Trinity College Dublin

Skip to main content.

Top Level TCD Links


300 Years of Growth

Thai Biogeography group publishes critical integrative phytogeographic revision

17 June 2011

A newly published paper by the Thai Biogeography group in the recent book Land use, climate change and Biodiversity Modeling. Perspectives and applications edited byY. Trisurat, R.P. Shrestha, & R. Alkemade has shown that the delimitation of the floristic regions of Thailand used for the past 50 years or so requires to be significantly changed being reduced in number from seven (Old regions) to four (New regions) and all with totally redefined boundaries. Of the four newly defined regions only two are somewhat similar to previously designated regions; all the new regions are defined with clear indicator species.

The paper also uses the CCM3 climate model to predict future vegetation zonation in 2050. Despite the uncertainty in climate predictions the paper’s analysis shows that there will, in some areas of Thailand, be a significant movement of species from west to east, or, in other areas, diminution in the number of species of species per unit area of the country. This will lead to a small number of plant extinctions in Thailand, and a severe and possibly catastrophic reduction in the area of plant biodiversity hotspots.

The paper concludes by emphasising that the currently protected areas will remain important in the future but require expansion in size and number as well as the construction of connecting dispersal links.

The Thai Biogeography group was founded and is led by Professor John Parnell (from whom a PDF of the paper can be obtained), Professor Peter Van Welzen in Leiden and Dr. D. Simpson in the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and includes many former students from TCD all of whom contributed data to the current paper.


Last updated 11 July 2011 by