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Abstract Detail

The Contribution of Regional Flora Projects to the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation

Middleton, David J. [1].

The Flora of Singapore Project.

The Flora of Singapore is a project to catalogue and describe all species of bryophytes, lycophytes, ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms that are native, naturalised or casual in Singapore. The Flora will be published in 14 volumes over 10 years of which the first three volumes were published in 2019. All plant families have been pre-assigned to one or other of the volumes. Volume 1 is an introductory volume and includes chapters on the history of plant taxonomic research in Singapore, the vegetation of Singapore, and conservation in Singapore. Singapore would originally have had mostly lowland tropical dipterocarp forest with some mangrove forest, swamp forest and beach vegetation. Today it is estimated that only 0.2% of Singapore is covered in primary forest although almost half of the country is covered in greenery of one sort or another, with large patches of mature (> 100 years old) secondary forest in the centre and west coast of the island. It is estimated there are around 2688 species of native plants, including bryophytes, and another approximately 460 species that are naturalised or casual or for which the status is uncertain. Almost 600 native plant species are thought to be nationally extinct. However, species thought to be extinct are often rediscovered. A Flora of Singapore, along with intensive field work around the island, will ensure that the plant diversity of the country is better known, that the correct names are being used for the species found in Singapore, and that nationally and internationally threatened species are identified and afforded the protection required. Singapore is one of the most densely collected countries in the world, yet new species, new records and rediscoveries of species previously presumed extinct are still being found. These findings, alongside stark difference in collection density between Singapore and other countries in the region, highlight just how much we still have to learn about the plant diversity of Southeast Asia. As well as the traditional taxonomic approach to the Flora of Singapore, Singapore Botanic Gardens in collaboration with Nanyang Technological University are embarking on a project to sequence the genomes of all plant species in Singapore. These genome data can be used for a wide variety of purposes including phylogenomic, population genomic, phytogeographical and ecological studies, as well as using the sequences for ‘barcoding’ to identify sterile plants or plant fragments.

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Related Links:
Flora of Singapore website

1 - Singapore Botanic Gardens, 1 Cluny Road, Singapore, 259569, Singapore


Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Session: C10, The Contribution of Regional Flora Projects to the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation
Location: /
Date: Friday, July 23rd, 2021
Time: 12:45 PM(EDT)
Number: C10011
Abstract ID:216
Candidate for Awards:None

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