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Plant Focus

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A guest post by Matt Candeias, host of the In Defense of Plants podcast and blog

A new species of Stone Oak from Thailand

A member of the International Oaks group on Facebook (moderated by IOS member Jeroen Braakman) posted a link to the following item. 

A new species of Lithocarpus, known commonly as Stone Oak, was discovered in the Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary in Thailand.

The new species Lithocarpus orbicarpus can be easily distinguished by its spherical acorns covered with a dense pattern of irregularly placed scales that completely conceal the nut, except for a tiny opening at the top, and which are arranged in dense clusters on upright spikes. It is only known from Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary and actually from a single tree. 

The original article goes on saying "Such distribution limitation and rarity is not uncommon in tropical Oaks. Within this region alone, there are several species that are known only from one or two localities. Though not uncommon, such restricted ranges stress the possible delicate conservation status of new species and other flora and fauna present in the Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary."

Lithocarpus is an interesting genus with over 300 species. It is a dominant or co-dominant tree in many forests of Vietnam that I have visited with Béatrice Chassé and Olivier Colin in October-December 2013.

 

This image shows a young and unripe acorn, characteristic with a dense pattern of irregularly placed scales that cover nearly completely. Its surface is opened up here to show the nut.
Credit: S. Sirimongkol and J. S. Strijk; CC-BY 4.0

 

The original description can be found here:

  1. Joeri Strijk, Sukontip Sirimongkol, Sukid Rueangruea, Nikom Ritphet, Voradol Chamchumroon. Lithocarpus orbicarpus (Fagaceae), a new species of Stone Oak from Phang Nga province, Thailand. PhytoKeys, 2014; 34: 33 DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.34.6429

Do not hesitate to visit the site and have a look at the article.  Not only does it described the new species of Lithocarpus, it also contains an identification key to the species of Lithocarpus found in Thailand.

What is interesting about this journal is that it is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

 

Pensoft Publishers. "New species of Oak hidden away in the greenery of Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary." ScienceDaily.

www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140212112603.htm  (accessed February 13, 2014).