South Myanmar BioProvince
This BioProvince (as defined by Armen Takhtajan) comprises southern Myanmar (formerly southern Burma), the eastermost parts of India and southeastern parts of Bangladesh. It also encompasses the neighbouring islands except Tenasserim. The Irrawaddy Basin with its tributaries the Chindwin, Shweli, and Myitnge rivers dominates most of the BioProvince. In the Irrawaddy Delta the landscape is virtually flat and only relieved by a few blocks of erosion-resistant rocks that are never more than about 18 m high. The Basin is divided into two parts, the larger Irrawaddy valley and the smaller Sittang valley. Situated between the two are the Bago Mountains while in the centre of the Basin is a line of extinct volcanoes containing small crater lakes, the largest of which is Popa Hill (1518 m). Despite being located in a tropical monsoon region the climate is greatly influenced by its geographic position and topographical relief. Cold air masses of Central Asia bring snow to the northern mountains for up to two months of the year but these mountains prevent cold air masses moving farther south. The north-south alignment of mountain ranges and valleys also creates zones of heavy and scanty precipitation during both the northeast and southwest monsoons but most of the precipitation comes from the southwest monsoon. Tropical cyclones also occasionally affect the west coast. Information on the flora of southern Myanmar seems to be fairly sparse but Myanmar as a whole is said to support some 25,000 species of flowering plants and about 1000 of these are considered to be endemic. There is also a huge variety of fruit trees and it is said to holds about 75% of the World's teak (Tectona Grandis) reserves. Southern Myanmar is characterised by high levels of both generic and specific endemism. Among the endemic genera are Hypselandra, Plagiopteron, Pommereschea, Ratzeburgia, Schellerbergia, Tractopevodia and Trisepalum.
The following accounts for this BioProvince have been written or will be written with particular reference to endemic and locally important species. Accounts available are displayed in green or yellow. Those displayed in red are either in the pipeline or awaiting expert contributions.
|Vascular Plant Flora|