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Editor's Picks

Group photos Texas OODs
Five days of oaking in the Lone Star State.
Roderick Cameron | Oct 21, 2023
Tour Participants on Fiddler Peak
An account of the Tour guided by Sean Hogan
Website Editor | Oct 19, 2023
Quercus pacifica
An collection specializing in native Californian oaks
Christina Varnava | Oct 18, 2023

Plant Focus

A small but mature Alabama sandstone oak producing acorns © Patrick Thompson
A Critically Endangered dwarf oak 

Oak Conservation in Laos

Project Contact: Phetlasy Souladeth, Research Faculty of Forest Science, National University of Laos,  Dongdok Campus, Xaythany District, Vientiane Capital, Laos.

Executive Summary: Laos, located in the center of the Indochina Peninsula, is known to be one of the world's biodiversity hotspots, but studies of plant diversity are still very fragmentary, and further intensive inventories of particular groups are required. Oaks (genus Ouercus in the family Fagaceae) is one of the largest genera and the centers of diversity of this widespread genus are in Indochina and Mexico. In this project, we focus on the species diversity of the genus Quercus to identify the threatened species and to update our knowledge of the flora of Laos. To evaluate species diversity, field surveys are planned twice in year 1 (2021). All the voucher specimens of Quercus will be recorded and collected. Through the survey, we will make specimens for depositing in the herbaria in Laos, Vietnam, and other countries, and take photos. Taxonomic papers and a checklist for genus will be also provided. These data will be a firm foundation not only for further taxonomic, ecological and biogeographical studies but also for developing the conservation planning of the protected areas and rare and/or threatened species. To enhance the capacity building of Lao botanists, we will organize  Identification Training on taxonomy of Fagaceae (especially in genus Quercus) for students and young researchers of the National University of Laos and other research institutions who are interested. The work will center around five oak species: Quercus austrocochinchinensis (Vulnerable), Q. kingiana (Endangered), Q. saravanensis (Data Deficient), Q. thorelii (Data Deficient), and Q. xanthotricha (Endangered) The project will surely be a great impact for update our knowledge on the genus and strengthens fundamental knowledge on plant taxonomy for the younger generations.

Further Reading

IO 34 cover

IOS Member Profile: Phetlasy Souladeth