Disturbance, Recovery and Resilience in Tropical Forests: A Focus on the Coastal Peat Swamp Forests of Malaysian Borneo
This thesis represents four years of work investigating the long-term ecological changes that have occurred in the coastal peat swamp forests of Sarawak, in Malaysian Borneo over the Late Holocene.
Research Goals & Methods
Three peat cores were extracted from sites along the coast of northern Borneo and fossil pollen and charcoal analysis performed on them in order to look at how vegetation has changed in the past, and what factors may have caused disturbances to the baseline forest communities
Conclusions & Takeaways
Fossil pollen analysis demonstrates how the vegetation of these peat ecosystems has developed over the last five to two thousand years, showing the succession of species from prepeat swamp environments. Results, combining information from the cores, including radio carbon dating, and published palaeo-climate records and information on past human impact in this region, suggest that these peat swamp forests have recovered dynamically from past disturbances. However, increasing human impact in the recent past has challenged this resilience, and the forests are not responding in the same way.
Cole, L. 2012. Disturbance, Recovery and Resilience in Tropical Forests: A Focus on the Coastal Peat Swamp Forests of Malaysian Borneo, Doctoral Thesis, University of Oxford.
- Oxford University, UK