Meranti (Shorea roxburghii)

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Shorea roxburghii in habitat
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Meranti fact file

Meranti description

KingdomPlantae
PhylumTracheophyta
ClassMagnoliopsida
OrderTheales
FamilyDipterocarpaceae
GenusShorea (1)

Shorea roxburghii is one of the numerous highly-prized dipterocarp species referred to as meranti in the timber trade (2) (3). The Dipterocarpaceae comprises over 500 tree species that dominate south-east Asian forests. Most trees belonging to this family are extremely tall and have buttress roots, supporting a smooth, straight trunk (2). In common with most dipterocarps, Shorea roxburghii is an evergreen canopy species (4).

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Meranti biology

Very little is known about the natural history of this meranti species. Although many dipterocarps only flower heavily after intervals of several years, Shorea roxburghii is thought to exhibit a more regular annual flowering cycle (5). Like other dipterocarps it is almost certainly insect pollinated and its seeds are probably dispersed by the wind (2).

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Meranti range

Shorea roxbughii is native to south-east Asia, where it is known from the following countries: India, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam (1).

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Meranti habitat

This species is usually found on dry sandy soils in evergreen, deciduous or bamboo forest. However, unlike most dipterocarps, Shoera roxburghii is noted for its ability to withstand adverse weather conditions and soil types (1).

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Meranti status

Classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Endangered

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Meranti threats

Unrestricted exploitation of dipterocarps for their high quality timber has left many species in this family endangered (6).

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Meranti conservation

There are no specific conservation measures in place for Shorea roxburghii but several populations are recorded in forest reserves and there are healthy regenerating populations in the south of India (1).

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Find out more

For further information on the conservation of forests see:

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Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: arkive@wildscreen.org.uk
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Glossary

Buttress
The flared base of certain tree trunks.
Dipterocarp
Trees of the family Dipterocarpaceae: resinous trees that are found in the old world tropics.
Pollinated
To transfer pollen grains from the stamen (male part of a flower) to the stigma (female part of a flower) of a flowering plant. This usually leads to fertilisation, the development of seeds and, eventually, a new plant.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List (June, 2007)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org
  2. Corlett, R. and Primack, R. (2005) Dipterocarps: trees that dominate the Asian rain forest. Arnoldia, 63: 2 - 7.
  3. Scott, E.S., Rao, A.N. and Loh, C.S. (1988) Production of plantlets of Shorea roxburghii G. Don. from embryonic axes cultured in vitro. Annals of Botany, 61: 233 - 236.
  4. Bunyavejchewin, T., LaFrankie, J.V., Baker, P.J., Kanzaki, M., Ashton, P.S. and Yamakura, T. (2003) Spatial distribution patterns of the dominant canopy dipterocarp species in a seasonal dry evergreen forest in western Thailand. Forest Ecology and Management, 175: 87 - 101.
  5. Bawa, K.S. and Hadley, M. (1990) Reproductive Ecology of Tropical Forest Plants. Taylor and Francis, London.
  6. Appanah, S. and Turnbull, J.M. (1998) A review of dipterocarps: taxonomy, ecology and silviculture. Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor, Indonesia.
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Image credit

Shorea roxburghii in habitat  
Shorea roxburghii in habitat

© Fletcher & Baylis

Wildside Photography
kfletcher@wildsidephotography.ca
http://www.wildsidephotography.ca

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