Journal of Tropical Ecology

Short Communication

Resource allocation to reproductive organs during masting in the tropical emergent tree, Dipterocarpus tempehes

Tomoaki Ichie a1c1, Tanaka Kenta a2, Michiko Nakagawa a3, Kaori Sato a4 and Tohru Nakashizuka a3a5
a1 Hokkaido University Forests, FSC, Sapporo 060-0809, Japan
a2 Tomakomai Experimental Forest, Hokkaido University, Tomakomai 053-0035, Japan
a3 Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto 602-0878, Japan
a4 Japan Wildlife Research Center, Tokyo 110-8676, Japan
a5 CREST, Japan Science Technology Agency, Kawaguchi 332-0012, Japan

Article author query
ichie t   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
kenta t   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
nakagawa m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
sato k   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
nakashizuka t   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Some tree species exhibit large year-to-year variation in seed production, a phenomenon known as masting (Kelly 1994, Kelly & Sork 2002). Even in tropical rain forests, in which the climate is suitable for plant growth all year round with little seasonal variation (Whitmore 1998), there are many reports of masting (Appanah 1993, Hart 1995, Newbery et al. 1998, Newstrom et al. 1994, Wheelwright 1986). In particular, Dipterocarpaceae, the dominant family in lowland mixed dipterocarp forests in South-East Asia, undergo mast fruiting following mass-flowering with strong interspecific synchronization in aseasonal western Malesia (Appanah 1985, 1993; Ashton 1989, Ashton et al. 1988, Curran et al. 1999, Janzen 1974, Medway 1972, Sakai et al. 1999, Whitmore 1998, Wood 1956). In mixed-dipterocarp forests, dipterocarp species contribute more than 70% of the canopy biomass (Bruenig 1996, Curran & Leighton 2000). Masting of dipterocarp species is therefore likely to have a major impact on animal populations, and also on the nutrient cycle in such forest ecosystems by causing fluctuations in the availability of resources (Sakai 2002).

(Accepted September 2 2004)

Key Words: Borneo; carbon; Dipterocarpaceae; flowering; Lambir Hills National Park; masting; nitrogen; phosphorus; reproduction; tropical rain forest.

c1 Corresponding author. Current address: Center for Tropical Forest Science – Arnold Arboretum, Asia Program, NIE-NTU, 1 Nanyang Walk, 637616 Singapore. Email: