using a simple heuristic correction. Four analyses show that the corrected equation outperforms the Dice and Simpson indices, which are highly correlated with many others. In two-sample simulations, similarity is almost always closer to the assumed value when the species pool size and sampling intensity are varied, regardless of whether the underlying abundance distribution is uniform, log-normal, or geometric. The index is also much more robust when sampling is unequal. An analysis of bat samples from peninsular Malaysia buttresses these conclusions. The corrected coefficient also indicates that local assemblages of North American mammals are random subsamples of larger species pools by returning similarity of values of around 1, and it suggests a more consistent relationship between biome-scale comparisons and local-scale comparisons. Finally, it yields a better-dispersed pattern when the biome-scale inventories are ordinated. If these results are generalizable, then the new and old equation should see wide application, potentially taking the place of the two most commonly used alternatives (the interrelated Dice and Jaccard indices) whenever sampling is incomplete.
Redescription of the female of Setaria thomasi Sandosham, 1954, parasite of Sus scrofa jubatus; description of the female of Papillosetaria malayi n.sp. from Tragulus javanicus. The study of the buccal region of Papillosteria leads the authors to consider this genus as an ancestral form of Setaria.
Diversity responses to land-use change are poorly understood at local scales, hindering our ability to make forecasts and management recommendations at scales which are of practical relevance. A key barrier in this has been the underappreciation of grain-dependent diversity responses and the role that β-diversity (variation in community composition across space) plays in this. Decisions about the most effective spatial arrangement of conservation set-aside, for example high conservation value areas, have also neglected β-diversity, despite its role in determining the complementarity of sites. We examined local-scale mammalian species richness and β-diversity across old-growth forest, logged forest, and oil palm plantations in Borneo, using intensive camera- and live-trapping. For the first time, we were able to investigate diversity responses, as well as β-diversity, at multiple spatial grains, and across the whole terrestrial mammal community (large and small mammals); β-diversity was quantified by comparing observed β-diversity with that obtained under a null model, in order to control for sampling effects, and we refer to this as the β-diversity signal. Community responses to land use were grain dependent, with large mammals showing reduced richness in logged forest compared to old-growth forest at the grain of individual sampling points, but no change at the overall land-use level. Responses varied with species group, however, with small mammals increasing in richness at all grains in logged forest compared to old-growth forest. Both species groups were significantly depauperate in oil palm. Large mammal communities in old-growth forest became more heterogeneous at coarser spatial grains and small mammal communities became more homogeneous, while this pattern was reversed in logged forest. Both groups, however, showed a significant β-diversity signal at the finest grain in logged forest, likely due to logging-induced environmental heterogeneity. The β-diversity signal in oil palm was weak, but heterogeneity at the coarsest spatial grain was still evident, likely due to variation in landscape forest cover. Our findings suggest that the most effective spatial arrangement of set-aside will involve trade-offs between conserving large and small mammals. Greater consideration in the conservation and management of tropical landscapes needs to be given to β-diversity at a range of spatial grains.
The responses of lowland tropical communities to climate change will critically influence global biodiversity but remain poorly understood. If species in these systems are unable to tolerate warming, the communities-currently the most diverse on Earth-may become depauperate ('biotic attrition'). In response to temperature changes, animals can adjust their distribution in space or their activity in time, but these two components of the niche are seldom considered together. We assessed the spatio-temporal niches of rainforest mammal species in Borneo across gradients in elevation and temperature. Most species are not predicted to experience changes in spatio-temporal niche availability, even under pessimistic warming scenarios. Responses to temperature are not predictable by phylogeny but do appear to be trait-based, being much more variable in smaller-bodied taxa. General circulation models and weather station data suggest unprecedentedly high midday temperatures later in the century; predicted responses to this warming among small-bodied species range from 9% losses to 6% gains in spatio-temporal niche availability, while larger species have close to 0% predicted change. Body mass may therefore be a key ecological trait influencing the identity of climate change winners and losers. Mammal species composition will probably change in some areas as temperatures rise, but full-scale biotic attrition this century appears unlikely.
