Journal of Tropical Ecology

Research Article

Phenological changes in a Sumatran rain forest

C. P. Van Schaika1

a1 Laboratory of Comparative Physiology, State University of Utrecht, Jan van Galenstraat 40, 3572 LA Utrecht, The Netherlands


Phenological observations were made in a Sumatran rain forest during three years (1980–1982). Phenological changes followed a consistent seasonal pattern. The abundance of young leaves and the fall of leaf litter peaked between December and February (first dry season); flowers were most abundant between January and April (first dry and first wet sea son), and ripe fruits in July-August (the second dry season). The fruit of strangling fig trees showed peaks in April and October, both wet season months. Within the study area there was variation in both the phase and the amplitude of the phenological cycles. One year, 1981, displayed mast flowering and fruiting. The observations indicate that the conditions for production were better during the mast year, a finding that facilitates our understanding of the evolution of mast fruiting.

(Accepted August 04 1986)