14th Flora of Thailand Meeting
Wednesday, August 20
EARLY MORNING SESSION – ECOLOGY AND BIOLOGY Chaired by Pranom Chantaranothai
Field surveys of natural populations of Begonia in Thailand
Thamarat Phutthai, M. Sands & K. Sridith
Abstract: Field surveys of natural populations of the genus Begonia (Begoniaceae) in many parts of Thailand from June 2007- December 2007 were achieved. Among species so-far recognised, 30 were collected from a variety of habitats (terrestrial, epiphytic, lithophytic, etc.) on various substrata in both evergreen and deciduous forests, including gallery forest along streams. In any fact, the natural populations of all Begonia are to occur only near to stream or waterfalls in the humid places such as to 'on moist banks or rocks from low elevation about sea level in the eastern part and the peninsula to the summit of mountains over 2,000 m. in northern Thailand. All species found so far are perennial herbs, coming out with flowering in the rainy season, usually exhibiting one of two habits, rhizomatous or tuberous. With 'Concerning the phytogeographic distribution of Thailand Begonia species, those collected in the present survey fall into two groups, one with widely distributed populations, such as B. martabanica A.DC., the other consisting of endemic species such as B. soluta Craib (endemic to Doi Hua Mod, Tak Province). It is to be noted that, to date, this work does not include herbarium data.
The Cryptocoryne (Araceae) of Thailand
Niels Jacobsen & D. Sookchaloem
Abstract: The five known species of Cryptocoryne from Thailand are usually easily distinguishable. They are generally found in different habitats in different river systems. However, in Peninsular Thailand, some species may inhabit the same streams and rivers, but then usually in different niches created by different water levels. Cryptocoryne reproduces by seeds, but the extension of the populations may to a considerable extent be dependant upon vegetative reproduction by subterranean, far creeping rhizomes/stolons. Recent information from Thailand and surrounding countries point to the occurrence of the widespread and very variable C. crispatula Engl. (five varieties) inhabiting river systems to a much greater extent than previously recognized, e.g. in the whole Mekong river system, where a number of different forms occur. In Peninsular Thailand the distribution of the polyploid populations (C. siamensis Gegnep.) of the otherwise diploid Malaysian C. cordata Griff. is now well known.
Phytosociology of the terrestrial vegetation along the coasts of Peninsular Thailand
Chukiat Laongpol, K. Suzuki, K. Katzensteiner & K. Sridith
Abstract: The natural terrestrial vegetation along the coast of the peninsular Thailand has been studied from October 2006. Thirteen study sites along the coast were marked as the research study sites. The results show that the vegetation structure might be divided into two groups i.e. the vegetation on sandbars which due to the sedimentation from the sea current. Twelve study sites on both sides of the peninsula were marked, comprising three categories: 1) dune grassland community 2) dune scrub community and 3) dune woodland community; the vegetation on sand-dune which due to the wind. Only one site on the northernmost of the peninsula is recognized, comprising two categories: 1) dune grassland community and 2) dune scrub community. The profiles of the actual and original vegetation across the sandbars and dunes along the coast are proposed. Vegetation analysis according to the Braun-Blanquet would be done.
LATE MORNING SESSION — VARIATION AND IDENTIFICATION Chaired by Henrik Balslev
Dracaenoids for the Flora of Thailand, phylogenetic systematics and e- taxonomy
Abstract: An introduction will be given to the systematics and biogeography of the Dracaenoids (Dracaena L. and Sansevieria Thunb., Ruscaceae sensu APG2) especially those taxa found in Thailand. The flora contains c. 15 species of shrubby to arborescent Dracaena, with the highest diversity in peninsular Thailand. The xeromorphic Sansevieria occurs as a cultivated ornamental, but one wild species is found in neighbouring Myanmar. A phylogenetic systematic study evaluating the current generic limits in the Dracaenoids using macro-, and micromorphological data will be presented. The use of a "scratchpad" website (http://.myspecies.dractax.info/) to both disseminate and gather systematic information on these taxa (known as dragon trees and mother-in-law's tongues in English) will be demonstrated (112).
The identification of Yah Peking as Murdannia bracteata (Commelinaceae) and the species with which it has been confused
Thaweesak Thitimetharoch, T. Subphala, S.Preeprame, S. Porasuphatana & R. B. Faden
Abstract: Murdannia bracteata (Commelinaceae) is the correct name for Yah Peking. This plant has been confused with other species of the genus, especially M. loriformis and M. nudiflora. A study of these three species was conducted using leaf anatomical methods (leaf scrapes and clearings), phytochemical methods (physico-chemical value and thin-layer chromatography), and anti-oxidant activity (1,1-dipheny1-2-picrilhydrazly (DPPH) and ferric reducing-anti?oxidant power (FRAP)). Cutin patterns and presence or absence of macro-hairs were found to be useful for distinguishing these species. The differences in phenolic contents, thin-layer chromatograms, and anti-oxidant activity were also useful for separating the three species.
