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Establishment of The LTER PlotEstablishment of The LTER Plot

Establishment of The LTER Plot

The plot in the Lambir Hills National Park of Sarawak (please see Map for the location of the plot) was established through the joint effort of scientists from the United States, Japan and Malaysia. The United States was represented in the collaborative effort by the Harvard Institute of International Development led by its Director, Professor Peter S. Ashton; Japan was represented by a number of universities (including Ehime University, Kyoto University, Osaka City University, and Tokyo University) led by Professor Kazuhiko Ogino (previously of the Ehime University but now with the University of Shiga Prefecture), while Malaysia was represented by the Forest Department of Sarawak led by Dr. Lee Hua Seng.

Establishment of the plot started in November 1990, the prime movers at that stage being Professor Takuo Yamakura of Osaka City University and Ernest Chai of the Silviculture Research Office of the Forest Department of Sarawak. The size of the Forest Dynamics Plot at Lambir was to have been 50 hectares, the same as for earlier plots at BCI and Pasoh. However, as initial demarcation failed to cover certain soil types, the plot was realigned a further two hectares. Rather than disregard the two hectares already demarcated, it was decided to include them as part of the plot. As a result, the size of the plot became 52 hectares.

Work in the plot included (a) demarcation of boundary and 20m quadrats and topographical survey (b) mapping - during which all living individuals 1.0 cm diameter and above were tagged, their position plotted and diameters measured. Dead trees were also measured for size and the gaps they caused in the canopy mapped (c) identification - where all living stems were identified as far as possible to the species level (herbarium specimens were collected for confirmation of identification and (d) soil sample collection for chemical analyses and the estimation of seed bank. The above work had largely been the responsibility of staff of the Silviculture Research Office, Sibu led by Ernest Chai, the Silviculturist and Officer-in-Charge of the Office. The above work in the field took almost four years to complete.