December 21, 2009

Third Bornean forest dynamics plot launched

A new 50 ha forest dynamics plot will be established in lowland dipterocarp forest at Danum Valley in Sabah, Malaysia. The plot, which will follow CTFS protocols, adds a third site to the existing Bornean forest dynamics plots at Lambir (Sarawak) and Belalong (Brunei). It is designed to sample the rich flora of central Borneo on relatively nutrient-rich soils. The project represents a collaboration between David Burslem (Aberdeen University, UK), Glen Reynolds (Royal Society SEARRP), Andy Hector (University of Zurich, Switzerland), Waidi Sinun (Sabah Foundation), and CTFS and is funded by HSBC Malaysia for a period of five years.

The plot is part of the Royal Society's South East Asia Rain Forest Research Programme, which has operated the Danum Valley Field Centre with local partners since 1985 (see The plot will be located in undulating landscape of the Danum Valley Conservation Area and will provide a baseline for on-going studies of forest regeneration, carbon dynamics and biodiversity in adjacent logged forest and forest fragmented by oil palm plantations. Plot establishment will start at the end of this year. For further details contact David Burslem ( or Glen Reynolds (

December 9, 2009

Data-analysis workshop in Beijing

Text contributed by Dr. Mi Xiangcheng

To better understand the mechanisms of biodiversity maintenance in forests of the Chinese Forest Biodiversity Monitoring Network (CForBio), the Biodiversity Committee of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and CTFS hosted a workshop on data analysis and management in Beijing on 14-24 October 2009. The workshop was led by Drs. Richard Condit, Shameema Esufali, and Yu-Yun Chen. Twenty-eight people from seven CForBio plots participated in the workshop.

Condit and Esufali used BCI plot data to demonstrate a variety of data-analysis methods, including maximum likelihood and MCMC. These demonstrations illustrated in detail the advantages and disadvantages of each method. Participants also received instruction in R and completed a series of computations.

The course on data management used the Gutianshan plot’s database for instruction in the establishment, management, and maintenance of plot data, all of which are essential to CTFS research. The intensive two-week workshop greatly enhanced participants’ ability to analyze and manage data, further strengthening by extension the entire network’s ability to investigate forest dynamics.

December 2, 2009

Publications: Nov 2009

To obtain a PDF of an article, please email Suzanne Lao at

Gonzalez, MA, C Baraloto, J Engel, SA Mori, P Pétronelli, B Riéra, A Roger, C Thébaud, and J Chave. 2009. Identification of Amazonian Trees with DNA barcodes. PLoS ONE 4(10): e7483.
Abstract & PDF

Kress, JW, DL Erickson, FA Jones, NG Swenson, R Perez, O Sanjur, and E Bermingham. 2009. Plant DNA barcodes and a community phylogeny of a tropical forest dynamics plot in Panama. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 106(44): 18621-18626.
Abstract & PDF

Rüger, N, A Huth, SP Hubbell, and R Condit. 2009. Response of recruitment to light availability across a tropical lowland rain forest community. Journal of Ecology 97(6): 1360–1368.

Tan, S, T Yamakura, M Tani, P Palmiotto, JD Mamit, CS Pin, SJ Davies, P Ashton, and I Baillie. 2009. Review of soils on the 52 ha long term ecological research plot in mixed Dipterocarp forest at Lambir, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Tropics 18(2): 61-86.
Abstract & PDF

Wan Juliana, WA, DFRP Burslem, and MD Swaine. 2009. Nutrient limitation of seedling growth on contrasting soils from Pasoh Forest Reserve, Peninsular Malaysia. Journal of Tropical Forest Science 21(4): 316-327.

Wolf, A, S Davies, and R Condit. 2009. Report from the 2009 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting: Ecological insights from long-term research plots in tropical and temperate forests. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 90( 4): 519-525.
Abstract & PDF