FRUITING AND SEEDLING SURVIVAL OF DIPTEROCARPS IN A LOGGED FOREST
Keywords:Malaysian forests, logging, dipterocarps, f r u i t i n g, insect predation, seedling regeneration, management
The hill dipterocarp forests form the bulk of the production forest in Peninsular Malaysia. These forests are mainly harvested by selective felling. The minimum diameter limit for felling dipterocarps, the predominant timber group, is about 50 - 60 cm. Smaller trees and poles are left to form the residuals for the second cut. No attention, however, is paid to seedling regeneration, which will form the third and subsequent cuts. It is assumed that the seedling crop would have survived the logging. Nothing is known about the capacity of the small residuals to fruit and regenerate the forests with new seedling crops. Some observations of a 'localized' fruiting by some residual dipterocarps in a logged-over hill forest are reported here. The fruiting was relatively very poor compared to that observed during mast fruiting in lowland forests. However, the fruit loss due to predation and other causes was lower than expected. The seedlings from such a sporadic fruiting survived well, and 14% of them persisted into the third year following fruit fall. This has positive implications for management of hill dipterocarp forests. Logged forests can potentially regenerate if an adequate number of well distributed mature residual dipterocarps are retained, and the seedling crops are given silvicultural tendings.