Interactive key to the ferns of Thailand
Stuart Lindsay & D. J. Middleton
Abstract: One of the obstacles to the understanding and conservation of biodiversity in Thailand is the time and expertise necessary to identify and describe taxa. Ferns are particularly difficult to identify using traditional methods and, consequently, are often neglected in biodiversity studies. In Thailand there are estimated to be about 650 fern species, more than 50 of which have only been described or recorded from Thailand since the completion of the Flora of Thailand pteridophyte account in 1989. A new project to develop an interactive key and information system on all the ferns of Thailand will be introduced.
Genetic variation of Kaempferia (Zingiberaceae) in Thailand based on chloroplast DNA sequences
Jiranan Techaprasan, C. Ngamriabsakul, S. Klinbunga & T. Jenjittikul
Abstract: Thirty-three accessions of Kaempferia, representing 10 recognized, 4 new and 3 unidentified Kaempferia species in Thailand were examined by sequencing of psbA-trnH and petA-psbJ spacers. Six species of closely related taxa (Gagnepainia godefroyi, G. thoreliana, Smithatris supraneanae, Scaphochlamys biloba, Scaphochlamys minutiflora, and Stahlianthus sp.) were also included. After multiple sequence alignments, a total of 948 and 836 bp in length were obtained from psbA-trnH and partial petA-psbJ, respectively. Pairwise divergence of psbA?trnH ranged between 0.00-3.04% (K. filifolia and K. rounds) while pairwise divergence of petA-psbJ ranged between 0.00-3.93% (K. filifolia and S. biloba). Based on both data sets, intraspecific sequence variation was not observed in 3 species; K. candida, Kaempferia sp.1 (Phor Suatam) and Kaempferia sp.3 (Phor Phra Phutthabat). In contrast, intraspecific sequence variations were observed from different population of K. elegans, K. pulchra, K. rotunda, K marginata, and K. parvilflora. Additional 10 Kaempferia species will be collected and phylogenetically analyzed.
Morphometric and AFLP analyses of Musa acuminata Colla subspecies in Thailand
Sasivimon Swangpol, J. Somana, K. Atawongsa, S. Wongniam, P. Chareonsap & T. Seelanan
Abstract: Thailand may be considered the cradle of the wild banana Musa acuminata Colla of which Simmonds (1956, 1962) reported finding four subspecies, i.e., M. acuminata subspp. siamea, burmanica, malaccensis, and microcarpa. However, recent wide-ranging collections of wild bananas throughout Thailand revealed the necessity of adjusting subspecific boundaries both in terms of their descriptions and areas of distribution. Systematic assessment, of 56 morphological characters and amplified fragment-length polymorphic (AFLP) fingerprinting showed that shape of leaf base, colour and aestivation of male bracts were critical key characters of the subspecific complex.
EARLY AFTERNOON SESSION — BIOGEOGRAPHY AND CONSERVATION Chaired by Thawatchai Santisuk
Biogeographic links between Thailand and Nepal and the potential for collaboration between their flora projects
Colin A. Pendry & M. F. Watson
Abstract: The Flora of Nepal project aims to produce a complete Flora of its 7000 species within 15 years and will shortly publish the first of 10 volumes. Nepal has a huge diversity of habitats due to its enormous altitudinal range, rugged topography and consequent variety in microclimates. With its central position in Asia, Nepal has links to Thailand via the Sino?Himalayan and Indo-Malayan floristic regions. These links have been quantified by analysis of the distributions of the species in the 30 families in Volume 7 of the Flora of Thailand. Many families show wide overlaps between Thailand and Nepal at both the specific and generic level, with clear implications for the production of accounts for the two Floras. Nepal is of particular importance in Asian botany because many Asian plants were first described from specimens collected in Nepal in the early 19th century.
Phytogeographic areas in Thailand
Peter C. van Welzen, N. Raes, J. A. N. Parnell, D. A. Simpson, J. Moat, K. Chayamarit, P. Chantaranothai, P. C. Boyce, P. Bygrave, C. Byrne, T. Curtis, S. Dransfield, H.-J. Esser, M. H. P. Jebb, D. W. Kirkup, K. Larsen, S. S. Larsen, J. Macklin, C. Meade, D. J. Middleton, A. M. Muasya, I. Nielsen, A. Prajaksood, C. A. Pendry, R. Pooma, S. Suddee, S. Sungkaew, A. Teefawatananon, A. Trias Blasi & P. Wilkin
Abstract: A vast database with biogeographic data of Thai plant collections was created from various sources (contents: collector, number, date, identification, province, locality, coordinates). The collections without coordinates were georeferenced by a team of local and foreign experts. Obviously, different transliteration schemes and phonetic notations caused problems. The distribution of species in the Flora of Thailand project is always arranged by major phytogeographical area, followed by province and locality. The database will be used to see if these phytogeographical areas (Northern, North-eastern, South-western, Eastern, Central, South-eastern and Peninsular) really deserve the status of phytogeographical / biogeographic areas. One way will be to study endemism in the various regions. Most forest in Thailand has disappeared and, mainly, only protected areas are left. This will hamper the search for phytogeographical boundaries. One way to circumvent this is to apply species range or ecological niche modelling. Collecting localities of species' are correlated with environmental predictors (e.g., altitude, precipitation, hours of sunshine, etc.) and a map with suitable living areas is produced. Placing various maps of different species on top of each other will reveal distribution patterns that will be used to find phytogeographical areas. These models will also be used to predict what might happen to species under the present climatic change due to our eagerness to burn all kinds of fuel.
