Talk, Jahrestreffen des AK Biogeographie im Verband der Geographen an Deutschen Hochschulen (VGDH), Hamburg: 2011-05-20 - 2011-05-22
Tropical forests are the hot spots of species richness on earth. Various impacts are increasingly harming these ecosystems. Improved knowledge on drivers, patterns and potential of protection attempts for the biodiversity of tropical forests is urgently needed in order to design and adapt management and conservation strategies in face of land use and climate change. Because of the limited space and high population density, tropical forests in Bangladesh are especially under threat. Land use pressures and recent climate change compromises the conservation of the last (semi-) natural tropical forest ecosystems. We conduct the first spatially explicit analysis of drivers and patterns of biodiversity in terrestrial Bangladesh forests based on multivariate approaches, similarity analysis and variation partitioning. Our aim is to differentiate the influence of soil type, topographic conditions, and disturbance regime as well as nature protection on plant species richness invasive species richness and heterogeneity patterns. The study focuses on Satchari Reserved Forest and its vicinity. Plant species richness as well as species composition is strongly related to a disturbance gradient that is in correlated with protection and elevation (despite a small topographic range of 70 m). However, in our analysis both, topography and protection remain significant after correcting for disturbances. Soil characteristics are especially related to species composition, while only moisture has an effect on species richness. Results highlight the importance of disturbance regime, nature reserves and protected areas for biological diversity in Bangla- desh. The enforcement of protection legacy and the integration of local communities have to be stressed.