The responses to shade of seedlings of very small-seeded tree and shrub species from tropical rain forest in Singapore
Article first published online: 25 NOV 2003
1997 British Ecological Society
Volume 11, Issue 2, pages 215–221, April 1997
How to Cite
METCALFE, D. J. and GRUBB, P. J. (1997), The responses to shade of seedlings of very small-seeded tree and shrub species from tropical rain forest in Singapore. Functional Ecology, 11: 215–221. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2435.1997.00070.x
- Issue published online: 25 NOV 2003
- Article first published online: 25 NOV 2003
- Rain forest;
- regeneration niche;
- seed size;
- shade tolerance.
1. Newly germinated seedlings of six tree and shrub species with very small seeds (31–460 μg dry mass), one light-demanding and five shade-tolerant at the stage of establishment in the wild, were grown for 5 months in neutral shade houses with 0·5, 1, 3·5 and 7·5% daylight.
2. The ratio of yield in 7·5% to that in 1% was 8:1 for the light-demanding Melastoma malabathricum but only 2:1 for the confamilial shade-tolerator Pternandra echinata. The Pternandra, Urophyllum hirsutum, Ficus chartacea, Ficus grossularioides and Pellacalyx saccardianus showed a graded series of responses to irradiance, generally consistent with their apparent demands for light in the wild. In contrast, survival of very deep shade was not clearly related to light demand in nature.
3. The results support the conclusion drawn from observational studies that large seed size is not primarily adaptive in resisting shade but in resisting the associated risks of burial by litter, desiccation during dry spells, uprooting by birds and other kinds of damage by animals or falling debris.