Impact of Industrial Tree Plantation on Ground-Dwelling Mammals and Birds in a Peat Swamp Forest in Sumatra

In Vulnerability and Transformation of Indonesian Peatlands
Chapter: 4
Book Chapter
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Peat swamp forests are one of the unique ecosystems of Southeast Asia. These forests are not only a large carbon stock, but also a refuge for rich biodiversity. To understand the faunal composition and the effect of land-use changes in peat swamp forests, we investigated ground-dwelling mammals and birds using camera traps in a natural peat swamp forest and acacia forests planted in two industrial tree plantations in the Giam Siak Kecil-Bukit Batu Biosphere Reserve, Riau, Indonesia, in the Island of Sumatra.

We obtained a total of 1856 records, comprising 23 species and including 11 vulnerable or endangered species, in ten plots. The range of mean trapping rates (number of records per 100 camera working days) of all animals in each plot in natural peat swamp forests were 9.22–51.85 (mean: 29.16) and 8.75–31.76 (16.42) in the wildlife reserve and protected area of the plantations respectively. The range in planted acacia forest was 2.29–6.38 (4.02). Few species were recorded in the planted acacia forests, and the species composition was different from that in the natural peat swamp forests. These differences indicate that conversion from natural peat swamp forests to planted acacia forest through development of industrial tree plantations resulting in decreased density and species richness of ground-dwelling mammals and birds. Because the ground-dwelling mammal and bird community in natural peat swamp forest is vulnerable to land use change, conservation of the remnant natural peat swamp forests and appropriate landscape design of industrial tree plantations are considered important to maintain the ecosystem.