An Annotated Checklist and Atlas of the Mosses of
Welcome | Abstract | Introduction | Acknowledgments
Systematic Arrangement of Genera | Recognized Species
Checklist | Literature Cited
The moss flora of Thailand, with 652 taxa, is comparable to that
of neighboring countries or regions, such as Borneo, Java, Malay
Peninsula, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam (Table 2).
Phytogeographically, Thailand is a transitional region forming
a bridge between the Malayan-Philippine and Sino-Himalayan floras.
In the northern part of Thailand plants in the dry lowlands are
very poor, but grow vigorously in moist evergreen forests that
are developing at altitude above 1,000 meters (Iwatsuki 1972).
The mosses of high elevations in the north exhibit affinities
to those of eastern Himalayas, Myanmar, and southwestern China
(Yunnan, Sichuan, and Guizhou). Many species of the Brachytheciaceae,
Entodontaceae, Thuidiaceae, and Hylocomiaceae as well as the species
of Bryowijkia Nog., Calyptothecium Mitt., Dixonia
Horik. & Ando, and Penzigiella Fleisch. show this affinity.
In the southern part of Thailand most species occurring there
belong to the Malayan elements known from Malay Peninsula, Java,
Sumatra, and its archipelago as well as the Philippines. These
include many species of the Calymperaceae and Sematophyllaceae,
and those of Hypnodendron (C. Muell.) Lindb. ex Mitt., Mniomalia C. Muell., and Neolindbergia Fleisch. It appears that the
Sino-Himalayan elements have rarely extended southwards beyond
the central plain in Thailand. The Malayan-Philippine elements
clearly predominate in the "Peninsula" and southeastern
Thailand. There are a significant number of species that were
reported from both northern and peninsular Thailand. These elements
usually have much wider distributional patterns throughout East
and South Asia and often have pantropic and paleotropic distribution.
The diverse distributional patterns of Thai mosses are primarily
due to the country's diverse climates and landscapes. The climates
in the large central plain and the Korat Plateau in the east are
dry and are intermediate between the monsoon regions and tropical
regions. A broad zonation belt is formed centrally, which separates
the country into two climatic zones. It is practical in biogeographical
standpoint to divide Thailand into two floristic regions, the
Sino-Himalayan region in the north and northeast and the Malayan
region in the southeast and the "Peninsula". The distribution
of the pteridophytes in Thailand is clearly determined by the
climatic factors (Iwatsuki 1972). The floristic affinities of
Thai mosses with adjacent East and South Asian countries are shown
in Fig. 1.
Table 2. Floristic composition of the adjacent
countries or regions of Thailand with number of taxa in common
to the Thai moss flora