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Zingiberaceae Diversity in Khao Nan and Khao Luang National Parks, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand

Zingiberaceae Diversity in Khao Nan and Khao Luang National Parks, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand,Napat KITTIPANANGKUL,Chatchai NGAMRIABSAKUL

Zingiberaceae Diversity in Khao Nan and Khao Luang National Parks, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand  
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Zingiberaceae diversity in Khao Nan and Khao Luang National Parks was determined from September 2006 - August 2007. Twenty-nine species in 11 genera in 3 tribes of the family were collected from 9 stations, less than 30 % of the Zingiberaceae recorded in southern Thailand. Tribe Alpinieae, the highest diversity, comprises 5 genera and 15 species. Tribe Zingibereae, the second highest diversity, includes 5 genera and 12 species. The lowest diversity, tribe Globbeae consists of only 2 species in the genus Globba. The checklist, illustrations and distributions of the 29 species found are given. Most species of Zingiberaceae in this study grow in a Tropical Evergreen Rain Forest. Four species, Amomum sp., Globba leucantha, Boesenbergia basispicata and B. plicata grow in the Lower Montane Rain Forest. Soils at the stations where most species are found are partly composed of sand. Only 1 species, Amomum aculeatum is found in a loam soil type. There are few species found in the interior part of the forest and they are less abundant and sparsely distributed. The diversity of species is mostly distributed at an altitude of 90 - 300 m and the number of species decrease as the altitude increases. It is observed that at least 6 species of Zingiberaceae of Khao Nan National Park are also found in the northern part of Khao Luang National Park, such as Zingiber newmanii which is distributed around the Klong Klai Basin. At least 5 species, due to their bright distinctive flower parts, could be developed to be ornamental plants, i.e. Alpinia mutica, A. zerumbet, Etlingera fulgens, Curcuma rubescens and Z. newmanii, in addition to the well known ornamental species such as E. elatior, C. aurantiaca and Kaempferia pulchra. Eight species are edible, i.e. Amomum biflorum, E. elatior, E. fulgens, E. littoralis, C. longa, C. zedoaria, Z. officinale and Z. zerumbet. The seeds of 3 species, Z. newmanii, E. fulgens and E. elatior may prove to be important resources for medicinal essential oils because they produce a lot of seeds in natural conditions and their seeds are mainly composed of essential oils.
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