Progress on Southeast Asia’s Flora projects - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew research repository
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Journal article

Progress on Southeast Asia’s Flora projects

16 December 2019

Abstract

Southeast Asia (Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Timor Leste, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea) is a region of high plant diversity with an estimated 50,000 flowering plant species. Estimates of plant diversity in the region continue to grow as large numbers of new species are described even though there have been suggestions that there are few new species to be found in some parts of Southeast Asia. It is likely that most estimates of species numbers in the countries of Southeast Asia are too low due to the lack of taxonomic work on groups which have many locally endemic species. Differing collecting densities across the region can profoundly affect our understanding of plant diversity and lead to large underestimates of species diversity in poorly collected countries and regions. Progress on each of the major Flora projects in Southeast Asia, Flora of Thailand, the Flora of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam/Flore du Cambodge, du Laos et du Viêtnam, Flora Malesiana, Flora of Peninsular Malaysia, Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak, Flora of Singapore and Flora of Vietnam, along with floristic research in Myanmar, the only country not covered by at least one of these Flora projects, is discussed. In addition to the formal Flora projects, there is much floristic activity occurring in the countries otherwise covered by transnational Floras.

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