Fruiting phenologies of two neotropical Ficus species.

K. Milton, D. M. Windsor, D. W. Morrison, M. A. Estribi

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99 Scopus citations


Fruit production by Ficus yoponensis and F. insipida was studied in the seasonal, semideciduous forest on Barro Colorado Island, Republic of Panama. Unlike most other tree species in this forest, which flower and fruit in synchrony at a particular time each year, some individuals of both fig species were producing fruit in all months. Nevertheless, a greater amount of fruiting occurred at the beginning and near the end of the 8-mo wet season than would be expected if the species were fruiting randomly. In both species, the major fruiting peak occurred when most other tree species were not producing ripe fruit. Large trees of both fig species tended to produce fruit crops at shorter intervals than small trees. Average interval between crops was slightly longer than a half year for F. yoponensis and slightly shorter than a full year for F. insipida. Results, combined with life history data, suggest that individuals of these Ficus species are fruiting asynchronously at relatively short intervals, thereby increasing total lifetime fruit production and ultimately maximizing reproductive success. Flexibility in the timing of fruit crops appears to have coevolved with the intricate mutualism between these Ficus species and their obligately species-specific wasp pollinators. -Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)752-762
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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