Etlingera of Thailand
Axel D. Poulsen
Abstract: Etlingera (Zingiberaceae) is an Indo-Pacific genus, the type of which was collected on Phuket Island in 1779 by J.G. K?nig who at the same time observed that the flowers are edible. Several other species of Etlingera are useful in Thailand as food, condiment or as ornamentals. The result of fieldwork conducted in recent years by Thai botanists and myself, is that at least 17 species of Etlingera occur in Thailand. The characteristics, ecology, uses, geographical distribution and affinity of the species will be discussed.
In vitro propagation of an endangered plant: Bretschneidera sinensis
Chamchuree Sotthikul, P. Choompom & W. Inkaew
Abstract: Studies on in vitro propagation of a rare plant, Brestschneidera sinensis, were carried out. It was found that culturing shoots, 1.0 cm in length, on modified MS media supplemented with 2.0 mg/L BA yielded the highest number of lateral buds, 7.7 buds/ explant, while 0.125-8.0 mg/L TDZ produced 2.1-3.3 buds/explant. To induce rooting, various concentrations and combinations of some auxins were studied. It was found that 0-8.0 mg/L IBA, 0-8.0 mg/L NAA, alone or in combination induced 20-70 % of roots. 0.5-8.0 mg/L NAA could induce 0.27-0.52 roots in 8 weeks, with 1/3 were spongy and unhealthy roots. In addition, callus forming occurred at the base of shoots when growth regulators were supplemented. Histological study was also performed. Chromosomal number of the plant was evaluated. The plantlets were transferred to the greenhouse having survival rate of only 10 %. Factors, including in vivo environmental condition, affecting transferred plants need to be further studied.
LATE AFTERNOON SESSION — PLANTS AND PEOPLE Chaired by Ib Friis
Progress with electronic repatriation of type specimens of tropical plants
Abstract: Repatriation of museum or herbarium material has been a hotly debated subject. Now it is widely accepted that natural history museums and herbaria should make important parts of their collections, particularly type material, available in an electronic form to the country of origin and other interested parties. Digitalization of collections started on an institutional or national basis without international coordination, often applying principles that varied from institution to institution. At the International Botanical Congress in Vienna (2005) a new approach was launched in a project covering type specimens of African plants: the African Plants Initiative (API). API is an international organization that invites museums and herbaria in Europe, America and Africa to make their collections of African types available electronically, sharing format and technology. High-resolution digital images of the types are provided on a common server. The project is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New York, and participating institutions in Africa and Europe get financial support to digitalize their material. The API project is now being followed by the Latin American Plants Initiative (LAPI), also supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and covering plants from the countries in the New World from Mexico and southwards. So far a similar project has not been initiated for plants from tropical South East Asia, but new plans for a global type project may bring South East Asia into the family.
Mountain Flora of Thailand – a regional participatory field-guide project
Abstract: It is of great importance that research achievements within plant taxonomy and floristic are disseminated to the public through comprehensive, popular field guides, easy to use for NG0s, conservationists and managers in public nature management. The immense diversity of the Thai flora makes it imperative to focus on regional field guides that cover only a part of the many thousand species of vascular plants known from the country. A framework for such a regional field guide is 'Mountain Flora of Thailand', covering the land north of Bangkok and >1000 metres above sea level. These high altitude areas comprise a significant part of the remaining virgin plant communities of Thailand, and as most of the 91 national parks north of Bangkok include mountain areas, these areas attract much attention. A preliminary synopsis indicates that the mountain flora of North Thailand may cover some 250 families, 1100 genera, and close to 3500 species of vascular plants. Even though many families are still rather unexplored it is possible to elaborate artificial, dichotomic keys to almost all relevant families and genera, and to more than 90 % of the species. Participants in the Flora of Thailand work is highly encouraged to contribute to this regional field guide project with popular keys to plant groups within their field of expertise.
Endophytic fungi from some Thai medicinal plants in Nakhon Ratchasima province
Abstract: The endophytic fungi, 12E isolates were isolated from some Thai medicinal plants such as Diospyros mollis Griff., Shorea roxburghii G. Don, Sandoricum koetjape which growing in Nakhon Ratchasima provinces. Healthy twigs and leaves of plants, collected in July–August 2007. Based on fungal morphology, the fungi were identified as Alternaria sp., Fusarium sp., Phomopsis sp., Xylariaceae, and Mycelia sterilia. The endophytes observed most frequently were Xylariaceae. The total of fungal isolates were obtained and tested for the production of antimicrobial compounds. There are 25 isolates exhibited antimicrobial activity against gram-positive bacteria, Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus, were more than against gram-negative bacteria, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Genomic DNA were extracted from fungal mycelium and identified by the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) analysis. The Xylariaceae endophytes were selected for further studies.