Authors: Wan Juliana Wan Ahmad, Nurhanim Mohamed Noor and Amirrudin Ahmad
Tropical wetland plant communities have been known as a part of an ecosystem with the highest species richness. Fauna especially amphibians, reptiles, birds are claimed to be have higher richness in the wetlands and the increasing trend of terrestrial plant species diversity surrounding water bodies such as freshwater lake, however, is often overlooked in a wetland ecosystem. We attempted to characterize the species abundance of wetland vegetation within a lowland forest landscape and compare the richness of different wetland plant communities at Tasik Chini Biosphere Reserve (TCBR). We sampled habitats including riverine, seasonal flood and dry inland forest for comparison. Species richness estimations, rarefaction, multivariate analysis, perfect indication and species rarity analysis were used to examine and characterize species richness and community structure of different habitats. We hypothesized that plant communities that associated to wet conditions are more diverse than other habitats. Our results showed otherwise and it clearly showed that plant species assemblages of the landscape were mostly contributed by inland forest species. However, these habitats are somewhat distinct character that different from one another and each has its own indicator species. The results also revealed that rare species were mostly found at inland forest. Thus, the conservation of wetland plant communities that comprise inland and wet condition habitats are crucial in ensuring the maintenance species diversity of Chini landscape.
Keywords: Chini; perfect indication; rank abundance curve; rarefaction; rarity; species abundance curve