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      The effects of catchment and riparian forest quality on stream environmental conditions across a tropical rainforest and oil palm landscape in Malaysian Borneo

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          Freshwaters provide valuable habitat and important ecosystem services but are threatened worldwide by habitat loss and degradation. In Southeast Asia, rainforest streams are particularly threatened by logging and conversion to oil palm, but we lack information on the impacts of this on freshwater environmental conditions, and the relative importance of catchment versus riparian‐scale disturbance. We studied 16 streams in Sabah, Borneo, including old‐growth forest, logged forest, and oil palm sites. We assessed forest quality in riparian zones and across the whole catchment and compared it with stream environmental conditions including water quality, structural complexity, and organic inputs. We found that streams with the highest riparian forest quality were nearly 4 °C cooler, over 20 cm deeper, had over 40% less sand, greater canopy cover, more stored leaf litter, and wider channels than oil palm streams with the lowest riparian forest quality. Other variables were significantly related to catchment‐scale forest quality, with streams in the highest quality forest catchments having 40% more bedrock and 20 times more dead wood, along with higher phosphorus, and lower nitrate‐N levels compared to streams with the lowest catchment‐scale forest quality. Although riparian buffer strips went some way to protecting waterways, they did not maintain fully forest‐like stream conditions. In addition, logged forest streams still showed signs of disturbance 10–15 years after selective logging. Our results suggest that maintenance and restoration of buffer strips can help to protect healthy freshwater ecosystems but logging practices and catchment‐scale forest management also need to be considered.

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          Most cited references 62

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          Landscapes and Riverscapes: The Influence of Land Use on Stream Ecosystems

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              Hydrological functions of tropical forests: not seeing the soil for the trees?


                Author and article information

                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                21 March 2017
                June 2017
                : 10
                : 4 ( doiID: 10.1002/eco.v10.4 )
                [ 1 ] Department of ZoologyUniversity of Cambridge Downing Street Cambridge CB2 3EJUK
                [ 2 ] School of ScienceMonash University Jalan Lagoon Selatan 47500 Subang Jaya Selangor Darul EhsanMalaysia
                [ 3 ] Natural Disaster Research CentreUniversiti Malaysia Sabah Jalan UMS 88400 Kota Kinabalu SabahMalaysia
                [ 4 ] Forest Research Centre (Sepilok)Sabah Forestry Department P.O. Box 1407 90715 Sandakan SabahMalaysia
                [ 5 ] Department of Life SciencesImperial College London, Silwood Park Campus Buckhurst Road Ascot SL5 7PYUK
                [ 6 ] Faculty of Science and Natural ResourcesUniversiti Malaysia Sabah Jalan UMS 88400 Kota Kinabalu SabahMalaysia
                [ 7 ] School of BiologyNewcastle University Ridley Building 2 Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RUUK
                [ 8 ] The South East Asia Rainforest Research Partnership (SEARRP)Danum Valley Field Centre P.O. Box 60282 91112 Lahad Datu SabahMalaysia
                [ 9 ] Department of GeographySwansea University Swansea SA2 8PPUK
                Author notes
                [* ] Correspondence

                Sarah H. Luke, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, UK.

                Email: sarah.h.luke@

                ECO1827 ECO-16-0128.R1
                Copyright © 2016 The Authors Ecohydrology Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 2, Pages: 14, Words: 7690
                Funded by: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
                Award ID: 1122589
                Funded by: Cambridge University Commonwealth Fund; European Research Council Project
                Award ID: 281986
                Funded by: Proforest, the Varley Gradwell Travelling Fellowship, Tim Whitmore Fund, Panton Trust, S.T. Lee Fund
                Award ID: NE/K016377/1
                Research Article
                Research Articles
                Custom metadata
                June 2017
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_NLMPMC version:5.1.2 mode:remove_FC converted:27.06.2017


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