New paper exploring the ecological implications of the height of tropical forest trees

Photo of tree from the ground

A new paper led by Dr Ferry Slik based in Brunei, and including Environment Institute Director Andrew Lowe as a coauthor, explores the ecological implications of the height of tropical forest trees.

There is huge diversity among tropical forest tree species in terms of their stature, with typical heights when fully grown ranging from those shorter than a person to record-holding giants that approach one hundred meters.

The paper compiled and analysed data from over 5,300 tree species across three continents ,and found a significant correlation between the reported (or estimated) maximum height of each species and its mode of seed dispersal. Emergent trees that tower over the rest of the forest are much more likely to disperse their seeds via wind (compared to species relying on animal dispersal) than are shorter stems. Not a major surprise, but such evidence paves the way for better understanding the diversity and ecology of tropical forest species.

The article, "Wind dispersed tree species have greater maximum height", can be accessed via the Global Ecology and Biogeography site:

Tagged in Research Wins, ecology, Prof Andy Lowe
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