University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Zoology Graduate Seminars > Diversity and function of stream invertebrates in tropical forest and oil palm ecosystems in Sabah, Malaysia: Effects of habitat conversion and strategies for conservation

Diversity and function of stream invertebrates in tropical forest and oil palm ecosystems in Sabah, Malaysia: Effects of habitat conversion and strategies for conservation

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Freshwater systems are highly diverse and provide vital services for humans, but are increasingly threatened by global agricultural growth and consequent land use change. In Malaysia specifically, freshwater systems are being heavily impacted by forest clearance and oil palm expansion. Invertebrates dominate freshwater ecosystems and are crucial for healthy stream function. Many agricultural catchments show decreased invertebrate diversity relative to those in forests, but impacts of oil palm and possible strategies for conservation are poorly understood and are a key emerging research priority. Through surveys of stream invertebrates (dragonflies, insect larvae, skater bugs, crabs/shrimps/snails) across a range of stream sites in old growth forest, logged forest and oil palm plantations, I am investigating the impacts of land use change on invertebrate diversity and stream ecosystem function. I am also testing the effectiveness of conservation strategies to help mitigate the impacts of land use change, in particular the value of leaving forested buffer strips by the side of streams after habitat conversion.

This talk is part of the Zoology Graduate Seminars series.

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