This BioProvince (as defined by Armen Takhtajan) comprises the island of Sumatra together with its surrounding islands such as Nias, Siberut, Bangka and Belitung. It has also been suggested that the Nicobar Islands are included since their flora has as much in common with Sumatra as it does with the neighbouring Andaman Islands (Andamanese BioProvince) but for the time being they have been left in the Andamanese BioProvince. Sumatra has a complex and varied geology which includes an ancient granite foundation that outcrops in places such as on Bangka but the Barisan Mountain Range is largely composed of sedimentary rocks laid down in the Palaeozoic and early Mesozoic eras. There are also volcanoes that developed in Quaternary period with the most famous recent eruption at Krakatoa (in the Sunda Striat between Sumatra and Java) in 1883 killing many of the inhabitants, and with a force said to be equivalent of 2000 Hiroshima bombs it was heard as far away as Australia. It virtually sterilized the surrounding land surface providing ecologists with an unprecedented opportunity to study the island’s natural succession. Straddling the equator, the area experiences a tropical climate with abundant rainfall throughout the year and has no clearly defined wet or dry season. The rich flora includes 17 endemic genera.
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.
|Endemic Vascular Plant Flora|