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Reproductive phenology of Dipteryx odorata (Aubl.) Willd (Fabaceae) in two forest areas in the Central Amazon

Antonio Moçambite Pinto L. P. C. Morellato Antenor Pereira Barbosa About the authors

Long term phenological studies in tropical forests are scarce. A phenological study of Dipteryx odorata was carried out from 1974 to 2000 in two areas of Amazon Forest: Reserva Florestal Ducke (RFD) and Estação Experimental de Silvicultura Tropical (EEST). The objective was to compare the phenological patterns between the two areas, to verify the regularity of flowering and fruiting over a period of 27 years, and to verify the influence of climatic factors in these events. Five trees were marked in the RFD and five in the EEST; and were observed monthly for the presence of flowers, unripe and ripe fruits. The flowering and unripe fruiting presented an irregular pattern in both areas, and also varied with regard to duration and period of occurrence between years and seasons. Nevertheless, they presented similar frequency of occurrence during the 27 years of observation. On the other hand, the production of ripe fruits presented a different pattern, with three year intervals without ripe fruits in the RFD, and seven year intervals in the EEST. We concluded that the frequency of flowering and unripe fruiting was annual, and the frequency of occurrence of ripe fruiting was supra-annual, with an irregular pattern, and a duration from intermediate to extended. We also observed the occurrence of one to three year intervals between flowering and unripe fruiting episodes, and one to seven year intervals between episodes with ripe fruiting. The influence of climatic factors in the patterns observed was not clear. We suggest the rational use of natural products extracted from Dipteryx odorata, the "cumaru", especially the fruits, and the development of more long term studies, fundamental for understanding the reproductive phenological patterns as well as the resource offering patterns in tropical forests.

reproductive phenology; Dipteryx odorata; flowering; fruiting; Central Amazon

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