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The Vegetation of Jarak Island, Straits of Malacca

J. Wyatt-Smith
Journal of Ecology
Vol. 41, No. 2 (Aug., 1953), pp. 207-225
DOI: 10.2307/2257036
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2257036
Page Count: 22
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The Vegetation of Jarak Island, Straits of Malacca
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Abstract

A survey of the flora of Jarak, a small island lying 40 miles (64 km.) off the coast of Malaya in the Malacca Straits, has been made. The vegetation shows little variety of species in comparison with the richness of the tropical lowland rain forest of the mainland, and certain families, common in the mainland forest, are either completely absent or poorly represented. In this respect the vegetation resembles that of an oceanic island, and an analysis of the normal expected method of seed dispersal of the higher plant species reveals that apart from six definite sea-borne species, two man-introduced species and three wind-borne species with dust-like or plumed seed, they are, with the exception of Tarrietia javanica, a species with a large winged seed and which was probably sea-dispersed, those distributed largely by birds and fruit-eating bats. The fauna is also restricted, consisting of only one resident mammal, a rat, which has presumably been introduced by man. The reasons for this oceanic type of flora are discussed, and the submergence of the island in volcanic ash from Toba in Sumatra, first suggested by Mr M. W. F. Tweedie, is considered the most probable.

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