Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 523–538 | Cite as

Species diversity, abundance, and vertical size structure of rattans in Borneo and Java

  • Natsuki M. Watanabe
  • Eizi Suzuki
Original Paper


We studied rattan communities in four forest types in Borneo and Java to clarify the pattern of species diversity and vegetation structure. Within six plots of 4.82 ha in total, we found 42 rattan species in six genera with 4,736 stems (≥20 cm long). There was a significant positive correlation between rattans and trees in species diversity, decreasing in the order mixed dipterocarp (for rattans: Shannon–Wiener diversity index, H′ = 2.87–3.34) > alluvial (1.96) > lower montane (1.43) > peat swamp forests (1.34). This pattern coincided with the diversity of the regional flora. The density of rattan stems (ha–1) decreased in the order lower montane (5,997) > mixed dipterocarp (598–992) > alluvial (592) > peat swamp forests (162). The maximum height of rattans would be determined by the canopy height, rather than by the maximum tree height. The rattan stem volume ranged from 0.25 to 1.88 m3 ha−1 and was not correlated with the stem density. The cool montane climate seemed to decrease the maximum height of rattans, and a few small rattans made denser colonies. Swampy environments apparently suppressed the survival of non-climbing rattans strongly, but that of tall climbing rattans less so.


Calamus Daemonorops Height distribution Liana Palmae (Arecaceae) Species composition Tropical rain forest 



We thank the Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI) and the Brunei Museum for permission to conduct our research, and Dr Herwint Simbolon, Dr Tukirin Partomihardjo, and Mr Awang Samhan Bin Nyawa for their helpful cooperation. Dr John Dransfield of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, kindly identified our rattan specimens. The study was financially supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) No. 12575007 from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of ScienceKagoshima UniversityKagoshimaJapan

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