Assessment of biophysical properties of Royal Belum tropical forest, Malaysia

Kasturi Devi Kanniah (Lead / Corresponding author), Kian Pang Tan, Arthur P. Cracknell, Alfredo R. Huete, Nurul Hawani Idris, Alvin Meng Shin Lau, Muhammad Zulkarnain Abd Rahman, Abd Wahid Rasib, Anuar Ahmad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The Royal Belum forest reserve is one of the oldest tropical rainforests in the world and it is one of the largest virgin forest reserves in Malaysia. However, not many studies have been conducted to understand the ecology of this forest. In this study we estimated the aboveground biomass (AGB) of the forest using diameter at breast height (DBH) and height of trees (h), tree species and hemispherical photographs of tree canopy. We estimated AGB using five allometric equations. Our results demonstrated that the AGB given by the one tree species specific allometric equation does not show any significant differences from the values given by the non-tree species specific allometric equations at tree and plot levels. The AGB of Intsia bijuga species, Koompassia malaccensis species and Shorea genera were comparatively higher, owing to their greater wood density, DBH and h. This has added importance because some of these species are categorized as threatened species. Our results demonstrated that mean AGB values in this forest (293.16t ha-1) are the highest compared to some studies of other areas in Malaysia, tropical Africa and tropical Bazilian Amazonia, implying that the Royal Belum forest reserve, is an important carbon reservoir.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-106
Number of pages17
JournalSingapore Journal of Tropical Geography
Issue number1
Early online date25 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2018


  • Malaysia
  • Royal Belum
  • Tropical forest
  • aboveground biomass
  • carbon stock
  • forest reserve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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