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Bryology SEARCH W³MOST

An Annotated Checklist and Atlas of the Mosses of Thailand

Welcome | Abstract | Introduction | Acknowledgments
Systematic Arrangement of Genera | Recognized Species
Checklist | Literature Cited

Bryological History of Thailand

The study of Thai bryophytes began between 1899 and 1900 when Danish botanist Johs. Schmidt collected numerous mosses in Koh Chang Island (Brotherus 1901). Carl Hosseus, a German botanist, collected a handful of bryophytes in northern and northwestern Thailand between 1904 and 1905 (Brotherus 1911). During his 25 years stay in Thailand from the late 19th to early 20th, A. F. G. Kerr, a Danish physician, collected bryophytes extensively throughout the country (Larsen 1979). Based on Kerr's collections and all known literature, Dixon (1932) published the first catalogue of Thai mosses, containing 220 species. Later, Dixon (1935) updated the list to 300 species.

Between the late1950s and the early1970s was the most active period of study of Thai mosses. Numerous joint botanical expeditions were undertaken by western and Japanese botanists with Thai counterparts. Several Thai-Danish expeditions were carried out between 1958 and 1970 by the team consisting of Ch. Charoenphol, B. Hansen, K. Larsen, T. Santisuk, T. Smitinand, T. Sorensen, and E. Warncke (Larsen 1979). Their unidentified moss collection (ca. 7,000 specimens) was recently studied at the Missouri Botanical Garden (MO). These specimens provided a primary source for compiling the present checklist.

During the same period (1950s-1970s) numerous botanical expeditions were also undertaken by Dutch, French, and Japanese botanists, such as E. Hennipman & A. Touw (Touw 1968), P. P. Tixier (Tixier & Smitinand 1966; Tixier 1971, 1971-72), K. Yoda, H. Ogawa, & T. Umesao (Horikawa & Ando 1964), and M. Tagawa & N. Kitagawa (Noguchi 1973). Since the late 1970s several Thai-Danish and Thai-Japanese botanical expeditions have occurred (Larsen 1992; Shimizu et al. 1980), but major collecting of bryophytes has not been reported. Throughout the history of Thai bryology, the collecting of bryophytes has been rather extensive, but very few bryologists have collected there besides A. Touw (1965-1966) and P. P. Tixier (1965-1968).

In reviewing the change of species number from the first checklist of 300 species (Dixon 1932, 1935) to the second checklist of 516 species (Tixier 1971), and to the latest checklist of 563 species (Tan & Iwatsuki 1993), new records and new names, including several new species, have been added to the moss flora of Thailand as results of continuing exploration and regional studies of East Asiatic mosses. It is reasonable to assume that new records will continue to be added to Thailand in the future if new collections are available for study. On the other hand, with the progression of future revisionary studies, new synonyms will be recognized. Therefore, the number of species for Thailand may or may not be dramatically affected by the historical factors relating to bryological exploration and the naming of species as well as by continuation of field work and revisionary studies. The number of genera and families may remain more or less constant in the foreseen future.

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