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Korean J. Pl. Taxon > Volume 29(4); 1999 > Article
Korean Journal of Plant Taxonomy 1999;29(4): 383-390.
doi: https://doi.org/10.11110/kjpt.1999.29.4.383
Long - term ecological research and its contribution to the floristic studies in tropical Asia
Hidetoshi Nagamasu
Abstract
Floristic studies should be based on as many specimens collected from various places as possible. However, the destruction of natural vegetation on the earth is progressing so rapidly, we have to hurry up for inventory of plants and animals on the earth. Especially in the tropical countries where we have poorer information for the biota, the intensive studies at selected places may be more effective than the traditional ways based on the collections from repeated expeditions to various places which will take long time. Tropical rainforests in SE Asia are known for the richest floristic diversity on the earth. The florisitic region `Malesia` covers only 2% of land area, but it is believed that about 42,000 vascular plants, which is 14% of world flora, are distributed there (Roos, 1997). Of them 70% are endemic to Malesia. To cover all vascular plant flora of Malesia, Flora Malesiana project was started publishing the first volume in 1950 (van Steenis, 1950). Fifty years have already passed, but nearly 20% of species have been treated so far. Roos (1997) estimates that we need another 40 years to complete the project. Long time will be needed to collect good specimens enough for the floristic studies of Malesia. It is doubtless that we have to try also another efficient way to reveal the floristic diversity by intensive study in smaller areas. One of good examples is a series of publication titled ‘The plants of Mount Kinabalu’ (Parris et al., 1992; Wood et al., 1993; Beaman and Beaman, 1998). We can see about 4,000 plant species (nearly 10% of all species in Malesia) in a small area of 700㎞^2 (0.2% of Malesia). Another example is a floristic study of a small country, Brunei. The area of Brunei is about 5,765㎞^2, forests cover the 81% of the land area. The
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