, Volume 131, Issue 2, pp 223-231

Spatial structure and regeneration of Tetramerista glabra in peat swamp rain forest in Indonesian Borneo

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We examined the spatial structure and regeneration of Tetramerista glabra, a dominant canopy tree in peat swamp rain forest in Borneo (West Kalimantan, Indonesia). T. glabra has strong spatial structure that changes dramatically during the life cycle; seedlings were highly aggregated, saplings were random and trees were evenly distributed. Germination and seedling relative growth were highest within canopy gaps, but seedling densities were highest at gap edges. Concentration of seedlings in gap edges, rather than localized seed dispersal, was responsible for seedling patchiness. The slope of the relationship between relative growth rate and seedling height decreased from gap, to gap edge to understory habitats, suggesting that competition within the seedling layer is more important in gaps than in the understory. The processes that break down seedling aggregation, leading to over-dispersion of trees, must be density dependent, but remain unknown.