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Recent Topics Posters

Beaman, John H. [2], Anderson, Christiane [1], Beaman, Reed S. [3].

Biodiversity of Mount Kinabalu.

Mount Kinabalu (c. 4100 m), on the island of Borneo in the Malaysian state of Sabah, is one of the worldís most remarkable landforms. Its exceedingly diverse biota offers outstanding opportunities for research on evolution and diversification of species and vegetation types. Kinabalu Park was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2000. Our research has four major objectives. 1) Inventory of vascular plants. The flora is now about four-fifths enumerated and published, with about 5,000 species recognized. This diversity occurs in an area of only about 1,200 sq. km, making it one of the richest floras in the world. A website (http://herbarium.lsa.umich.edu/kinabalu) provides searchable databases on ferns, gymnosperms, monocots, and dicot families Acanthaceae to Lythraceae. Four volumes on The Plants of Mount Kinabalu have been published; the fifth, which will complete the enumeration, will be published in 2004. 2) A geographic information system serves for floristic and phylogenetic studies. GIS technology has been applied to analyzing complex phylogenetic and biogeographic relationships, and has been used to produce a 1:50,000 topographic map. 3) Phylogenetic analyses have been carried out on various exemplar taxa in such unrelated groups as the ferns, orchids, stone-oaks (Lithocarpus) and nettle relatives (Elatostema). These independent studies indicate that the high-elevation, endemic species have been derived from neighboring species of lower elevations, rather than by dispersal from distant geographical sources. 4) An ethnobotanical project (Projek Etnobotani Kinabalu [PEK]) has given attention to collection and description of plants that are economically valuable, ecologically important, and threatened by human activities. Local collectors have contributed some 9,000 specimens that document names, uses, and localities for both used and currently unused plant resources.


Related Links:
Flora of Mount Kinabalu


1 - University of Michigan Herbarium, 3600 Varsity Drive, Ann Arbor, MI, 48108-2287, U.S.A.
2 - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB, U.K.
3 - Yale University, Peabody Museum, 170 Whitney Ave., New Haven, CT, 06520-8118, U.S.A.

Keywords:
Mount Kinabalu
Sabah
Malaysia
biodiversity
ethnobotany
GIS.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: 32-161
Location: Special Event Center (Cliff Lodge)
Date: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004
Time: 12:30 PM
Abstract ID:1058


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