Ecosystems of the Heart of Borneo
A well-synched ecological machine
Shaping Borneo’s ecosystemsBorneo’s ecosystems are far from frozen in time. A complex combination of factors, including physical differences in environment (altitude, soil type and slope, all influenced by local geology), local and regional variations in climate as well as regional geological evolution have all shaped ecosystems and the biodiversity of the island.1
Before Borneo became an islandDuring much of the Tertiary (from about 65 to 1.6 million years ago),2 there is evidence that a land connection existed between Borneo, the Southeast Asia mainland and Sumatra.
Because Borneo’s climate used to be more seasonal, unlike its current tropical characteristics that are present throughout the year, terrestrial animals seeking a more suitable environment were able to move to Borneo.
Thousands of years after this migration process, it is still possible to see similarities between terrestrial species found on Borneo and those from the mainland.3
Today, ecosystems continue to be affected by geological and climatic factors, but human influence grows more and more pervasive.
A closer look at:
2 Tertiary - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tertiary. Accessed April 08 2006
3 Moss S, Wilson M. 1998. Biogeographic implications of the Tertiary palaeogeographic evolution of Sulawesi and Borneo. in Hall R., Holloway J, Biogeography and Geological Evolution of SE Asia, pp. 133-163. Blackhuys Publishers, Leiden, The Netherlands.