Rebirth Control: Lessons Learned from 90 Years of Rainforest Regeneration [Slide Show]

The world's oldest effort to regrow a rainforest suggests what the future may hold for other deforested regions
1 of 9


The canopy walkway, which is a major tourist attraction at FRIM today. In 2009 FRIM was awarded the status of a National Natural Heritage Site. The ultimate goal is that Kepong will be awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO—the institute now plans to achieve that by putting in place a comprehensive conservation management plan. ....[ More ]


Many commercially important species, such as this type of bamboo ( Gigantochloa thoii ), are cultivated at FRIM. The plantation experiment was set in motion by the British colonial government of Malaya and was intended to help make the best use of the colony's timber resources.....[ More ]


Fallen fruit of the terap tree ( Artocarpus elasticus ) in the leaf litter at Kepong. "Nature does a lot of the work to restore degraded sites by itself, but how long the forest will take to return to its original condition is difficult to ascertain," says FRIM director general, Abdul Latif Mohmod.....[ More ]


View of the forest along the Keruing Trail at FRIM. Researchers at the Kepong experiment have learned that by altering the arrangements and ratios of seedlings they can more rapidly regenerate mature forest.....[ More ]


Ecological forces are hard at work in leaf litter crawling with insects. The FRIM site at Kepong is helping to determine the amount of carbon held in Malaysian rainforests—required by the United Nations's program to create a paying market for reducing deforestation emissions, known as REDD.....[ More ]


Water splashes over a small cascade in the rainforest regeneration experiment at Kepong in Malaysia. Here is perhaps the only place in the world that has a nearly 90-year-old experiment showing what happens when you attempt to restore a tropical rainforest from scratch.....[ More ]


Abdul Rahman Kassim is one of the many researchers at FRIM working toward improving Malaysian forestry science as well as learning about the ecology and regeneration of the rainforests. ....[ More ]


In the early 1920s much of the Kepong site now protected by the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) was either denuded for tin mines or converted to terraces for vegetable farming ( shown ). In 1926 F.....[ More ]


As one looks up into the canopy at Kepong, it's hard to believe that none of this was here 90 years ago. Here the crowns of Malayan camphor trees ( Dryobalanops aromatica ) form a puzzlelike pattern in the canopy as their leaves stretch away from the leaves of other camphors, a phenomenon known as canopy shyness.....[ More ]

risk free title graphic

YES! Send me a free issue of Scientific American with no obligation to continue the subscription. If I like it, I will be billed for the one-year subscription.

cover image Subscribe Now
Share this Article:

Starting Thanksgiving

Enter code: HOLIDAY 2015
at checkout

Get 20% off now! >


Email this Article