Adult Tree Specimens Surveyed in Plots 1-4
This album is comprised of the herbarium vouchers and in situ photographs of adult trees surveyed in plots 1-4 of the Danau Girang Field Centre, Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.

Attached to each photo is the information contained in the handbook 'A guide to the tree families and species of the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary Sabah, Borneo' by Alicia Thew, Natasha de Vere, Jake Moscrop, Abi Lowe & Tegan Gilmore
(Not yet available online)

The following is adapted from the handbook's introduction, that may help give some background to this album.

"Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, is one of the world’s most biodiverse and species rich hotspots. It is home to 50 mammal species, 20 reptile species and 1056 plant species (Hai et al., 2001). It is one of just two places in the world where 10 primate species can be found in the same area, including the orang-utan and proboscis monkey (Kler, 2007). The rainforest in Sabah is categorized as a ‘Dipterocarp forest,’ as it is composed mainly of tree species from the Dipterocarpaceae family, however a high concentration of species from the Euphorbiaceae family is also present. As well as many primates, Sabah’s rainforest ecosystem provides for a number of iconic mammal species; the Bornean elephant, Sumatran rhino, Sunda clouded leopard and Malayan sun bear (Goossens and Nayan Ambu, 2012). Moreover, a wealth of invertebrate species can also be found in Sabah: it is estimated that Borneo may have more than 1,000 species of ant, from ~30% of ant genera and ~7% of ant species globally (WWF, 2014).

"Sabah’s rainforest is also critical for the continuation of many ecosystem processes: carbon storage, watershed protection, nutrient cycling, soil stabilisation and climate regulation (Ewers and Reynolds, 2010).

"Sabah’s climate is tropical: warm, wet and humid. Mean monthly temperatures range between 21-34⁰C, and annual precipitation between 2600-3300mm per year. Sabah’s longest river, the Kinabatangan (560km), flows from the East to the Sulu Sea and has a large water catchment area of 16,800km² - about 23% of the total land area of Sabah (Kler, 2007).The lower reaches of the Kinabatangan form a natural floodplain, which regularly floods as a combined result of inland rainfall levels, the levels of the Sulu sea, and monsoons to the north-east (Hai et al., 2001). Flooding generally occurs from November to March, and occasionally in April and May (Gillespie et al. 2012).

"Soils in poorly drained areas largely consist of ‘gleyic luvisols’ (soil that has been saturated long enough that reducing conditions occur, and has a greater clay content in the sub-soil than the topsoil (FAO, 2014)), whereas fine-textured nutrient-rich alluvium deposits (soil deposited by rivers and floods, ususallly rich in organic matter and very fertile (Abdullah, 2014)) can be found closer to the river. There are several low mudstone hills at around 40-50m above sea level and limestone outcrops at 100m above sea level, which, due to poor accessibility for agricultural purposes, often support some of the remaining primary forest.

"Between 1990 and 2009, 80% of the land area in Sabah had been affected by logging or clearing for commercial and agricultural purposes. Only 8% of the remaining intact forest is within designated protected areas, highlighting the need to understand degraded and regenerating secondary forest (Bryan et al., 2013). Commercial logging in the 1950s began Sabah’s history of forest degradation; by the 1970s logging was slowly replaced with cash crops including paddy, rubber, tobacco, coffee and cocoa, (Payne and Vaz, 1998). However, pests, disease and low commodity prices forced other commercial crops in favour of oil palm plantations. In hindsight, much of the Lower Kinabatangan floodplain isn’t suitable for productive oil palm plantations due to soil incompatibility in roughly half (52%) of the floodplain area (Hai et al., 2001).

"The Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary is composed of 26,000 hectares of the Lower Kinabtangan floodplain – possibly the last remaining forested alluvial floodplain in Asia (Kler, 2007; see Figure 1). The Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 2005, following the state declaration of the Lower Kinabatangan as ‘Sabah’s gift to the Earth’ (Tuuga, 2010). The wildlife sanctuary is fragmented, comprising of 10 forest blocks called ‘lots’. Interspersed with the sanctuary lots are areas of protected forest (‘virgin jungle reserves’), villages, small-scale farms, and extensive oil palm plantations (Estes et al., 2012).

"The sanctuary extends from coastal mangrove swamps for 70km, to the dry land of foothill forests. The partially fragmented forest within the sanctuary spreads between 0-8km either side of the Kinabatangan river (Estes et al., 2012). Because of the extreme fluctuation environmental conditions of the floodplain, it is host to a patchwork of habitats, represented in the variety of the botanic plots (Table 1).

"The Danau Girang Field Centre is managed by Sabah Wildlife Department and Cardiff University as a research and training facility. The field centre is a hub of active research projects based around flagship animal species (Goossens and Nayan Ambu, 2012).

"Five different habitat types are represented in the plots:

"Riparian: on the edge of rivers, streams, ponds, lakes and some wetlands. Tree diversity and density is often high.

"Semi-inundated: forest characterized by periods of 3-6 months in a year. Tree diversity tends to be low with little undergrowth but often abundant lianas.

"Dry lowland: forest situated on land that is not inundated or inundated for less than 3 months in a year.
Lower than 500m altitude. Often high tree diversity with dense undergrowth.

"Limestone forest: situated on dry limestone formations, high tree species diversity.

"This [handbook] is designed to provide a comprehensive guide to the tree families and species that were identified and recorded in the 2014 census in four botanical plots in the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, managed by the DGFC (Danau Girang Field Centre). Each entry contains concise information aimed to inform research parties in the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary."


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