Fern Crozier


Ferns of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia




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Flora of Thailand

Ferns of Thailand


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Although collecting densities for Thailand remain among the lowest in the tropics (Middleton, 2003), recent efforts associated with the establishment of the Flora of Thailand project have increased the collecting rate (Parnell et al., 2003). The Flora of Thailand project was initiated in 1963 under a Thai - Danish collaboration and formally launched in 1967. The first part was published in 1970 and additional parts have been produced regularly since then. To date, 34 parts in 10 volumes have been published comprising approximately 65% of the estimated 10,250 species.

The process of collecting plant material in the field, processing and storing the material, and using that material to describe new taxa and prepare floras remains the primary means by which we derive our knowledge of the identity of plants and the ability to communicate about them (Heywood, 2001). International agreements such as the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) have highlighted the need for biodiversity assessments and have identified the "taxonomic impediment" to the sound management of biodiversity. This taxonomic impediment includes both the lack of trained systematists and the lack of tools for the accurate identification of the plant diversity of an area. From a Thai perspective, Pooma (1999) has emphasized that the completion of a published Flora, including information on species distribution and habitats, and a classification of the vegetation types is necessary for a nation-wide policy and a plan for sustainable use and conservation of Thailand's genetic resources.