Genetic and ecological studies relevant to the conservation and management of some Bornean Calamus species
Genetic variation in Calamus subinermis was investigated in a provenance cum progeny trial and a study on some quantitative morphological traits. These studies show that variation occurs within and among populations of the species. Genetic gain was estimated for provenance and family selection at a range of selection intensity based on some economic traits. A karyomorphological study on C. subinermis and C. caesius reveals little variation in the chromosome morphology between and within species. The flowering and fruiting phenology of C. subinermis, C. caesius, C. manan and C. trachycoleus was elucidated. Except for the relatively opportunistic C. subinermis, in which floral initiation occurred at about four-month intervals, flowering and fruiting of the Calamus species investigated exhibited a regular annual pattern. Unravelling of the pollination mechanism and floral biology of C. subinermis and C. caesius in this project enables understanding of the breeding system and is important in breeding programmes. Pollination mainly by small noctuid and pyralid moths, which have small foraging ranges, partly accounts for the observed divergence among geographically isolated populations of C. subinermis. The discovery of andromonoecy in C. subinermis, together with the potential bisexuality in the other generally dioecious calamoid genera, calls for modification in the present system of classification for the tribe Calameae, and has implications for natural and artificial pollination. Several rattan mensuration techniques were developed. Growth and yield models based on the Richards function were constructed for C. caesius. These techniques and models will contribute to the conservation with wise use of rattan resources. Recommendations for further research are given for attaining the goal of the project.