The rising sea level at the end of the Pleistocene that created the islands of the Sunda Shelf in Indonesia and Malaysia provides a natural experiment in community disassembly and offers insights into the effects of body size and niches on abundance, distribution, and diversity. Since isolation, terrestrial mammal communities of these islands have been reduced by extinction, with virtually no offsetting colonization. We document three empirical patterns of disassembly, all of which are significantly different from null models of random assembly: (i) a diversity-area relationship: the number of taxa is strongly and positively correlated with island area; (ii) nested subset composition: species that occur on small islands tend to be subsets of more diverse communities inhabiting larger islands; and (iii) body size distributions: species of intermediate body sizes occur on the greatest number of islands, and smaller islands have smaller ranges of body sizes, caused by the absence of species of both very large and extremely small size. These patterns reveal the role of body size and other niche characteristics, such as habitat requirements and trophic status, in the differential susceptibility of taxa to extinction.
Glutathione S-Transferases (GSTs) are phase II detoxification enzymes that may have evolved in response to changes of environmental substrates. GST genes formed a multigene family and in mammals, there are six classes known as Alpha, Mu, Omega, Pi, Theta, and Zeta. Recent studies in phase I detoxification system specifically the cytochrome P450s provided a general explanation on why genes from a common origin such as those in a multigene family have both phylogenetically stable and unstable genes. Genes that participate in core functions of organisms such as development and physiology are stable whereas genes that play a role in detoxification are unstable and evolve in a process known as birth-death evolution, which is characterised by frequent gene gains and losses. The generality of the birth-death model at explaining the evolution of detoxification enzymes beyond the phase I enzyme has not been comprehensively explored. This work utilized 383 Gst genes and 300 pseudogenes across 22 mammalian species to study gene gains and losses. GSTs vary greatly in their phylogenetic stability despite their overall sequence similarity. Stable Gst genes from Omega and Zeta classes do not show fluctuation in gene numbers from human to opossum. These genes play a role in biosynthesis related functions. Unstable genes that include Alpha, Mu, Pi and Theta undergo frequent gene gain and loss in a process known as birth-death evolution. Gene members of these four classes are well known for their roles in detoxification. Our positive selection screen identified five positively selected sites in mouse GSTA3. Previous studies showed two of these sites (108H and 208E) were biochemically tested as important residues that conferred catalytic activity against the toxic aflatoxin B1-8,9-epoxide. The functional significance against aflatoxin of the remaining three positively selected sites warrant further investigation.
Kajian ini bertujuan untuk membandingkan kandungan makronutrien dalam tiga jenis kuih manis tempatan iaitu kuih seri muka (SM), kuih bakar (B) dan kuih wajik (W) yang mana resepinya telah dibentuk secara pengiraan nutrien yang berdasarkan Jadual Komposisi Makanan Malaysia (JKMMM) dengan kaedah analisis secara proksimat. Penentuan kandungan makronutrien secara spesifik ditentukan menggunakan kaedah analisis proksimat manakala penentuan tenaga dan karbohidrat total dijalankan melalui pengiraan. Hasil analisis proksimat menunjukkan W mengandungi karbohidrat total tertinggi (61.5 ± 1.6%) secara signifikan (p < 0.05), berbanding B (39.3 ± 1.5%) dan SM (38.7 ± 1.5%). SM mempunyai kandungan air yang lebih tinggi (46.7 ± 1.6%) secara signifikan (p < 0.05) berbanding B (42.5 ± 6.6 %) dan W (30.2 ± 0.4%). B mengandungi kandungan protein tertinggi (6.1 ± 0.9%) secara signifikan berbanding dengan W (3.0 ± 0.3%). Tiada perbezaan yang signifikan bagi kandungan lemak di antara B (12.8 ± 1.8%), SM (9.9 ± 0.2%) dan W (8.2 ± 2.6%). Jumlah kalori untuk W adalah tertinggi (332 kcal/100g) diikuti oleh B (299 kcal/100g) dan SM (262 kcal/100g). Secara umumnya, nilai kandungan makronutrien dari analisis proksimat adalah lebih rendah berbanding secara pengiraan kandungan makronutrien menggunakan JKMMM. Ini disebabkan pengiraan berdasarkan JKMMM adalah berdasarkan bahan mentah manakala analisis proksimat berdasarkan sampel kuih yang telah disediakan.
