[Mastwatch] Mast at Gunung Palung

Cam Webb cwebb at oeb.harvard.edu
Fri Oct 16 22:52:11 PDT 2009

Dear `Borneo mast followers,'

I just came down (on Wednesday) from a short trip to Cabang Panti Research 
Station, Gunung Palung National Park, West Kalimantan (110.105, -1.215). 
I had been hearing rumors of Shorea flowering and went to confirm these.

Indeed, it seems like we are seeing a big flowering in the alluvial forest 
and adjacent lowlands.  I estimate that ca. 80% of the large (>70cm DBH) 
red and yellow meranti are in flower, some with huge crops (leaves 
invisible behind a mass of yellow petals).  Species that I noted in flower 
include: S. parvifolia, pauciflora, johorensis, leprasula, parvistipulata 
ssp. paristipulata, hopeifolia.  Species already with fruit included 
pinanga, macrophylla (already large), gibbosa.  I didn't see any selangan 
batu or white meranti reproductive.  Also, while there were a few fallen 
Dipterocarpus sublamellatus flowers, this dominant species at CP was 
generally not flowering.  Other rarely flowering taxa that are now in 
flower or fruit include: Castanopsis, Lophopetalum (x 2 spp), Kokoona, 
several Baccaurea, Sloanea, Alangium, Durio, Gonystylus, lots of Macaranga 
with huge crops, Salacia, Dyera, Nephelium, Parkia, Triomma, Sindora.

I went to ca. 150 m elevation on the granite-derived soils and did not see 
any evidence of Shorea or Dipterocarpus fertile up there, so this event 
seems restricted to the more fertile alluvium and sandstone-derived soils. 
Perhaps the hill forest will follow?

So, not sure how big the fruiting will be, but this is the biggest Shorea 
flowering I've personally seen.  Fruit fall should be sometime in 
February.  Hopefully we get a big seedling flush this time; seedling 
densities in plots in the granite measured in 2007 were at the lowest they 
have been since the plots were established in 1993.

The team who has been collecting with me is now in the forest.  Let me 
know if there is anything you especially would like to see.  We'll post 
the data as soon as we can at: http://phylodiversity.net/xmalesia/

If you know of other parts of Borneo or Peninsular Malaysia flowering, 
please post to this group.



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