Species richness, community compositions and microhabitat characteristics of non-volant terrestrial small mammals in disturbed habitats in Sabah, Malaysia

Wai, Leona (2015) Species richness, community compositions and microhabitat characteristics of non-volant terrestrial small mammals in disturbed habitats in Sabah, Malaysia. Universiti Malaysia Sabah. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

A study on the small mammals communities was carried out in disturbed habitats around Sabah, namely Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), bias Peat Swamp Forest Reserve (Klias), Kawang Forest Reserve (Kawang), Kalabakan Forest Reserve (within the SAFE project area) and Maliau Basin Conservation Area (Maliau). The aim of this study was to investigate how the habitat disturbance affects the species richness, community compositions and microhabitat-use patterns of the small mammals. The specific objectives were (1) to determine the species richness and composition of non-volant small mammal communities in disturbed habitats; (2) to characterize the microhabitat use patterns of the non-volant small mammal communities in disturbed habitats; and (3) to determine the microhabitat preferences of the non-volant small mammal communities in disturbed habitats. Small mammal trapping was conducted using wire mesh live cage traps located along line-transects at all the sampling sites. The study was carried out from October 2014 to March 2015 and has resulted in a total sampling effort of 540 trap-nights. Overall, 71 individuals representing 14 species were successfully caught during the study. Taking sampling effort into account, the observed species richness appeared to follow a humped shape with sampling sites having intermediate disturbance appeared to show higher species number (SAFE, bias and Kawang). Whereas, sites that are least disturbed (Maliau) and highly disturbed (UMS) recorded the least species number. Analysis of habitat variables showed that all study sites were generally divided into three distinctive groups which can be explained based on habitat disturbance levels and differences in terms of forest types. Canonical Discriminant Function Analysis was used to analyze the microhabitat preferences and microhabitat use-pattern of the small mammals. Results of this analysis showed that small mammals preferred areas with high, shrub cover (Rattus rattus and Callasdurus notatus), litter cover (Callasdurus prevostii and EChinaex gymnurus) and herbs limber (Tupaia gracilis) which could be related to predator avoidance.

Item Type: Academic Exercise
Uncontrolled Keywords: Small mammals, habitat disturbance, microhabitat preferences, microhabitat use-pattern, species richness
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: FACULTY > Faculty of Science and Natural Resources
Depositing User: Munira
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2017 06:21
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2017 06:21
URI: http://eprints.ums.edu.my/id/eprint/17743

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