Phenology of understorey species of tropical moist forest of Western Ghats region of Uttara Kannada district in South India
Vegetative and reproductive phenology of 107 (52 shrubs, 8 liana, 11 climbers and 36 herb species) understorey species of tropical moist forests of Uttara Kannada district in the Western Ghats of South India was monitored from November 1983 to December 1985, through fortnightly visits to eight one- hectare sites. A prominent peak in leaf flush, flowering and fruiting occurred in the pre-monsoon period in shrubs and lianas, while leaf abscission occurred during the post-monsoon winter period. In the climbers and herbs, flowering and fruiting were concentrated in a single peak during the post- monsoon period. Leaf flush and flowering in deep-rooted shrubs and lianas may have been triggered by changes in day-length and temperature; moisture availability may govern these events in the shallow-rooted climbers and herbs. It is argued that moisture availability, herbivore, pollinator and disperser abundance may have shaped the phenological patterns of the species in these forests.