Conservation for rare Thai Convolvulaceae
G. Staples, the Herbarium, Singapore Botanic Gardens, 1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569
Somran Suddee, Forest Herbarium, Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation, 61 Phahonyothin Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
Piyakaset Suksathan, & Charun Maknoi, Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden, P.O. Box 7, Mae Rim, Chiang Mai 50180, Thailand.
The Convolvulaceae account for Flora of Thailand was published in 2010. Of the 119 species treated there, at least 26 were known from ≤ 5 herbarium vouchers, and 7 of those are known only from the type collection. Thus ca 22% of the species in the flora are considered inadequately known. Yet, despite the seeming rarity of so many Thai Convolvulaceae not a single member of the family was listed among the threatened plants of Thailand (Pooma et al. 2005). This situation provided the impetus to begin an effort to locate, document, collect germplasm, and establish IUCN Conservation status for the rarest Thai Convolvulaceae, focusing particularly on the most poorly known species.
Lists of the seemingly rarest species were drawn up, their historically known localities were plotted on maps, and phenological data compiled to enable a targeted approach to field collecting. To date, 3 collecting trips have been made to the Central, Southeastern, Eastern, Northern, and Southwestern floristic regions to search for them. Preliminary results have been encouraging: species that were located proved to be abundant in several cases. But some of the rarest species could not be located at all and they remain enigmatic and poorly known at this time. Case studies are presented for various ‘rare’ taxa and those still not located.
An unanticipated benefit to the field collecting was the discovery of some species that could not be immediately identified. Possibly these are new species or range extensions as all were collected from areas near Thailand’s borders.
Pooma, R., S. Suddee, V. Chamchumroon, N. Koonkhunthod, K. Phattarahirankanok, S. Sirimongkol, & M. Poopath (eds.). 2005. A preliminary check-list of Threatened Plants in Thailand. National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation Dept., Bangkok, Thailand.
Staples, G. 2010. Convolvulaceae. Flora of Thailand 10(3): 330–468.
KEY WORDS: Conservation, Convolvulaceae, Thailand