Trees of the family Dipterocarpaceae dominate the emergent canopy of most lowland rain forests in Asia (Ashton et al. 1988). The family is, therefore, one of the most ecologically important in South-East Asia. Shorea curtisii Dyer ex King is the most common tree species in the hill dipterocarp forests of Peninsular Malaysia (Burgess 1975, Symington 2004), and is considered a key species for the dynamics of such forests. Currently, most Malaysian hill forests are selectively logged. Trees over 50 cm dbh are harvested, and any subsequent harvests depend on the remaining smaller trees. Such selective logging takes no account of seedling regeneration. Hence, subsequent timber harvests rely on trees derived from the seedlings that are already present and future seeds produced by the residual trees (Appanah & Mohd. Rasol 1994). Existing seedlings of S. curtisii in the forest, therefore, play a significant role in the dynamics of the hill forest. However, the conditions that constitute a suitable habitat for S. curtisii seedling establishment and survival remain unknown.
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