Annual cycles are the most common reproductive strategy in African tropical tree communities

Gabriela S. Adamescu, Andrew J. Plumptre, Katharine A. Abernethy, Leo Polansky, Emma R. Bush, Colin A. Chapman, Luke P. Shoo, Adeline Fayolle, Karline R.L. Janmaat, Martha M. Robbins, Henry J. Ndangalasi, Norbert J. Cordeiro, Ian Gilby, Roman M. Wittig, Thomas Breuer, Mireille Breuer Ndoundou Hockemba, Crickette M. Sanz, David B. Morgan, Anne E. Pusey, Badru Mugerwa & 19 others Baraka Gilagiza, Caroline Tutin, Corneille E.N. Ewango, Douglas Sheil, Edmond Dimoto, Fidèle Baya, Flort Bujo, Fredrick Ssali, Jean Thoussaint Dikangadissi, Kathryn Jeffery, Kim Valenta, Lee White, Michel Masozera, Michael L. Wilson, Robert Bitariho, Sydney T. Ndolo Ebika, Sylvie Gourlet-Fleury, Felix Mulindahabi, Colin M. Beale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present the first cross-continental comparison of the flowering and fruiting phenology of tropical forests across Africa. Flowering events of 5446 trees from 196 species across 12 sites and fruiting events of 4595 trees from 191 species across 11 sites were monitored over periods of 6 to 29 years and analyzed to describe phenology at the continental level. To study phenology, we used Fourier analysis to identify the dominant cycles of flowering and fruiting for each individual tree and we identified the time of year African trees bloom and bear fruit and their relationship to local seasonality. Reproductive strategies were diverse, and no single regular cycle was found in >50% of individuals across all 12 sites. Additionally, we found annual flowering and fruiting cycles to be the most common. Sub-annual cycles were the next most common for flowering, whereas supra-annual patterns were the next most common for fruiting. We also identify variation in different subsets of species, with species exhibiting mainly annual cycles most common in West and West Central African tropical forests, while more species at sites in East Central and East African forests showed cycles ranging from sub-annual to supra-annual. Despite many trees showing strong seasonality, at most sites some flowering and fruiting occurred all year round. Environmental factors with annual cycles are likely to be important drivers of seasonal periodicity in trees across Africa, but proximate triggers are unlikely to be constant across the continent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-430
Number of pages13
JournalBiotropica
Volume50
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2018

Fingerprint

fruiting
annual cycle
reproductive strategy
flowering
phenology
tropical forests
tropical forest
seasonality
periodicity
algal bloom
environmental factor
fruit
environmental factors
fruits

Keywords

  • Africa
  • annual cycles
  • flowers
  • fruits
  • phenology
  • seasonality
  • tropical forest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Adamescu, G. S., Plumptre, A. J., Abernethy, K. A., Polansky, L., Bush, E. R., Chapman, C. A., ... Beale, C. M. (2018). Annual cycles are the most common reproductive strategy in African tropical tree communities. Biotropica, 50(3), 418-430. https://doi.org/10.1111/btp.12561

Annual cycles are the most common reproductive strategy in African tropical tree communities. / Adamescu, Gabriela S.; Plumptre, Andrew J.; Abernethy, Katharine A.; Polansky, Leo; Bush, Emma R.; Chapman, Colin A.; Shoo, Luke P.; Fayolle, Adeline; Janmaat, Karline R.L.; Robbins, Martha M.; Ndangalasi, Henry J.; Cordeiro, Norbert J.; Gilby, Ian; Wittig, Roman M.; Breuer, Thomas; Hockemba, Mireille Breuer Ndoundou; Sanz, Crickette M.; Morgan, David B.; Pusey, Anne E.; Mugerwa, Badru; Gilagiza, Baraka; Tutin, Caroline; Ewango, Corneille E.N.; Sheil, Douglas; Dimoto, Edmond; Baya, Fidèle; Bujo, Flort; Ssali, Fredrick; Dikangadissi, Jean Thoussaint; Jeffery, Kathryn; Valenta, Kim; White, Lee; Masozera, Michel; Wilson, Michael L.; Bitariho, Robert; Ndolo Ebika, Sydney T.; Gourlet-Fleury, Sylvie; Mulindahabi, Felix; Beale, Colin M.

In: Biotropica, Vol. 50, No. 3, 01.05.2018, p. 418-430.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Adamescu, GS, Plumptre, AJ, Abernethy, KA, Polansky, L, Bush, ER, Chapman, CA, Shoo, LP, Fayolle, A, Janmaat, KRL, Robbins, MM, Ndangalasi, HJ, Cordeiro, NJ, Gilby, I, Wittig, RM, Breuer, T, Hockemba, MBN, Sanz, CM, Morgan, DB, Pusey, AE, Mugerwa, B, Gilagiza, B, Tutin, C, Ewango, CEN, Sheil, D, Dimoto, E, Baya, F, Bujo, F, Ssali, F, Dikangadissi, JT, Jeffery, K, Valenta, K, White, L, Masozera, M, Wilson, ML, Bitariho, R, Ndolo Ebika, ST, Gourlet-Fleury, S, Mulindahabi, F & Beale, CM 2018, 'Annual cycles are the most common reproductive strategy in African tropical tree communities', Biotropica, vol. 50, no. 3, pp. 418-430. https://doi.org/10.1111/btp.12561
Adamescu GS, Plumptre AJ, Abernethy KA, Polansky L, Bush ER, Chapman CA et al. Annual cycles are the most common reproductive strategy in African tropical tree communities. Biotropica. 2018 May 1;50(3):418-430. https://doi.org/10.1111/btp.12561
Adamescu, Gabriela S. ; Plumptre, Andrew J. ; Abernethy, Katharine A. ; Polansky, Leo ; Bush, Emma R. ; Chapman, Colin A. ; Shoo, Luke P. ; Fayolle, Adeline ; Janmaat, Karline R.L. ; Robbins, Martha M. ; Ndangalasi, Henry J. ; Cordeiro, Norbert J. ; Gilby, Ian ; Wittig, Roman M. ; Breuer, Thomas ; Hockemba, Mireille Breuer Ndoundou ; Sanz, Crickette M. ; Morgan, David B. ; Pusey, Anne E. ; Mugerwa, Badru ; Gilagiza, Baraka ; Tutin, Caroline ; Ewango, Corneille E.N. ; Sheil, Douglas ; Dimoto, Edmond ; Baya, Fidèle ; Bujo, Flort ; Ssali, Fredrick ; Dikangadissi, Jean Thoussaint ; Jeffery, Kathryn ; Valenta, Kim ; White, Lee ; Masozera, Michel ; Wilson, Michael L. ; Bitariho, Robert ; Ndolo Ebika, Sydney T. ; Gourlet-Fleury, Sylvie ; Mulindahabi, Felix ; Beale, Colin M. / Annual cycles are the most common reproductive strategy in African tropical tree communities. In: Biotropica. 2018 ; Vol. 50, No. 3. pp. 418-430.
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AU - Bush, Emma R.

AU - Chapman, Colin A.

AU - Shoo, Luke P.

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AU - Tutin, Caroline

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AU - Dimoto, Edmond

AU - Baya, Fidèle

AU - Bujo, Flort

AU - Ssali, Fredrick

AU - Dikangadissi, Jean Thoussaint

AU - Jeffery, Kathryn

AU - Valenta, Kim

AU - White, Lee

AU - Masozera, Michel

AU - Wilson, Michael L.

AU - Bitariho, Robert

AU - Ndolo Ebika, Sydney T.

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