|Habitat and Ecology:
A major component of semi-deciduous, submontane woodland on the limestone escarpments and the semi-deciduous and evergreen woodlands of the granite of the Haggeher mountains. Altitude of (220–)400–1,220 m.
The commonest and dominant tree over large areas of the Haggeher mountains. Its leaves drop in summer and comes into leaf in winter, even if there is no rain. In some areas it seems to be virtually evergreen. It fruits in the winter and comes into fruit in the summer. Rhus thyrsiflora has an interesting distribution on Soqotra. It is common in areas, which attract low cloud and rain, in the Haggeher and the limestone of the NE (Hoq and Hamaderoh) of the island, but is absent from the high rainfall areas on Jebal Ma’alih in the west. However, there is a small population on the remote limestone ridge at Heger above Ra’s Shu’ub. The limestone pinnacles along this ridge trap mist and support a small outlying relict of semi-deciduous woodland in the otherwise dry SW of the island. It is interesting that on this ridge R. thyrsiflora occurs at only 220 m – its lowest recorded altitude on the island. It is possible that the long isolation of this remote refuge has resulted in the telescoping of habitats . The phenomenon of t elescoping is found on old oceanic islands and has the effect compressing habitats into a smaller altitudinal range than would be expected – it thus effectively provides islands with a relatively greater range of habitats than similar areas on the mainland.