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Rainforest conversion and tropical insect communities

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Secondary forest and oil palm plantations are an increasing feature of landscapes in Southeast Asia but their value for biodiversity is largely unknown. Ants and termites are dominant groups in tropical ecosystems and play important roles in food webs and provision of ecosystem services such as decomposition. What are the effects of habitat change on ant and termite assemblage structure? How are interactions between these key arthropod groups affected? I will present results of a recent study of ant and termite community composition along a land-use gradient in Sabah, Malaysia. I will discuss how diversity, abundance and interactions change with habitat conversion and consider the conservation value of these new habitats.

This talk is part of the Ecology Lunchtime Series series.

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