Waddell, E.H. et al

Vegetation and habitat data for fragmented and continuous forest sites in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, 2017

This dataset contains records for vegetation in 49 plots across 14 fragmented forest sites and 4 continuous forest sites in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Living vegetation and deadwood were surveyed in two or three 0.28-ha plots in each of the 18 sites. In addition to vegetation data, the dataset contains topsoil parameters, measurements of forest structure, and metrics of the degree of forest fragmentation in the landscape surrounding the plots.

These data were collected in order to conduct studies examining (1) the factors supporting invasion of exotic plant species into fragmented forest areas; and (2) the value of conservation set-asides for carbon storage and associated plant diversity in oil palm plantations.

Publication date: 2020-06-15

Get the data

This dataset is available under the terms of the Open Government Licence

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

You must cite: Waddell, E.H.; Fleiss, S.; Bala Ola, B.; Bin Sailim, A.; Jelling, A.; Yeong, K.L.; Tangah, J.; Benedick, S.; King, H.; Hughes, M.; McClean, C.J.; Chapman, D.S.; Hill, J.K.; Banin, L.F. (2020). Vegetation and habitat data for fragmented and continuous forest sites in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, 2017. NERC Environmental Information Data Centre. https://doi.org/10.5285/c67b06b7-c3f6-49a3-baf2-9fc3a72cb98a



Study area
Temporal extent
2017-07-21    to    2017-10-28

Provenance & quality

Field surveys were conducted in July - October 2017. The 14 fragmented sites were all in Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil-certified oil palm plantations; and they varied from isolated forest fragments to sites connected to forest reserves outside the oil palm plantation. The four continuous forest sites were located in Danum Valley and Malua Forest Reserves, and include both primary and logged forest sites.

At each site, vegetation was surveyed in 2-3 circular plots spaced 100 m apart along a transect (the smallest fragmented sites had only 2 plots and all other sites had 3). In each plot, living trees and palms, saplings, seedlings, other ground vegetation (herbs, shrubs, climbers, ferns and graminoids), deadwood, and lianas on trees were surveyed in a nested plot design. All living trees, saplings, seedlings and ground vegetation were identified to genus, and to species where possible; and all ground vegetation was identified as either exotic or native to Sabah. Field data were collected in collaboration with experienced local botanists.

The data include measurements of forest cover and leaf litter depth, as measures of forest structure which are likely to covary with vegetation. In addition, eight soil parameters were measured from topsoil samples in each plot. The dataset also includes metrics relating to the degree of forest fragmentation in the landscape surrounding the plots, which were calculated using drone (UAV) imagery from an oil palm company.


Fleiss, S., Waddell, E. H., Bala Ola, B., Banin, L. F., Benedick, S., Bin Sailim, A., Chapman, D. S., Jelling, A., King, H., McClean, C. J., Yeong, K. L., & Hill, J. K. (2020). Conservation set-asides improve carbon storage and support associated plant diversity in certified sustainable oil palm plantations. Biological Conservation, 248, 108631. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2020.108631

Correspondence/contact details

Emily Waddell
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Bush Estate
EH26 0QB


Waddell, E.H.
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Fleiss, S.
University of York
Bala Ola, B.
South East Asia Rainforest Research Partnership
Bin Sailim, A.
South East Asia Rainforest Research Partnership
Jelling, A.
South East Asia Rainforest Research Partnership
Yeong, K.L.
South East Asia Rainforest Research Partnership
Tangah, J.
Sabah Forestry Department
Benedick, S.
Universiti Malaysia Sabah
Hughes, M.
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
McClean, C.J.
University of York
Chapman, D.S.
University of Stirling
Hill, J.K.
University of York
Banin, L.F.
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Other contacts

NERC EDS Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre
Rights Holder
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Rights Holder

Additional metadata

Topic categories
Biota , Environment , Farming , Planning / Cadastre
Agricultural landscapes,  Agriculture Biodiversity Borneo,  Carbon storage,  Conservation set-aside,  Ecosystem services Flora,  Forest degradation,  Forest fragmentation,  Invasive species Land use Non-native species,  Oil palm,  Plantae,  Plant biodiversity,  Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil,  Soil Sustainable agriculture,  Tropical rainforest
Natural Environment Research Council Award: NE/L002450/1
Spatial representation type
Tabular (text)
Spatial reference system
WGS 84
Last updated
18 May 2022 12:37