Seedling Recruitment after a Mast Seed Event

The lowland dipterocarp forests found throughout Borneo experience a unique reproductive phenomenon called “general mas flowering”. During these events, flowering occurs across species, genera and families creating both an ecologically rare and aesthetically beautiful (see video below) process. However, our knowledge regarding many aspects of these events remains limited. What are the climatic ques that trigger these events? Can we predict when and how big these events will be? What processes control seed survival and germination during the seed fall? What is the relative importance of the different processes for determining seedling recruitment? All of these questions are far from being answered but are crucial for understanding regeneration under future climates and for informing restoration plans for recovering previously logged forest.

My research examines seed and seedling fate during and after mast fruit production. I use a network of 81 plots which have been monitored for seed and seedling mortality and growth regularly since the 2010 masting event. This research can begin to examine the long-term dynamics of seedling communities and the mechanisms that influence mortality and growth through time.