Phenological characteristics of 453 individuals representing 39 tree species were investigated in two dry forests of the Lomerío region, Department of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The leaf, flower, and fruit production of canopy and sub-canopy forest tree species were recorded monthly over a two-year period. Most canopy species lost their leaves during the dry season, whereas nearly all sub-canopy species retained their leaves. Peak leaf fall for canopy trees coincided with the peak of the dry season in July and August. Flushing of new leaves was complete by November in the early rainy season. Flowering and fruiting were bimodal, with a major peak occurring at the end of the dry season (August–October) and a minor peak during the rainy season (January). Fruit development was sufficiently long in this forest that fruiting peaks actually tended to precede flowering peaks by one month. A scarcity of fruit was observed in May, corresponding to the end of the rainy season. With the exception of figs (Ficus), most species had fairly synchronous fruit production. Most canopy trees had small, wind dispersed seeds or fruits that matured during the latter part of the dry season, whereas many sub-canopy tree species produced larger animal- or gravity-dispersed fruits that matured during the peak of the rainy season. Most species produced fruit annually. Lomerío received less rainfall than other tropical dry forests in which phenological studies have been conducted, but rainfall can be plentiful during the dry season in association with the passage of Antarctic cold fronts. Still, phenological patterns in Bolivian dry forests appear to be similar to those of other Neotropical dry forests.
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Vol. 32 • No. 2