Original Article

Ecological Research

, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 759-767

First online:

A comparison of sites suitable for the seedling establishment of two co-occurring species, Swintonia glauca and Stemonurus scorpioides, in a tropical peat swamp forest

  • Tetsuya ShimamuraAffiliated withFaculty of Agriculture, Bogor Agricultural UniversityGraduate School of Agriculture, Laboratory of Forest Hydrology, Kyoto University Email author 
  • , Kuniyasu MomoseAffiliated withFaculty of Agriculture, Bogor Agricultural UniversityFaculty of Agriculture, Ehime University
  • , Shigeo KobayashiAffiliated withGraduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University

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Spatial and temporal ground-surface dynamics are major factors that affect regeneration and species coexistence in tropical peat swamp forests. We studied the seedling survivorship and morphological features of two tree species that play important roles in maintaining the ground-surface dynamics of a peat swamp forest in Sumatra. Large Swintonia glauca trees form mounds, whereas large Stemonurus scorpioides trees occupy non-mounds. We monitored the demography of naturally dispersed Swintonia and Stemonurus seedlings that germinated in 2000. Survivorship of Swintonia seedlings was high under conditions of late germination, high-light environment, and elevated ground surface, and was negatively affected by distance to the nearest conspecific adult. Survivorship of Stemonurus was high under conditions of early germination and high conspecific seedling density, and was also negatively affected by distance to the nearest conspecific adult. The allometric features of Stemonurus seedlings indicated characteristics of stress tolerance, that is, low growth rate and thick, porous roots. Stemonurus, which has large wingless seeds, regenerated in non-mounds around the parental trees, while winged Swintonia seeds dispersed farther from the parent and established in patchily distributed gaps and mounds. Thus, Swintonia seedlings can survive on non-mound sites within gaps and possibly create mounds, while Stemonurus seedlings tend to maintain non-mounds around the parental trees.


Allometry Seedling regeneration Stemonurus scorpioides Swintonia glauca Tropical peat swamp forest