Journal of Tropical Ecology

Research Article

Site characteristics and the distribution of tree species in Mixed Dipterocarp Forest on Tertiary sediments in central Sarawak, Malaysia

I. C. Bailliea1 p1, P. S. Ashtona1 p2, M. N. Courta1, J. A. R. Andersona1 p3, E. A. Fitzpatricka1 and J. Tinsleya1

a1 Departments of Soil Science and Plant Science, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB9 2UD, Scotland, UK


Site data from 291 forest inventory plots in Mixed Dipterocarp Forest in central Sarawak were simplified by factor analysis. The distribution of the 33 commonest canopy tree species was related to site factor scores by ‘t’ tests. There appears to be a degree of edaphic influence on the distribution of many species. Fairly constant soil characteristics related to the lithology of the parent material appear to be more important than ephemerally variable pro perties such as organic matter or exchangeable cations. Magnesium appears to be particularly important, possibly because of an effect on the capacity of mycorrhizal root systems to absorb phosphorus.

(Accepted April 14 1987)


p1 Present address: Department of Geography, Polytechnic of North London, 383 Holloway Road, London N 7, England

p2 Present address: The Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachussetts 02138, USA

p3 Present address: 203 Mayfield Road, Edinburgh EH9 3BD, Scotland.