Variations in the reproductive cycle of Bornean montane tree species along elevational gradients on ultrabasic and non-ultrabasic soils

Yuki Tsujii*, Shoko Sakai, Masayuki Ushio, Shin-ichiro Aiba, Kanehiro Kitayama

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Although lowland tree species in the ever-wet regions of Southeast Asia are characterized by the supra-annual cycle of reproduction, the reproductive phenology of montane tree species remains poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the reproductive phenology of montane tree species using litter samples that were collected every 2 weeks from six rainforest sites, consisting of three elevations (1700, 2700, and 3100 m), on Mount Kinabalu, Borneo. At each elevation, one site was on infertile ultrabasic soil and one was on relatively fertile non-ultrabasic soil. We used a composite sample from 10 or 20 litter traps per site and sorted it by species. Therefore, the obtained data captured reproductive phenology in the population of each species rather than in an individual tree. Ten-year time series of flower and fruit litterfall were obtained for 30 and 39 tree species, respectively. Fourier analysis was used to identify the dominant cycle of each time series. The most abundant cycle across species was supra-annual, followed by sub-annual, and annual cycles. Many species at higher elevations showed supra-annual cycles of flower litterfall, whereas species in the 1700 m sites often showed annual or sub-annual cycles regardless of soil types. No systematic differences were found among sites for fruit litterfall. Mechanisms underlying these elevational patterns in reproductive cycle remain unclear but may include more severe El Niño droughts, lower primary productivity, lower soil fertility, and the absence of some sub-annually or annually reproducing families at higher elevations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-220
Number of pages11
JournalBiotropica
Volume55
Issue number1
Early online date25 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

User-Defined Keywords

  • alpine
  • altitude
  • El Niño Southern Oscillation
  • general flowering
  • masting
  • Mount Kinabalu
  • nutrient limitation
  • phosphorus deficiency

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