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Phenological Behavior of Habit and Habitat Classes on Barro Colorado Island (Panama Canal Zone)

Thomas B. Croat
Biotropica
Vol. 7, No. 4 (Dec., 1975), pp. 270-277
DOI: 10.2307/2989739
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2989739
Page Count: 8
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Phenological Behavior of Habit and Habitat Classes on Barro Colorado Island (Panama Canal Zone)
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Abstract

Phenological patterns of flowering and fruiting are presented for species of phanerogams on Barro Colorado Island. The phenological patterns represent overall averages rather than for any single year or for any individual. Flowering and fruiting graphs were prepared by calculating the total number of species which might be in flower or fruit for any month. Species were divided according to both habit and habitat. Aquatic and suffruticose herbs were found to be aseasonal as were the arborescent plants of clearings. Clearing herbs, herbaceous vines, epiphytic herbs, as well as lianas and trees, are seasonal with a peak of activity in the dry season. Forest herbs including herbs of forest trails, light-gaps and edges, as well as shrubs, have a peak of activity in the rainy season. In contrast to the clearing herbs, these groups appear to be relatively unaffected by conditions of drought, and flowering is probably cued by the onset of the rainy season. The average length of flowering time is least for those groups which were markedly seasonal such as lianas and larger trees. Species studied were divided into 20 seasonal groups, 6 nonseasonal groups, and 1 bimodal group. A total of 295 species flower and fruit all year. The largest seasonal categories include those species which flower and fruit in the wet season (171 spp.) and those which flower and fruit in the dry season (132 spp.). More species flower and fruit in the rainy season than in the dry season, despite the fact that the overall flowering and fruiting curves peak in the dry season.

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