[mastwatch] Mastwatch mailing list and Borneo masting news

Cam Webb cwebb at oeb.harvard.edu
Sun Jan 21 04:05:41 PST 2007


Dear Colleagues,

At one point you signed up as a contributor to the Mastwatch database:

 http://www.phylodiversity.net/mastwatch/

or expressed some interest in it. The site has had little traffic, but I
still think the idea of a network of observers around the region of SE
Asia dipterocarp forest is important.  I have set up this mailing list as
an easier way to share masting observations.  It will probably be a low
volume list, so I encourage you to stay subscribed.  Please post any
masting observations you have as they happen.  As before, sharing evidence
for past masts will also be very valuable.  Please share this list with
others who might be interested.  They can sign up at:

 http://lists.phylodiversity.net/listinfo.cgi/mastwatch-phylodiversity.net

I was stimulated to pick this project up again after visiting the lowland
dipterocarp forest at Gunung Palung (Google Earth KML file attached) in
mid December 2006, with Gary Paoli.  We found that many dipterocarp
species (of Shorea, Dipterocarpus and Hopea) were flowering or had
immature fruit.  Perhaps 25-35% of the large dipterocarp trees were
fertile.  We estimate that peak, ripe fruitfall will be in February.  A
number of other non-dipterocarp masting species were also flowering (e.g.
Scaphium, Durio).  The abundance of fertile dipterocarps was highest in
the low hills on clay soils at 20-200 m.  All in all, a small mast seems
to be taking place at this site in West Kalimantan.

A less relevant but still interesting observation is that almost all the
large dipterocarps planted in the Bogor Botanical Garden were fertile and
dropping ripe fruits ca. 10 days ago.  Most of the fruits were not damaged
by insect seed predators.

Best wishes,

Cam Webb

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