baumzaehlen - Primeval Forests & Their Trees

©2018copyright christoph hase

Krau Wildlife Reserve, Malaysia


The core area of the reserve is 603 km2 and is almost completely unlogged forest1. The reserve was established already in 1923. Lowland forest, including freshwater swamps, comprises 61% of the core area; in the north-western part there are uplands and montane forest1. Having mountains and highlands west and east, the reserve is located in one of the driest regions of Peninsular Malaysia1. Nevertheless, the climate is perhumid (everwet) with only one month (February) in a year having precipitation averaging less than 100 mm 1. Annual precipitation at low elevations is approx. 2000 mm 1 and average annual temperature approx. 26°C 2. Elevation ranges from 45 to 2108 m (Gunung Benom).


The species composition still remains poorly known1. However, the lowland forests of the reserve belong to the richest forests of Peninsular Malaysia, Dipterocarpaceae being exceptionally rich1. 314 tree species have been identified in a one hectare plot; note, though, that all the individuals with diameter of 5 cm and above were included3 whereas most species counts in tropical rainforests only include trees with a diameter of at least 10 cm 4. Up to 750 m elevation, the most important family is Dipterocarpaceae, important genera including Shorea, Hopea, Dipterocarpus, Anisoptera and Vatica 1 3. At higher elevations, the most important genera include Shorea, Syzygium (Myrtaceae), Cryptocarya (Lauraceae), and Quercus and Lithocarpus (Fagaceae) 1. On the highest ridges of Gunung Benom, low upper montane forest occurs, with Vaccinium and Rhododendron (Ericaceae), and Cyathea (Cyatheaceae) among the most important genera1.


A special permit is essential for visits to the core area, even by the indigenous people (”Orang Asli”) 5. In the peripheral areas, some limited illegal logging has occurred5.


For more about Peninsular Malaysia’s rainforests, see Opens internal link in current windowTaman Negara.




1       Krau Wildlife Reserve Management Plan (2001). Perhilitan & DANCED.


3       Nizam, M.S., Fakhrul-Hatta, M. & Latiff, A. 2006. Opens external link in new windowDiversity and tree species community in the Krau Wildlife Reserve, Pahang, Malaysia. Malaysian Applied Biology 35(2): 81-85.

4       Whitmore, T. C. (1984): Tropical Rain Forests of the Far East. Oxford.

5       Pers. comm. (2017)


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Grey crowns, top and centre: Shorea curtisii, the most important large tree at Krau's low elevations, dominant particularly along ridges at 300-800 m.