Morphological properties of tree saplings on forest-floor was examined across forest types, i.e., mixed dipterocarp, heath, and peat swamp forests in Kalimantan, in terms of allometric relationships and leaf traits. Saplings (150-310 cm tall) of 45 species, which represent each of forest types, were selected under closed canopy including one species found in all forest types and two species found in heath and peat forests.
Differences across forest types was found in allometric relationships. Saplings in mixed dipterocarp forest had thicker trunk and wider crown at the same sapling height than those in peat swamp and heath forests. Leaves in mixed dipterocarp forest had higher specific leaf area and mass-based nitrogen content than in other forest types, while heath forest were lower than mixed dipterocarp and peat forests. This differentiation in sapling morphology was also found within species in response to forest types. Inter-specific variation in allometric and leaf traits was larger in mixed dipterocarp forest than other forest types. I concluded that saplings show adaptive response to nutrient and water limitation that characterize forest types.