The Sabah biodiversity experiment (SBE), is one of the largest scientific investigations into forest ecology and restoration. The experiment was established in 2010 on an area of 500 ha in the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia in Sabah, on the Malaysian part of Borneo. The experiment is sited near the Royal Society's Danum Valley research station in Sabah. The station is set within a larger area of previously logged land - an ideal place to study the effects of forests loss on spot. By systematically re-growing the lost forest, the scientists can determine exactly how much and what biodiversity is contributing to ecosystem services.
The Sabah biodiversity experiment wants to test how increasing levels of tree diversity in the replanted areas will affect timber production, carbon sequestration and other ecosystem processes such as prevention from erosion. Special attention is paid to tree species of the family of dipterocarpaceae, containing the main South-East Asian timber trees.
On the SBE research site, 2 blocks have been established with a total of 124 plots. Every plot has a size of 200 m x 200 m or 4 ha. 16 dipterocarp species were selected for forest enrichment, covering 5 different genera. On every block 6 plots have been left unplanted, 16 plots have been planted with the different monocultures, 16 plots have been planted with different 4-species mixtures (2 and 4 genera) and the remaining 22 (respectively 26) plots have been planted with a 16-species mixture. Within a plot, the trees have been planted on lines, with a density of 330 trees per hectare.
|Location||North-eastern Borneo, near the Royal Society's Danum Valley research station in Sabah|
|Area||Total site ca 500 ha.|
|no of plots||124|
|no of trees||163 680|
|Former land use||Previously logged land|
|Planting date||Early 2010 (block 1) and end of 2010 (block 2)|
|Species pool||16 species of 5 different genera ( Dipterocarpus, Dryobalanops, Hopea, Parashorea and Shorea) of the dipterocarp family.|
|Contact person||Prof. Dr. Andrew Hector|
Standing in an experimental patch of forest in the SBE, a scientist notes the changes in the understorey.
For more information on the Sabah Biodiversity Experiment, please visit the project website, e-mail the contact person or watch the video (in German) below:
|Project website||Sabah website|
|Contact person||Prof. Dr. Andy Hector|