Résumé : • Premise of the study: Population genetic structuring over limited timescales is commonly viewed as a consequence of spatial constraints. Indirect approaches have recently revealed reproductive isolation resulting from flowering time (so-called isolation by time, IBT). Since phenological processes can be subject to selection, the persistence of flowering asynchrony may be due to opposing selective pressures during mating, dispersal, and regeneration phases. Our study aimed to investigate phenology, fruit handling by animals, and their interaction in a timber tree species, Milicia excelsa. • Methods: We analyzed phenological data collected over 6 years on 69 genotyped trees in a Cameroonian natural rainforest complemented by data from germination trials and field observations of dispersers. • Key results: Initiation of flowering was correlated with variation in temperature and relative humidity, but was also affected by genetic factors: pairwise differences in flowering time between nearby individuals correlated with kinship coefficient, and earliness of flowering remained stable over time. A decrease in mean seed production per fruit with increasing flowering time suggests selection against late bloomers. However, germination rate was not affected by seed collection date, and the main seed disperser, the bat Eidolon helvum, seemed to increase in abundance at the end of the reproductive season and preferred trees in open habitats where early and late bloomers are expected. • Conclusions: The pairwise approach performs well in detecting IBT. The persistence of different mating pools in such a case may result from a trade offbetween selective forces during the mating and seed dispersal processes. © 2012 Botanical Society of America.