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Spatially aggregated fruiting in an emergent Bornean tree

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 September 2003

Akira Itoh
Affiliation:
Graduate School of Science, Osaka City University, Sugimoto 3-3-138, Sumiyoshi, Osaka 558-8585, Japan
Takuo Yamakura
Affiliation:
Graduate School of Science, Osaka City University, Sugimoto 3-3-138, Sumiyoshi, Osaka 558-8585, Japan
Tatsuhiro Ohkubo
Affiliation:
Faculty of Agriculture, Utsunomiya University, Utsunomiya 321-8505, Japan
Mamoru Kanzaki
Affiliation:
Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan
Peter Palmiotto
Affiliation:
Environmental Studies Department, Antioch New England Graduate School, Keene, New Hampshire 03431-3516, USA
Sylvester Tan
Affiliation:
Forest Department, 93660 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Hua Seng Lee
Affiliation:
Forest Department, 93660 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Abstract

We investigated the spatial distribution of fruiting in Dryobalanops aromatica (Dipterocarpaceae), a mast-seeding emergent tree that is found in the tropical rain forests of Borneo. Of 393 adults (diameter at breast height (dbh) > 30 cm) in a 52-ha area, 143 (36.4%) individuals fruited. A second-order spatial analysis, based on Ripley's K-function, revealed that fruiting trees were significantly (P < 0.05) aggregated with respect to the total population over distances of 15–115 m. Thus, the spatial distribution of fruiting trees was more aggregated than expected from the adult tree distribution, which itself was aggregated within the study plot. Logistic regression analysis showed that fruiting trees had a significantly greater dbh and were surrounded by more conspecific adults per ha than non-fruiting individuals. Moreover, fruiting trees were found at higher elevations, on steeper slopes, and on sandy rather than clayey soils. In contrast, annual diameter growth, adult density over areas < 1 ha, and slope convexity did not significantly affect fruiting probability. The ratio of seedling (20 cm ≤ h < 60 cm) and sapling (60 cm ≤ h < 300 cm) density to adult density was higher in sites at higher elevations, on steeper slopes, and on sandy soils than that for lower elevations, flat slopes and clayey soils. This suggests that the aggregation of fruiting trees occurred not only at the time of the study, but that it had occurred repeatedly in the past, at the high-elevation, steep-sloped, sandy sites. Thus, site conditions probably affect the dynamics and spatial structure of local populations through differences in fruiting frequency among trees experiencing different site conditions.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2003 Cambridge University Press

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