Otterman speaks... (2003-2007)
Weblog about cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore.
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Otterman speaks...

Cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore - Archives

List of Categories : travel * museum * cycling * Singapore Naturalist * science * kakis * mangroves * movies * mac and the internet * meow * NUS * life in Singapore * lit * world *

Thu 15 Jan 2004

"No alien invasion in primary forests"

Category : Singapore Naturalist

Chang Ai-Lien, the Straits Times science correspondent interviews Hugh Tan about a paper a few of them published in the Journal of Biogeography last year (J. Biogeography, 30(2): 305). The ST link will only last three days but Nick Baker will probably pick it up at Ecology Asia.

Alien invasive species are considered significant threat to biodiversity, see the IUCN and CBD pages. Interestingly, the Singapore analysis shows that "canopy opening had the highest correlation with the number of exotic species", and apart from mangroves, "soil pH (which largely reflects the incorporation of calcareous construction wastes) had the highest correlation". Mangroves were free of exotics and "only a tropical American, bird-dispersed shrub, Clidemia hirta (L.) D. Don (Melastomataceae: Koster's Curse), [is found] in primary and tall secondary forest patches."

The impression I have of the faunal component (not addressed in this paper), is that exotic species similarly thrive only in disturbed sites. Since Singapore is highly impacted with only 0.2% primary forest left, it supports being cautious with alien species introductions.

News like this is supposed to be posted to Habitatnews in future as I incorporate a blog into that webpage. Hopefully I make the conversion during the Chinese New Year holidays - if I finally get my iBook back. It's been more than a month since the last newsletter, and the news is piling up.

Posted at 3:38AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | , .