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Title: Tree species richness in primary and old secondary tropical forest in Singapore
Authors: Turner, I.M. 
Wong, Y.K.
Chew, P.T.
Bin Ibrahim, A.
Keywords: conservation biology
secondary succession
species richness
tropical rain forest
Issue Date: 1997
Citation: Turner, I.M., Wong, Y.K., Chew, P.T., Bin Ibrahim, A. (1997). Tree species richness in primary and old secondary tropical forest in Singapore. Biodiversity and Conservation 6 (4) : 537-543. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: If secondary succession can accumulate species rapidly, then tropical secondary forests may have an important role to play in the conservation of biodiversity. Data on the floristic composition of forest stands in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, Singapore, have been analysed to investigate the diversity of approximately 100-year-old tropical secondary forest. Classification using TWINSPAN indicated that three floristic communities could be recognized from 59 0.2 ha plots enumerated for trees > 30 cm gbh. These were two types of secondary forest, both dominated by Rhodamnia cinerea (Myrtaceae) and dryland primary forest. The secondary forest was developed on land abandoned after use for agriculture at the end of the 19th century. The 16 primary forest plots contained a total of 340 species, more than the 281 recorded from the 43 plots of the two secondary forest types combined. The mean species number per plot in the more diverse of the two secondary forests was only about 60% of the primary forest. Thus the secondary forest, despite a century or so for colonization by species and the presence of contiguous primary forest, was still significantly less diverse than primary forest areas. It is concluded that secondary forest cannot be assumed to accrete biodiversity rapidly in the tropics, and may not be of direct value in conservation. However, other indirect roles, such as providing resources for native animals, and buffering and protecting primary forest fragments may make the protection of secondary forest worthwhile.
Source Title: Biodiversity and Conservation
ISSN: 09603115
DOI: 10.1023/A:1018381111842
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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