NPP Tropical Forest: Pasoh, Malaysia, 1971-1973

Photograph: Profile of the Pasoh Forest (click on the photo to view a series of images from this site)

Data Citation

Cite this data set as follows:

Kira, T., N. Manokaran, and S. Appanah. 1998. NPP Tropical Forest: Pasoh, Malaysia, 1971-1973. Data set. Available on-line [] from Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.A.


Biomass and productivity of a lowland tropical forest in the Pasoh Forest Reserve, Malaysia, were determined from 1971 to 1973, under the auspices of the International Biological Programme. From 1970 to 1978, intensive research on lowland rain forest ecology and dynamics took place under a joint research project between the University of Malaya (UM) and the International Biological Programme (IBP), the UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme and the joint Rainforest Research Project of the University of Malaya and the University of Aberdeen, U.K. Pasoh has been declared an International Biosphere Reserve under the MAB Programme. The Pasoh site has been managed by the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) since 1977. Further details and site photographs may be found on the Pasoh page maintained by FRIM.

The Pasoh Forest Reserve study site (2.98 N 102.31 E) is located about 8 km from the town of Simpang Pertang, approximately 70 km southeast of Kuala Lumpur (140 km by road). With an area of 2,450 ha, the Pasoh Forest Reserve is surrounded on three sides by oil palm plantations and joined to virgin hill dipterocarp forest on its northeastern boundary. The main part of the reserve consists of lowland dipterocarp forest of the Keruing-Meranti type, with a core area of about 600 ha of undisturbed forest surrounded by a buffer zone of regenerating logged lowland forest. Annual rainfall ranges from 1728 to 3112 mm (mean 2054 mm), which is relatively low for Malaysia, but the fairly even distribution of rain throughout the year permits the development of typical lowland rain forest.

Five 2-ha and five 0.2-ha plots were established within the reserve for ecological studies under the IBP. More recently, a 50 ha permanent plot was established by FRIM in 1985, in collaboration with the National Science Foundation and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. An aluminium alloy tree-canopy walkway system supported by three towers was constructed near Plot 1 in 1992, in a collaborative project between FRIM and the National Institute of Environmental Sciences (NIES), Japan. The height of one of the towers was extended to 52 m in 1995 to allow measurements of carbon dioxide fluxes above the tree canopy level.

Detailed bi-weekly and annual litter-fall data are available for 1971-1973 from several sub-sites or "treatments"; the annual total amounts to about 1055 g/m2. An estimated additional 300 g/m2/year of leaf production is consumed by insects (based on fall of frass/faeces), and large wood fall/mortality was estimated at 370 g/m2/year. Annual tree biomass increment was determined to be 640 g/m2/year, and a further 60 g/m2/year allowed for root increments and 400 g/m2/year for root turnover. Including additional corrections to take account of wood decay before measurement, total above and below-ground NPP was estimated to be 2780 g/m2/year.

Precipitation data are available from rainfall stations about 25 km away at Jelebu and Kuala Pilah, and temperature data are available from Kuala Lumpur.

Contact Information

Contact: Prof. Tatuo Kira
Emeritus Professor, Osaka City University
Lake Biwa Research Institute
1-10 Uchidehama Otsu
Shiga 520

Fax: +81 (77) 526-4803

Alternative Address: Prof. Tatuo Kira
International Lake Environment Committee
1091 Oroshimo-cho
Shiga 525

Telephone: +81 (77) 568-4567
Fax: +81 (77) 568-4568

Alternative Contacts: Dr. N. Manokaran/ Dr. S. Appanah
Forest Research Institute of Malaysia
52109 Kuala Lumpur


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