In 2001 three scientists from the U.K. started to establish one of the largest ecological experiments ever set up. It covers an area of 500 hectares and it should go on for at least 60 years. Its aim is to find out whether and how much biodiversity is needed in order to maintain crucial ecosystem services such as flood protection or carbon sequestration.

The experiment is sited in north-eastern Borneo near the Royal Society’s Danum Valley research station in Sabah. The station is set within a larger area of previously logged land – an ideal place to study the effects of forests loss on spot. By systematically re-growing the lost forest, the scientists can find out exactly how much and what biodiversity is contributing to ecosystem services.

Satellite map of the sabah experiment.

The Sabah experiment is located in the northeast of Borneo.
(© P. Saner)