The role of traditional forest gardens in the conservation of tree species in West Kalimantan, Indonesia
Source: Biodiversity and Conservation, Volume 12, Number 4, April 2003 , pp. 799-822(24)
We compared forest gardens, or tembawang, in two areas in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, to patches of primary forest in terms of successional stage, mode of dispersal and characteristics of human use of non-planted tree species. This information was acquired for 144 tree species inventoried in six tembawang forest gardens and two intact natural forest patches, through interviews at the site and a survey of the literature. In particular older tembawang were found to have practically the same proportions of species of different successional stages and modes of dispersal as natural forests, thus emphasising the potential of tembawang in conserving tree species. Non-planted tree species of tembawang and natural forests also have practically indistinguishable spectra of human uses, indicating that the management of these tembawang does not significantly discriminate between species with certain uses. However, we also identified two aspects that should be taken into account in considering the conservation role of tembawang. The floras of the two study areas showed significant regional differentiation, implying that efficient conservation in West Kalimantan needs to have a rather dense network. We also found that late successional species and animal-dispersed species of tembawang were more commonly geographically widespread than species of the same ecological characteristics found in natural forests. Thus, even if tembawang are similar to natural forests in terms of numbers of species with different ecological characteristics, the composition of non-planted tree species in tembawang is not a random sample from natural forest, but overrepresents species that are easily dispersed and/or established.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2003-04-01