Regional population differences in growth characteristics of the Dipterocarpaceae tree species Shorea leprosula

Related Research Project
Adaptive forestry


Excessive logging has led to the degradation and deforestation of tropical forests dominated by Dipterocarpaceae species in Southeast Asian regions. Furthermore, as the effects of climate change on tropical forests are becoming more apparent, there is an urgent need to establish sustainable afforestation techniques for Dipterocarpaceae species. One of the Dipterocarpaceae species, Shorea leprosula, is widely distributed in Peninsular Malaysia and is considered to be one of the most important timber species. On the other hand, there is a concern about an increasing risk of scale insect infestation due to climate change, and the collection of detailed data is becoming urgently important.

Therefore, this study aims to detect differences in growth characteristics among genetically distinct populations and to evaluate tolerance against scale insect infestation in a common garden experiment using S. leprosula seedlings from different forest reserves in the Malay Peninsula.

A common garden was established at the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) to elucidate the genetic basis of the complex quantitative traits of dipterocarp through genome-wide association studies (Fig. 1A). In this common garden, S. leprosula seedlings (Fig. 1B) from nine populations were grown in 40 replications using the random block design (Fig. 1C). We found that the relative growth rate of tree height was highest in population P7 and significantly different from populations P2, P4, and P9 (Fig. 2, p < 0.05) and insignificantly different from P1, P3, P5, P6, and P8 (p > 0.05). Also, the number of scale insects (Pedroniopsis sp.) was the lowest in P7, with significant differences (p < 0.05) from P3 and P9 and insignificant from P1, P2, P4, P5, P6, and P8 (p < 0.05) (Fig. 3A). In the future, the common garden is expected to be used as a platform for genome-wide association studies, and it will be necessary to investigate the correspondence between genetic differences and phenotypes at the individual level of S. leprosula.


Figure, table

  1. Figs


Research project
Program name


Term of research


Responsible researcher

Suwa Rempei ( Forestry Division )

Ng Chin Hong ( Forest Research Institute Malaysia )

Ng Kevin Kit Siong ( Forest Research Institute Malaysia )

Lee Soon Leong ( Forest Research Institute Malaysia )

Lee Chai Ting ( Forest Research Institute Malaysia )

Tnah Lee Hong ( Forest Research Institute Malaysia )

Publication, etc.

Ng et al. (2022) Growth performance and scale insect infestation of Shorea leprosula in a common garden experimental plot. Journal of Forestry Research 34: 781–792.

Japanese PDF

2022_A07_ja.pdf1.03 MB

English PDF

2022_A07_en.pdf773.78 KB

* Affiliation at the time of implementation of the study.

Related Research Highlights