In this study, we sought to determine the relationships between topography, litter and humus depth and root density in diverse, primary, lowland Dipterocarp rainforest. Though known to be important for rainforest ecology, minimal research on how these factors are codependent is available. Varying slope gradient in a 52 ha plot in the Lambir Hills National Forest showed a negative correlation to both root density and above ground woody basal area in the surrounding trees. While the limited scope of our project prevents extensive application of our results, we were still able to demonstrate two important principles: (1) that great heterogeneity exists in tropical rainforests at both large and small scales and (2) that even local variation in an abiotic factor, such as topography, can have large ecological implications.
In this project, we looked at the distribution and composition of fish communities in three different coral reef zones. We hypothesized that there would be significant differences in community composition by family between the fore, crest and back reef zones, with the crest and back reef zones being most similar. After surveying 5 samples from each zone and performing uni- and multivariate analysis of our data, we failed to observe any significant differentiation among the fish community composition in the different zones.
In this study, we sought to make a comparison of multiple types of predation between logged and unlogged forest in Maliau Basin National Park during a dipterocarpaceae mast fruiting event. The viability of Parashorea malaanonan seeds despite mammalian, fungal and insect predation was examined to reveal that: (1) Mammal and insect predation were greater in the logged forest, but (2) the greatest threat to seed viability is fungal predation, which primarily affected the primary forest.