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Species diversity structure analysis at two sites in the tropical rain forest of Sumatra

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 2000

Keith Rennolls
School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, University of Greenwich, 30 Park Row Greenwich, London SE10 9LS, Email: FIMP, INTAG, Manggala Wanabakti, PO Box 7612, Jakarta 10076, Indonesia
Yves Laumonier
CIRAD-Forêt, Baillarguet, PO Box 5035, 34032 Montpellier, Cedex, France FIMP, INTAG, Manggala Wanabakti, PO Box 7612, Jakarta 10076, Indonesia


Data from a hilly forest study site at Batang Ule, Sumatra, are organized into 30 100-m × 10-m subplots lying perpendicular to the line of maximal topographic gradient, from the valley to the plateau/ridge. The following methodological question is addressed: what species diversity measures are best used in order to reveal the ecologically distinct regions in the site. The main tool used to answer this question is the α-diversity curve (Hα). Graphical examination of tree and species densities, and α-diversity curves identifies an anomalous species diversity behaviour of the ‘ridge above the slope’ subplots which may have implications on land-facet class definitions. Factor analysis of the α-diversity curves indicates that the diversity space is two-dimensional: i.e. two diversity measures are sufficient to characterize the site; the species density (H0), and the Berger-Parker index (H). In the

two-dimensional diversity-space three distinct species diversity groups are found which relate to the topographic gradient at the Batang Ule site. The results are compared with those for a flat homogeneous site at Pasirmayang, Sumatra. The implications of the results on land-classifications in species-diversity mapping and conservation strategy are discussed.

Research Article
2000 Cambridge University Press

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