The Sinharaja World Heritage Site is the largest remnant of Sri Lanka's forests and contains the Sinharaja Forest Dynamics Plot. The Sinharaja Forest Dynamics Plot was established in 1993 by the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka; Forest Department, Sri Lanka; and ForestGEO. Currently the plot is jointly monitored by the Faculty of Applied Sciences, Uva Wellassa University; University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka; the Forest Department, Sri Lanka; and ForestGEO.
Topographically, the Forest Dynamics Plot spans the elevational range of 424 m to 575 m asl. The Sinharaja FDP includes a valley lying between two slopes, a steeper higher slope facing south-west and a less-steep slope facing north-east. The Forest Dynamics Plot is representative of the ‘ridge-steep slope- valley’ landscape of southwestern Sri Lanka’s lowland through mid-elevational rain forests.
The forests of Sri Lanka display relatively low diversity but very high endemism. For example, in the Sinharaja World Heritage Site, 70% of its 190 tree species are endemic. The Sinharaja Forest Dynamics Plot contains one-half of the species in the World Heritage Site's lowland rain forests and one-quarter of all of Sri Lanka's tree species. The forest demographic work at the plot complements ongoing silvicultural and forest restoration studies of the Uva Wellassa University; University of Peradeniya; Forest Department, Sri Lanka; and Yale Forest School. Other ongoing research includes a study of seedling recruitment of dominant canopy species in and around the study plot that has been running since 1999, and a study of biomass dynamics in the forest.