Thursday, June 2, 2011

Vatica yeechongii

Vatica yeechongii

A rare dipterocarp, adapted to growing near streamsides.  Vatica yeechongii  is a recent discovery to science, identified only in 2002.  This recent discovery reflects the immense richness and uniqueness of the forests in the Park.

The Vatica yeechongii is a species of the dipterocarpaceae family of towering timber trees. The Vatica genus is known locally as resak and includes some lucrative, huge, hardwood tree species.  

Vatica yeechongii , however, is a medium-sized understorey tree, growing to a diameter of 13cm and a height of 15m tall, and is hardly of any commercial timber value.  It looks very different from the rest of the Vatica, as the leaves are very big.

It is suspected that the V. yeechongii seeds are scattered by water. This is because the trees have been observed only near rivers and the seeds are surrounded by small petals which are not conducive for wind dispersal.  

V. yeechongii was also recently found in the Setul Forest Reserve in Negri Sembilan. The species has a very restricted distribution and small population – there are less than 30 in Sungai Lalang and 100 in Setul – reflects the species’ rarity.  This places the species at risk.

In the words of Dr. Saw Leng Guan, who discovered the species.. " The fact that a new species was discovered in this current era of diminishing forest areas merely shows that we do not know enough about our plant diversity and that long-term field observations are necessary. "

On your next weekend break, make it a mini-adventure.  Take a drive to Sg. Tekala Recreational Forest, Taman Negeri Selangor, and look out for this unique and rare tree species!

For more information, please visit:

No comments:

Post a Comment