Diversity and Distribution of Orchids in Selected Sites in Perlis, Peninsular Malaysia
Yong, Wendy Sze Yee (2006) Diversity and Distribution of Orchids in Selected Sites in Perlis, Peninsular Malaysia. Masters thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.
Perlis is the smallest and northernmost state in Peninsular Malaysia, bordered by Thailand in the north and Kedah in the south. Most of the remaining forested areas in Perlis lie in a continuous belt along the western border. The forests lie mainly on hilly terrain of limestone, which is part of the Setul and Chuping limestone formation. The forest in Perlis is characterized as semi-deciduous forest and influenced by the monsoonal season, floristically unique to Peninsular Malaysia. Thus, Perlis is well-known to have many species unique only to limestone and endemic to the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia and Perlis. However, most of the studies on limestone flora, including Orchidaceae in the northern parts of Peninsular Malaysia were concentrated on Langkawi Islands. Therefore, the diversity and distribution of Orchidaceae in Perlis is still poorly known. In this study, 11 limestone hills and a granite hill in the western part of Perlis have been botanized. The diversity and distribution of orchids in Perlis are discussed. A total of 117 taxa in 50 genera representing 4 subfamilies were recorded. Sixty two species and 20 genera are new records for Perlis. Out of these, nine species and one genus are new records for Malaysia. Dendrobium hughii and Taeniophyllum intermedium are endemic to Malaysia. Perlis orchids consist mainly of the Indo-Malayan floristic element, which contribute about 98% at the generic level and 94.6% at species level, of the total orchids collected. In a comparison with other surrounding regional orchids, the Perlis orchids show stronger affinity to Thailand orchids than to Malayan orchids. The Perlis orchid flora is thus part of the Indo-Malayan orchid flora, with the geographic, climatic, and floristic as the contributing factors.
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