The Canopy Biology Program In Sarawak
Sarawak Canopy Crane
In parallel with the LTER program was the Canopy Biology Program (CBP) which involved the setting up of a canopy biology plot about a kilometre to the north-east of the LTER plot (Inoue & Hamid, 1994)5. The objective of the CBP is to study phenology, seasonal changes in insect abundance and the interaction between plants and animals in the canopy layers. The study involves the construction of two tree towers, one reaching the crown break of a Kapur tree (Dryobalanops lanceolata) and the other reaching above the canopy of a Keruing (Dipterocarpus pachyphyllus). The two towers are linked by a system of canopy walkways which extend 300m (Inoue et al, 1994)6 . This program is jointly coordinated by Abang Abdul Hamid, an Entomologist with the Forest Department of Sarawak and the late Professor Tamiji Inoue of the Center for Ecological Research, Kyoto University. Phenological studies are extremely important, especially of the family Dipterocarpaceae, whose species make up the bulk of the tree species in the mixed dipterocarp forest. Some of the indigenous species used extensively in the reforestation program like Shorea macrophylla and other engkabang species, Dryobalanops aromatica and others belong to this family. These dipterocarp species are notorious for the infrequency at which they flower and fruit, often once in three to five years making seed collection for large scale reforestation operations extremely difficult. The canopy biology program may suggest the reason for this infrequent flowering and fruiting to enable remedial action to be taken to benefit the reforestation program using indigenous timber species.
The first phase of the LTER and the CBP was completed on December 1994. The second phase is now in progress. The second phase will include a re-census of the LTER plot and the CBP plot but is extended to cover an ecological survey of disturbed forests (including logged forest) in the vicinity of the Lambir Hills National Park.
5Inoue, T. & Hamid, A.A. (eds.) Plant reproductive systems and animal seasonal dynamics - Long-term study of dipterocarp forest in Sarawak. Canopy Biology Program in Sarawak (CBPS) : Series I Center for Ecological Research , Kyoto University.
6Inoue, T, Hamid, A.A., Ogino, K., & Lee, H.S. (1994) Construction of a canopy observation system in the tropical rain forest of Sarawak. In Inoue, T. & Hamid, A.A. (eds.) Plant reproductive systems and animal seasonal dynamics - Long-term study of dipterocarp forest in Sarawak. Canopy Biology Program in Sarawak 9CBPS) : Series I Center for Ecological Research , Kyoto University.