Law, S.J. ; Ashton, L. ; Griffiths, H. ; Eggleton, P.; Parr, C.

Wood decomposition data from an experiment in Malaysian Borneo, 2015-2018

This dataset measures the decomposition of experimental wood blocks, Pinus radiata, over a period of one year in lowland, old growth, tropical rainforest. Wood blocks are placed on the ground or suspended above the ground in mesh bags that either allow or prevent entry of macro-invertebrates. The decomposition of ground placed wood blocks is measured during a period of drought and non-drought. Dry weight of wood blocks is measured at the start and end of the year and proportional weight loss is calculated. Accompanying decomposition data is a data set measuring temperature and relative humidity at 5 m vertical intervals from the ground to the canopy. This data is a contribution from the UK NERC-funded Biodiversity And Land-use Impacts on Tropical Ecosystem Function (BALI) consortium (

Publication date: 2018-12-18

Get the data

Format of the dataset : Comma-separated values (CSV)

This dataset will be available under the terms of the Open Government Licence

You must cite: Law, S.J. ; Ashton, L. ; Griffiths, H. ; Eggleton, P.; Parr, C. (2018). Wood decomposition data from an experiment in Malaysian Borneo, 2015-2018. NERC Environmental Information Data Centre.


© Natural Environment Research Council

© University of Liverpool

This dataset is part of the following


Study area
Temporal extent
2015-01-04    to    2017-12-31

Provenance & quality

Twelve 50 m x 50 m experimental plots were located in lowland, tropical rainforest in Maliau Basin Conservation Area (MBCA), this included: four control plots, four ant suppression plots and four termite suppression plots. In ant suppression plots ground-dwelling ants were suppressed and in termite suppression plots ground-dwelling termites were suppressed. All plots were established in October 2014 and suppression of ants and termites was maintained until October 2017. From 2015 to 2016 an El-Niño Southern Oscillation event caused drought in this study area.
Wood blocks were placed on the ground and suspended at different heights above ground across all 12 experimental plots from 2016 to 2017 and left for between 349 and 365 days. Wood blocks were also placed on the ground across all control plots and termite suppression plots during a period of drought (from 2015 to 2016) and left for 365 days. All wood blocks were placed in mesh bags that either excluded macro-invertebrates or allowed macro-invertebrates access to the wood block. For wood blocks placed from 2016 to 2017, a visual score of between 0 and 4 was assigned to each wood block to describe fungal damage and termite damage. All wood blocks were dried and proportional weight loss calculated using the same method. Temperature and humidity data was measured over a period of 5 days in each control plot during 2016.

Correspondence/contact details

Law, S.J.
University of Liverpool, UK.


Law, S.J.
University of Liverpool, UK.
Ashton, L.
The University of Hong Kong, China.
Griffiths, H.
University of Liverpool, UK.
Eggleton, P.
Natural History Museum, London, UK.
Parr, C.
University of Liverpool, UK.

Other contacts

Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre


Spatial representation type
Tabular (text)
Spatial reference system
WGS 84


Topic categories