Biodiversity continues to decline in the face of increasing anthropogenic pressures such as habitat destruction, exploitation, pollution and introduction of alien species. Existing global databases of species' threat status or population time series are dominated by charismatic species. The collation of datasets with broad taxonomic and biogeographic extents, and that support computation of a range of biodiversity indicators, is necessary to enable better understanding of historical declines and to project - and avert - future declines. We describe and assess a new database of more than 1.6 million samples from 78 countries representing over 28,000 species, collated from existing spatial comparisons of local-scale biodiversity exposed to different intensities and types of anthropogenic pressures, from terrestrial sites around the world. The database contains measurements taken in 208 (of 814) ecoregions, 13 (of 14) biomes, 25 (of 35) biodiversity hotspots and 16 (of 17) megadiverse countries. The database contains more than 1% of the total number of all species described, and more than 1% of the described species within many taxonomic groups - including flowering plants, gymnosperms, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, beetles, lepidopterans and hymenopterans. The dataset, which is still being added to, is therefore already considerably larger and more representative than those used by previous quantitative models of biodiversity trends and responses. The database is being assembled as part of the PREDICTS project (Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems - http://www.predicts.org.uk). We make site-level summary data available alongside this article. The full database will be publicly available in 2015.
Space use and activity patterns by 3 species of small mammals, namely, Tupaia glis, Callosciurus notatus and e. nigrovitatus were determined. The home range size of T. glis ranged from 9,544 to 73,470m2, C. notatus from 6,512 to 16,150m2 and C. nigrovitatus 10,970m2. There was no overlap in the ranges between individuals of the same species and sex but the ranges of different species overlapped. There was no significant difference in the mean daily distance moved among the studied individuals. All individuals showed a bimodal type of activity pattern.
Penggunaan habitat dan corak aktiviti 3 spesies mamalia kecil, Tupaia glis, CalJosciurus notatus dan C. nigrovitatus telah ditentukan. Saiz banjaran kediaman T. glis adalah antara 9,544 hingga 73,470m2, C. notatus daripada 6,512 hingga 16,150m2 dan C. nigrovitatus 10,970m2. Pertindihan banjaran tidak wujud antara spesies atau jantina yang sama. Walau bagaimanapun, berlaku pertindihan banjaran antara spesies yang berbeza. Tiada perbezaan bererti pada purata jarak yang dilalui setiap hari antara individu-individu yang dikaji. Semua individu yang dikaji menunjukan corak aktiviti jenis bimodal.
Mountains offer replicated units with large biotic and abiotic gradients in a reduced spatial scale. This transforms them into well-suited scenarios to evaluate biogeographic theories. Mountain biogeography is a hot topic of research and many theories have been proposed to describe the changes in biodiversity with elevation. Geometric constraints, which predict the highest diversity to occur in mid-elevations, have been a focal part of this discussion. Despite this, there is no general theory to explain these patterns, probably because of the interaction among different predictors with the local effects of historical factors. We characterize the diversity of small non-volant mammals across the elevational gradient on Mount (Mt.) Kinabalu (4,095 m) and Mt. Tambuyukon (2,579 m), two neighboring mountains in Borneo, Malaysia. We documented a decrease in species richness with elevation which deviates from expectations of the geometric constraints and suggests that spatial factors (e.g., larger diversity in larger areas) are important. The lowland small mammal community was replaced in higher elevations (from above ~1,900 m) with montane communities consisting mainly of high elevation Borneo endemics. The positive correlation we find between elevation and endemism is concordant with a hypothesis that predicts higher endemism with topographical isolation. This supports lineage history and geographic history could be important drivers of species diversity in this region.
Agricultural expansion is the largest threat to global biodiversity. In particular, the rapid spread of tree plantations is a primary driver of deforestation in hyperdiverse tropical regions. Plantations tend to support considerably lower biodiversity than native forest, but it remains unclear whether plantation traits affect their ability to sustain native wildlife populations, particularly for threatened taxa. If animal diversity varies across plantations with different characteristics, these traits could be manipulated to make plantations more "wildlife friendly." The degree to which plantations create edge effects that degrade habitat quality in adjacent forest also remains unclear, limiting our ability to predict wildlife persistence in mixed-use landscapes. We used systematic camera trapping to investigate mammal occurrence and diversity in oil palm plantations and adjacent forest in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Mammals within plantations were largely constrained to locations near native forest; the occurrence of most species and overall species richness declined abruptly with decreasing forest proximity from an estimated 14 species at the forest ecotone to -1 species 2 km into the plantation. Neither tree height nor canopy cover within plantations strongly affected mammal diversity or occurrence, suggesting that manipulating tree spacing or planting cycles might not make plantations more wildlife friendly. Plantations did not appear to generate strong edge effects; mammal richness within forest remained high and consistent up to the plantation ecotone. Our results suggest that land-sparing strategies, as opposed to efforts to make plantations more wildlife-friendly, are required for regional wildlife conservation in biodiverse tropical ecosystems.
