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Phenology of Deciduous and Broadleaved-Evergreen Tree Species in a Mexican Tropical Lower Montane Forest
Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters
Vol. 6, No. 2 (Mar., 1997), pp. 115-127
Published by: Wiley
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2997568
Page Count: 13
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The phenologies of trees with temperate and tropical historical phytogeographical affinities were recorded during 60 months (1990-1994) in a lower montane forest (1300 m a.s.l.) in Veracruz, Mexico. The objective was to determine phenological patterns and their relation to climate for both deciduous and broadleaved-evergreen species. Leaf fall, leaf flush, flowering, and fruiting were recorded for 107 individuals belonging to twelve deciduous and twelve broadleaved-evergreen species. Phenological stages were scaled from 0 to 4 (referring to the proportion of each tree in a phenophase), and averaged monthly as a phenological index. Phenological periodicity was analysed as a nonmetric time-series using measures of predictability, constancy, and contingency. The climate is mild with a dry-cool season (November-March), a dry-warm season (April-May), and a wet-warm season (June-October). Foliar phenological patterns differed between deciduous and evergreen species. Deciduous species dropped leaves during the dry-cool season and leaf drop was negatively correlated with minimum temperature; leaf flushing occurred during the dry-cool and dry-warm seasons and was positively correlated with maximum temperature. In general, broadleaved-evergreen species continually dropped and flushed leaves throughout the year. Flowering and fruiting patterns did not differ between leaf habits. Mean flowering peaks occurred between February and May, but each individual species had a different annual peak. Fruiting occurred in the dry-warm and wet-warm seasons. Three species were distinct in their fruiting phenologies, Styrax and Meliosma exhibited supra-annual patterns, and Hedyosmum fruited most of the year. For several species, fruiting and minimum temperature were positively correlated. Factors other than abiotic ones (e.g. biotic interactions and phylogenetic relationships) may be involved in the phenological patterns observed and they should be investigated.
Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters © 1997 Wiley