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Macaranga, locally known as Mahang comprises of 300 species, making it one of the largest genus of the Euphorbiaceae family. This plant is found throughout Indonesia. Macaranga plants have a large distribution and are also found in Africa, Madagascar, Asia, in the east coast of Australia, and the Pacific islands.

Generally, Macaranga plants require a lot of sunlight and typically grow in secondary forests and they are also observed as pioneer species in degraded forests. The rapid growth of Macaranga helps to inhibit the growth of weeds which are very dominant in the restoration site. Its fruit is very favored by birds and some types of Macaranga such as Macaranga gigantea and Macaranga lowii is highly preferred by orangutan to make nest.

In addition, as a pioneer species, Macaranga can form a symbiotic role with certain ants. This is because Macaranga produces phenol from flavonoid and stilbene which then produces nectar. As a result of this nectar presence, ants, especially Crematogaster species, form a symbiotic mutualism with Macaranga by creating a nesting space. Ants also often make nests on Macaranga leaves, which serves to protect the trees from herbivore browsing (Rie).