Resource Details

Ecological Significance of Crown Functional Traits Across Size Classes and Disturbance Environments in Eight Pioneer Species in a Sri Lankan Rain Forest

Literature: Journal Articles

Goodale, U.M., Berlyn, G.P., Gregoire, T.G & Ashton, M.S. 2009, "Ecological Significance of Crown Functional Traits Across Size Classes and Disturbance Environments in Eight Pioneer Species in a Sri Lankan Rain Forest", Journal of Sustainable Forestry

Contact Info

corresponding author:


School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA


Journal of Sustainable Forestry

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Species Info

  • Alstonia macrophylla
  • Dillenia triquetra
  • Macaranga indica
  • Macaranga peltata
  • Melastoma malabathricum
  • Schumacheria castaneifolia
  • Trema orientalis
  • Wendlandia bicuspidata


  • This article evaluates the tree crown characteristics of eight pioneer tree species in the Shorea-Mesua vegetation type (an aseasonal, mixed dipterocarp forest) around the Sinharaja World Heritage Forest Reserve in southwest Sri Lanka.
  • The crown surface area, crown volume, and live crown ratio were measured as well as evaluated for their correlation with tree size classes and disturbance causes.
  • They found that tree size influenced crown characteristics for smaller size classes; however, for larger size classes, they found that disturbance causes influenced the live crown ratio and tree size influenced the other crown characteristics. 
  • There were significant differences between species in their tree crown characteristics.
  • The authors explain that their findings can guide the selection of pioneer species for reforestation and the design of silvicultural treatments for forest management.
  • They recommend the use of high light restricted species and generalists (Trema orientalis, Macaranga peltata, Alstonia macrophylla, and Melastoma malabathricum) be used early in restoration when there are large open areas followed by the use of more shade tolerant species (Macaranga indica, Dillenia triquetra, Schumacheria castaneifolia, and Wendlandia bicuspidata) during a second phase of planting.

Related Publications and Projects

Geographical Region

  • South Asia
  • Ecosystems

  • Tropical Wet Forest
  • Country

  • Sri Lanka
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