STAND STRUCTURE AND PRODUCTIVITY OF THE FIREFLY RIVERINE MANGROVE HABITAT AT THREE RIVERS IN PENINSULAR MALAYSIA
Keywords:Forest structure, floristic composition, tree diversity, biomass
Studies on floristic composition, forest structure and tree diversity are important to determine the pattern of stand structure, current status and floristic variation of firefly riverine mangrove habitats in Peninsular Malaysia. Thus, this study was conducted in three rivers, namely Sungai Chukai, Terengganu, Sungai Rembau-Linggi, Negeri Sembilan and Sungai Sepetang, Taiping, Perak. A total of 647,362 and 514 tree stands measuring 1 cm diameter and above were enumerated in 0.5 ha plots at the three sites, respectively. A total of 40 species were recorded in Sungai Chukai, 17 species in Sungai Rembau-Linggi and 14 species in Sungai Sepetang. The 0.5, 0.35 and 0.40 ha of each study site, respectively, were capable of capturing all the species in the mangrove forest. Rhizophoraceae family was found to have the highest density and basal area in all the study sites. The highest species density for Sungai Chukai, Sungai Rembau-Linggi and Sungai Sepetang was R. apiculata with a density of 262 ind ha-1, 120 ind ha-1 and 516 ind ha-1, respectively. The major contributor of total basal area at Sungai Chukai, Sungai Rembau-Linggi and Sungai Sepetang were X. granatum (5.5583 m2 ha-1) and R. apiculata with 10.6833 m2 ha-1 and 11.7491 m2 ha-1, respectively. Diversity and species richness were higher at Sungai Chukai (H’= 2.82, R’= 6.03) compared to Sungai Rembau-Linggi (H’=2.09, R’= 2.72) and Sungai Sepetang (H’=1.43, R’= 2.08). The highest total biomass of mangrove forest was at Sungai Rembau-Linggi with 321.21 t ha-1 followed by Sungai Sepetang (247.41 t ha-1) and Sungai Chukai (210.36 t ha-1). These results indicated that the current status of community structure and vegetation varied among the rivers. The study can act as a guideline in the management plan of firefly habitats, which also affect firefly distribution along the three rivers in Peninsular Malaysia.