Peninsular Malaysian peat swamp forests


Peninsular Malaysian peat swamp forests

The Peninsular Malaysian peat swamp forests are a tropical moist forest ecoregion of the Malay Peninsula, which includes portions of Malaysia and southern Thailand.

etting

The ecoregion covers an area of 3,600 square kilometers (1,400 square miles) on both the eastern and western sides of the peninsula. The peat swamp forests have formed over hundreds of years, as sediment and organic debris deposited by rivers are trapped behind mangroves, gradually building up a layer of waterlogged, acidic, nutrient-poor soil. These forests are less diverse than the surrounding Peninsular Malaysian rain forests, but are home to many endangered animals.

Flora

Dipterocarps, including "Shorea albida," are the dominant trees, while strangler figs "(Ficus spp.)" are common at the edges of the swamp forests. Pandan "(Pandanus amaryllifolius)" and sealing wax palm "(Cyrtostachys lakka)" are common understory plants. These and other plants provide a source of food for a host of animals, including birds.

Fauna

The ecoregion home to many endangered species, including tigers, Malayan Tapirs "(Tapirus indicus)", Clouded Leopards "(Neofelis nebulosa)", Asian Elephants "(Elephas maximus)", and Sumatran Rhinoceroses "(Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)".

Threats

Threats to the forests include: mining, rubber harvesting, and clearing of forest for oil palm and coconut plantations. Land draining has also opened a great deal of space in these forests. Many trees are cut down for development of more space, although this has increased peat forest fires.

External links

* [http://www.worldwildlife.org/wildworld/profiles/terrestrial/im/im0145_full.html Peninsular Malaysian peat swamp forests (World Wildlife Fund)]


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