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Title: Modelling and Communicating the Ecological Characteristics of Peat Swamp Forest Communities in Brunei
Authors: Pg Hassan, Pg Nor Zamzam
Supervisors: Jarvis, Claire
Page, Susan
Award date: 24-Nov-2016
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: An ecosystem approach to sustainable forest management aims to enhance ecological understanding at the level of the plant community. This thesis demonstrates a novel approach to the study of vegetation ecology in a tropical peat swamp forest (PSF) ecosystem which integrates ecology, visualisation and 3D visualisation in GIS (Geographic Information Systems). The thesis presents some of the first detailed floristic information on the tree species diversity of the Badas PSF, Brunei. The study adds to the knowledge that intact PSF shows considerable variation even at the small, single site level. Three phasic communities (PC) were identified in a 2.25 ha study area namely PC 2, PC 4 Dipterocarpaceae, PC 4 Sapotaceae, in addition to a heath forest. Shannon-Weiner diversity index values of 1.70 to 2.99 are among the highest in Borneo. Each community is unique in both species pool and ecological characteristics. The ecologically dominant species which are characterised by tree diameter of more than 80 cm dbh as well as the 11-20 cm tree diameter distribution class patterns in combination are both distinctive from other PSFs in Southeast Asia and lowland dipterocarp forest in Brunei. Visualisation in 3D provided a novel exploration of floristic and structural data via photorealistic trees. Seamless integration of georeferenced data in a GIS environment replaced the traditional hand-sketch forest bisect through interactive query functions, manipulation of scale, orientations and perspectives, producing distinctive representations of PSF communities. The approaches used can promote improved understanding of the conservation importance of Brunei’s PSFs, thereby enhancing knowledge of both species and community diversity. This is critical in light of the extreme rarity of this rich ecosystem.
Type: Thesis
Level: Masters
Qualification: MPhil
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Description: A number of figures have been removed from the electronic version of this thesis. Full details are available in an attached file. The unabridged version can be consulted, on request, at the University of Leicester Library.
Appears in Collections:Leicester Theses
Theses, Dept. of Geography

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