Photoperiodic induction of synchronous flowering near the Equator

Rolf Borchert, Susanne S. Renner, Zoraida Calle, Diego Havarrete, Alan Tye, Laurent Gautier, Rodolphe Spichiger, Patricio Von Hildebrand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


In tropical rainforests, 30-65% of tree species grow at densities of less than one individual per hectare. At these low population densities, successful cross-pollination relies on synchronous flowering. In rainforests with low climatic seasonality, photoperiodic control is the only reliable mechanism for inducing synchronous flowering. This poses a problem because there is no variation in day length at the Equator. Here we propose a new mechanism of photoperiodic timekeeping based on the perception of variation in sunrise or sunset time, which explains and predicts the annually repeated, staggered, synchronous and bimodal flowering of many tree species in Amazonian rainforests near the Equator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-629
Number of pages3
Issue number7026
StatePublished - Feb 10 2005


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