Extinction rates in the Anthropocene are three orders of magnitude higher than background and disproportionately occur in the tropics, home of half the world's species. Despite global efforts to combat tropical species extinctions, lack of high-quality, objective information on tropical biodiversity has hampered quantitative evaluation of conservation strategies. In particular, the scarcity of population-level monitoring in tropical forests has stymied assessment of biodiversity outcomes, such as the status and trends of animal populations in protected areas. Here, we evaluate occupancy trends for 511 populations of terrestrial mammals and birds, representing 244 species from 15 tropical forest protected areas on three continents. For the first time to our knowledge, we use annual surveys from tropical forests worldwide that employ a standardized camera trapping protocol, and we compute data analytics that correct for imperfect detection. We found that occupancy declined in 22%, increased in 17%, and exhibited no change in 22% of populations during the last 3-8 years, while 39% of populations were detected too infrequently to assess occupancy changes. Despite extensive variability in occupancy trends, these 15 tropical protected areas have not exhibited systematic declines in biodiversity (i.e., occupancy, richness, or evenness) at the community level. Our results differ from reports of widespread biodiversity declines based on aggregated secondary data and expert opinion and suggest less extreme deterioration in tropical forest protected areas. We simultaneously fill an important conservation data gap and demonstrate the value of large-scale monitoring infrastructure and powerful analytics, which can be scaled to incorporate additional sites, ecosystems, and monitoring methods. In an era of catastrophic biodiversity loss, robust indicators produced from standardized monitoring infrastructure are critical to accurately assess population outcomes and identify conservation strategies that can avert biodiversity collapse.
Habitat destruction and overhunting are two major drivers of mammal population declines and extinctions in tropical forests. The construction of roads can be a catalyst for these two threats. In Southeast Asia, the impacts of roads on mammals have not been well-documented at a regional scale. Before evidence-based conservation strategies can be developed to minimize the threat of roads to endangered mammals within this region, we first need to locate where and how roads are contributing to the conversion of their habitats and illegal hunting in each country. We interviewed 36 experts involved in mammal research from seven Southeast Asian countries to identify roads that are contributing the most, in their opinion, to habitat conversion and illegal hunting. Our experts highlighted 16 existing and eight planned roads - these potentially threaten 21% of the 117 endangered terrestrial mammals in those countries. Apart from gathering qualitative evidence from the literature to assess their claims, we demonstrate how species-distribution models, satellite imagery and animal-sign surveys can be used to provide quantitative evidence of roads causing impacts by (1) cutting through habitats where endangered mammals are likely to occur, (2) intensifying forest conversion, and (3) contributing to illegal hunting and wildlife trade. To our knowledge, ours is the first study to identify specific roads threatening endangered mammals in Southeast Asia. Further through highlighting the impacts of roads, we propose 10 measures to limit road impacts in the region.
Humans influence tropical rainforest animals directly via exploitation and indirectly via habitat disturbance. Bushmeat hunting and logging occur extensively in tropical forests and have large effects on particular species. But how they alter animal diversity across landscape scales and whether their impacts are correlated across species remain less known. We used spatially widespread measurements of mammal occurrence across Malaysian Borneo and recently developed multispecies hierarchical models to assess the species richness of medium- to large-bodied terrestrial mammals while accounting for imperfect detection of all species. Hunting was associated with 31% lower species richness. Moreover, hunting remained high even where richness was very low, highlighting that hunting pressure persisted even in chronically overhunted areas. Newly logged sites had 11% lower species richness than unlogged sites, but sites logged >10 years previously had richness levels similar to those in old-growth forest. Hunting was a more serious long-term threat than logging for 91% of primate and ungulate species. Hunting and logging impacts across species were not correlated across taxa. Negative impacts of hunting were the greatest for common mammalian species, but commonness versus rarity was not related to species-specific impacts of logging. Direct human impacts appeared highly persistent and lead to defaunation of certain areas. These impacts were particularly severe for species of ecological importance as seed dispersers and herbivores. Indirect impacts were also strong but appeared to attenuate more rapidly than previously thought. The lack of correlation between direct and indirect impacts across species highlights that multifaceted conservation strategies may be needed for mammal conservation in tropical rainforests, Earth's most biodiverse ecosystems.