ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION VALUES OF SEDILI KECIL WETLAND, MALAYSIANather Khan, Firuza, B.M and Abdul Aziz, A.S
The Sedili Kecil is one of the very few river watersheds in Peninsular Malaysia that remains entirely forested from its source to estuary. Nevertheless pressure from large scale development around the area threatens the existence of this pristine tropical wetland forest. Although, sparsely populated, the rivers and streams were used for many purposes including as source of livelihood for most of local villagers in the watershed. A study was carried out to assess the wetland values and functions, including its soil chemistry, stream water quality and socio-economic values of wetland species including the conservations values of Sedili Kecil watershed. The top soils showed some variations in physical and chemical characters which largely influenced by the respective forest types while the values of water quality parameters in the river increased from upstream to downstream and it was more obvious at the main Bahan river in comparison with other tributaries. This might also due to large scale brackish water aquaculture in the estuary. The flora found in mangrove freshwater swamp and transitional forest types contribute to the economy of the local villager. Being almost entirely forested, the Sedili Kecil watershed provides an excellent opportunity to conserve a relatively intact lowland tropical wetland forest ecosystem of its kinds in Peninsular Malaysia.
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