Dipterocarp Biology as a Window to the Understanding of Tropical Forest Structure: Where are we Looking Now?

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Corresponding author: e-mail: chris.kettle@env.ethz.ch

Abstract

The dipterocarps are dominant trees across a large part of lowland Southeast Asia. These forests provide a valuable timber resource, are rich in biodiversity, and are among the most important terrestrial carbon sinks in the world. Yet, these forests are fast disappearing, often unsustainably managed and are rapidly being replaced by agricultural crops such as oil palm and other commercial plantations. Here, we provide a brief overview to this family, outline its significance, and introduce the articles of this Special Section which provides a collection of the recent advances in our understanding of the biology of this important family of tropical trees.

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