The need to protect: a comparison between three plant diversity plots in northeast Thailand

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Peter C. van Welzen
Machiel Visser
Nanthawan Suphunte
Sommanussa Saengrit
Voradol Chamchumroon


The plant species communities of single 1-ha plots in each of three protected areas in Northeast Thailand, Phu Langka National Park, Phu Phan National Park and Phu Wua Wildlife Sanctuary, all of which supported mature forest on similar substrata and in a similar elevational zone, were studied. All trees were tagged and inventoried. The communities of the three sites differed widely. Of 168 species detected, most (147 spp.) were found on no more than one of the three plots. Only one species was common to all three plots. Biodiversity conservation under a scenario of changing climate will therefore be best served by conserving as large a number of protected areas as feasible, and ensuring connectivity among them so as to facilitate dispersal among sites.

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