Robinson, C - Calamondin orange

Cynthia Robinson
PBIO 209
                               The Calamondin Orange and its habitat
               The Calamondin Orange tree is a small tree which is native to the Pacific Islands located in Southeast Asia and resides mainly in the Philippines. It has also said to have been discovered on a small island near Java. Although it has been brought over and cultivated in the US areas of Florida and Texas, its main habitat is Tropical. And to put in Biome terms, the Calamondin Orange tree grows in Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests. These forests can be found in the Amazon basin of South America, West Africa and of course, Southeast Asia.
               These moist tropical forests have many characteristics. The main incredible (and undeniably attractive) aspect of the tropical forest is that it is one of the most diverse and productive biomes on the planet. The moist tropical forest accounts for over 30% of net primary production and almost one half of all living species. But of course, all of this plant production leads to layers upon layers of plants, or trees for that matter. These forests tend to have one to four layers of trees who compete for the light for life. The tallest of the trees are the emergent trees while, much to the chagrin of the short Calamondin Orange, the lower level remains relatively dark, leaving most of the light concentrated up high in the canopy. Fortunately, most of these lower-level plants have adapted to their dark environments and can still live and produce as their higher competitors.
                Tropical moist broadleaf forests do face problems due to their infertile souls and great amounts of soil respiration. But how do they remain so productive? Due to very warm climates and colossal amounts of rainfall (more than 25cm/year), these biomes receive an abundance of nutrients from biomass constantly being produced which in turn gives them the fuel they need for further production and sustainability. And although they may seem like nutrient-using-life producing machines, they are said to be very good at retaining their nutrients and essentially keeping everything "in check."
               Like any particular biome on the planet, these tropical forests receive an abundance of threats that could cause their destruction and could possibly lead to their distinction. A great element that threatens their existence is of course, our existence-the growing human population and urbanization in these areas fuels the possible abolition of natural communities. With economic, political and population pressures, these communities of plants have declined. Not only have these communities suffered from populations living there in their habitats, but other global economies around the world including Japan, Europe and the United States. Due to logging, deforestation and agriculture, populations of forests have been physically removed or their soils have been left to be stripped of their nutrients causing further plant growth to be dulled. This situation is ironic in that the ways the destructive ways of agriculture essentially harm the soils of the area causing new birth of agriculture to decline. In addition to harm done to soils, leaving nutrients to diminish, the actions of humans also affect rainfall. For the reason that because of our actions, less water is allowed to transpire into the atmosphere which leads to less rainfall and a decrease in productivity for the species living in the area. As a result, many non-native plants have begun to take over the areas and pose as a threat to native species that might be incapable of re-generation.
               If all these threats to our beautiful rainforests are so, then is there a glimmer of hope to somehow protect species like those of the Calamondin Orange? The good news is that certain organizations have taken the lead such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or the IPCC. They are a scientific body whose task is to monitor climate change and take designated steps towards changing certain human actions which have caused harm to ecosystems. This organization and many others have proceeded towards a better earth and way of living by encouraging the reduction of carbon emissions, feasible alternatives to land development and logging, and an action plan towards re-constructing ecosystems. Ultimately, the best that we can do is to try and follow these guidelines and take any action necessary politically to alter current patterns. By doing so, we can preserve such beautiful species as the Calamondin Orange and keep our Tropical Rainforests alive.
1. Jessica Gurevitch, Samuel M. Scheiner, and Gordon A. Fox.2006.The Ecology of Plants.
2. Conservation Science >Biomes and Biogeographical Realms [internet] ] . [Updates 2008]  Available From:
                                                Calamondin Orange
Citrofortunella Microcarpa
I chose to study this plant because it was one that caught my eye while I visited the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, OH. It was a small, intriguing tree with beautiful, small orange fruits, and led me to be further intrigued to find out more.
Basic Facts
*      The Calamondin Orange is a small, rare fruit tree that grows to about 5 m. tall
*      It is also called Kalamansi and is native to the Philippines and Southeast Asia-favoring warmer, tropical climates. However, it has been brought over to the United States, grown and cultivated in the states Florida, Texas and Hawaii.
*      Its biome or habitat it resides in is the Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forest
*      The small, highly acidic fruit is said to be a hybrid cross between a Tangerine or Mandarin orange and a Kumquat.
*      It is not an invasive plant, and its flowers are self-fertile requiring no cross-pollination.
Life History
*      The Calamondin Orange tree reaches full height and bears fruit around the time of two years, making it a biennial plant.
In the Philippines, the city of Tarlac is where most of the agriculture takes place and where most of the Kalamansi Trees are grown
Human Uses and other facts
*      The Calamondin is not known to have any specific mutualisms with other organisms, but humans do use the trees on a regular basis
*      It is grown mainly in North America as an ornamental plant in houses and can be grown sufficiently in pots.
*      Cooking is something it is used for often. It’s sweet, acidic taste is effective for marmalades, desserts, drinks and other marinades
*      The Calamondin is also used for cleaning purposes such as body deodorant and to bleach ink stains (Started in its native habitat, the Philippines)
*      At first, it blooms many small white flowers that are later replaced by small spherical oranges
*      It is a prime host to fruit flies and other pests, so it has been planted much less in Florida
Works Cited
1. "Calamondin : the Miniature Orange." 17 Feb. 2008 <>.
2. "Calamondin." Wikipedia. 13 Feb. 2008. 17 Feb. 2008 <>.
3.  University Of The Philipp, comp. Plants of the Philippines. Quezon City: The University of the Philippines P, 1971.