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Title: Co-dominant Detarioideae (Leguminosae) tree species in the rain forests of Korup National Park, Cameroon
Author: van der Burgt, Xander
ISNI:       0000 0004 7971 745X
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2018
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The tropical evergreen rain forest in south Korup National Park has been little influenced by human disturbance and past climatic change. Trees of the Leguminosae subfamily Detarioideae are common. Ten new Detarioideae tree species were described in the past eleven years; most of these are (near-) endemic to Korup National Park. They had not been recorded earlier because rainforest trees are easily overlooked and difficult to collect in fertile state. A mapping method was developed to map all Microberlinia bisulcata trees in a large grove. This grove had a size of 272 ha and consisted of 1028 M. bisulcata trees > 50 cm stem diameter. M. bisulcata occurs co-dominant with Tetraberlinia bifoliolata, T. korupensis and at least 21 other, less abundant, grove-forming Detarioideae trees. Many other tree species from many other families are present. There are no significant changes in soil type, topography, or other environmental factors between the M. bisulcata grove and the forest just outside this grove. The tendency of M. bisulcata and other Detarioideae trees to grow in groups is related to the relatively short and strictly limited maximum distance of the ballistic seed dispersal method, characteristic of these species. Co-dominance of Detarioideae trees may also be promoted by other factors such as their ectomycorrhizal habit. Ballistic seed dispersal explains the clear edge of the grove and the complete absence of M. bisulcata from the surrounding forest. The semi-circles of 100 - 200 m diameter of mature M. bisulcata trees at the grove's edge indicate that the grove had been expanding up to the time when these trees established. The presence at the edge of only a few juveniles, indicates that the grove is not expanding much since the present M. bisulcata trees became adults. M. bisulcata has been persistently dominant in the past, but the current deficiency of regeneration indicates M. bisulcata may lose much of its dominance in the near future.
Supervisor: Lack, Andrew Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral