Impact of El Niño and Logging on Canopy Tree Recruitment in Borneo

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Science  10 Dec 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5447, pp. 2184-2188
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5447.2184

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Dipterocarpaceae, the dominant family of Bornean canopy trees, display the unusual reproductive strategy of strict interspecific mast-fruiting. During 1986–99, more than 50 dipterocarp species dispersed seed only within a 1- to 2-month period every 3 to 4 years during El Niño–Southern Oscillation events. Synchronous seed production occurred across extensive areas and was essential for satiating seed predators. Logging of dipterocarps reduced the extent and intensity of these reproductive episodes and exacerbated local El Niño conditions. Viable seed and seedling establishment have declined as a result of climate, logging, and predators. Since 1991, dipterocarps have experienced recruitment failure within a national park, now surrounded by logged forest.

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