[Mastwatch] Shorea albida

Chuck Cannon chuck.cannon at gmail.com
Wed Mar 26 07:23:36 PDT 2014

Hi Peter,

In thinking about these peats, it's imporatnt to include their 
historical geography.  For much of the last ice age, there was probably 
a large unified (?) peat in central Sundaland, possibly much larger and 
certainly slightly cooler than today.

I've always been amazed that such a small forest type, that is often 
highly fragmented naturally, could produce such high biodiversity that 
was also highly specialized.  In extreme environments, you typically get 
a few species that strongly dominate the community because of clear and 
pervasive selection pressures.  perhaps the conditions are not as 
extreme as all of that either but there does seem to be a strong 
environmental filter.

The fact that the area was probably substantially larger in the past 
would partially answer that question.

All the best,

On 03/25/2014 04:58 AM, Ashton, Peter wrote:
> Hi ewverybody,
> All interesting, including Colin (Maycock?) at Danum who says there 
> has been little drought up there to date, - out of kilter with Sunda 
> further west as so often. But there is another potentially intriguing 
> aspect of this issue which UBD sleuths can get on to, and for which I 
> have brought Ian Baillie in as he has had an interest in the coastal 
> climate of NW Borneo: Primary seringawan forest should evapotranspire 
> roughly as much vapour as the sea surface, so where is the climatic 
> coastline, on the true sea front or at the back of swamps where 
> extensive? Of course coastal development, and conversion to oil palm 
> down the coast, wil laffect this. But, if the climatic coastline is at 
> the back of the swamp, that might explain why swamps flower at 
> different times from inland forests.
> And Joe (it is always good to hear from you!), what has happened to 
> what was left of Andulau, by far the most important forest for 
> conservation from a tree species endemism perspective (and probably a 
> lot more, such as soil fauna and flora, and arthropods, besides)?
> Peter

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