Plant Diversity ›› 2020, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (04): 292-301.DOI: 10.1016/j.pld.2020.06.005

• Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Contributions to the flora of Myanmar from 2000 to 2019

Bin Yanga,b,c, Min Dengd, Ming-Xia Zhanga,b,c, Aung Zaw Moee, Hong-Bo Dinga,b, Mya Bhone Mawa,b, Pyae Pyae Wina,b,e, Richard T. Corlettb,c, Yun-Hong Tana,b,c   

  1. a Southeast Asia Biodiversity Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yezin, Nay Pyi Taw, 05282, Myanmar;
    b Center for Integrative Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun, Mengla, Yunnan, 666303, PR China;
    c Center of Conservation Biology, Core Botanical Gardens, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun, Mengla, Yunnan, 666303, PR China;
    d School of Ecology and Environmental Science, Yunnan University, Kunming, Yunnan, 650091, PR China;
    e Forest Research Institute, Forest Department, Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry, Yezin, Nay Pyi Taw, 05282, Myanmar
  • Received:2020-03-30 Revised:2020-06-22 Online:2020-08-25 Published:2020-10-14
  • Contact: Richard T. Corlett, Yun-Hong Tan
  • Supported by:
    We are grateful to the many Myanmar colleagues who are staff at the Forest Institute of Myanmar and have helped us in carrying out field work in Myanmar. We also thank Dr. Kazumi Fujikawa (Makino Botanical Garden, Japan), Dr. Tapas Chakrabarty (Indian Museum, Botanical Survey of India), Dr. Paul Ormerod (Australia), Dr. Qiang Liu (Yunnan Forestry Technological College, China), Dr. Xiao-Hua Jin (Institute of Botany, CAS), Ms. Chong-Rui Ai, Dr. Phyo Kay Khine, Dr. Guo-Gang Li, Dr. Ravi Kant Chaturvedi (Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, CAS), Ms. Ning Du (Kunming Institute of Botany, CAS), Mr. Shuai Liao (East China Normal University, China), Dr. Khoon Meng Wong (Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore), and Mr. Bin-Jie Ge (Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden, China), who sent us some useful literature, and Mr. Chen Du and Dr. Jin-Shuang Ma (Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden, China), Dr. Rui-Chang Quan (Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, CAS), and Dr. Jian-Wen Zhang (Kunming Institute of Botany, CAS) for critical and constructive suggestions, Mr. Shi-shun Zhou, and Ms. Qi-Qing Zhang (Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, CAS) for providing some photos. This research was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.31900180 and 31970223) and the Southeast Asia Biodiversity Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. Y4ZK111B01).

Abstract: Myanmar is botanically rich and floristically diverse: one of the world's biodiversity hotspots. However, Myanmar is still very unevenly explored, and until a plant checklist was published in 2003, relatively little work was done on its flora. This checklist included 11,800 species of spermatophytes in 273 families. Since this checklist was published, the botanical exploration of Myanmar has accelerated and there have been many additional publications. We therefore surveyed the literature of taxonomic contributions to Myanmar's vascular flora over the last 20 years (2000-2019) and compiled a list of new and newly described taxa. Our list includes 13 genera, 193 species, 7 subspecies, 19 varieties, and 2 forms new to science; and 3 families, 34 genera, 347 species, 4 subspecies, 7 varieties, and 1 form newly recorded in Myanmar. Altogether, they represent 91 families and 320 genera. Most of the new discoveries belong to 15 families, with more than 25% (146 taxa) belonging to Orchidaceae. These new discoveries are unevenly distributed in the country, with about 41% of the newly discovered species described from Kachin State in northeast Myanmar. This reflects the incompleteness of our current knowledge of the flora of Myanmar and the urgent need for a greatly expanded effort. The completion of the flora of Myanmar requires more fieldwork from north to south, taxonomic studies on new and existing collections, and some mechanism that both coordinates the efforts of various international institutions and initiatives and encourages continued international cooperation. In addition, producing modern taxonomic treatments of the flora of Myanmar requires the participation of experts on all vascular plant families and genera. There is also an urgent need to attract young scientists to plant taxonomy, to work on inventories, identification, nomenclature, herbarium work, and comparative studies.

Key words: Flora, New species, Taxonomy, Plant diversity, Specimens