Field Trips

IDENTIKIT requires documentation such as high resolution images and character states matrix of the targeted species, which necessitate the field works in evergreen forests of Western Ghats, India and in the northern Annamite Mountain range of Lao PDR.

Field activities in INDIA

Western Ghats, forms a practically unbroken relief dominating the western coast of the Indian peninsula for almost 1600 km. They extend from the mouth of the river Tapti (ca. 21degree N) to the tip of south India (ca. 8 degree N) the only gap in the chain being the Palghat Gap (Figure 1). Field works have been conducted in 127 locations (depicted in the map) in the Western Ghats during the project period. Totally 33,009 photographs were taken from 611 specimens during our study. All those specimens were methodically processed and lodged in the herbarium at IFP (HIFP).

Field activities in Lao PDR

Unlike that of Western Ghats, efforts to catalogue the tree species of Lao PDR can still be called in a nascent stage. The flora of evergreen forests in Lao PDR is poorly known in comparison to neighbouring countries such as Vietnam and Thailand. So any effort to produce an identification system is heavily dependent on fresh field trips to the forest ranges. With the inherent bureaucratic difficulties related to permission for access to the Natural Biodiversity Conservation Area (NBCA), a number of field trips were organized by NHN, CIRAD and NUoL which also helped train the staff of NUoL in botanical specimen collection. Out of the 1108 specimens collected from all the field trips, 126 were selected for proper documentation and inclusion in the database. The remaining species were not included. Among these include members of Lauraceae, Myrtaceae, Melastomataceae, which require further samples to recognize the species. Some of these may be new to science. Field works have been conducted in 5 locations in Nakai - Nam Theun NBCA northern Annamites range. More than 11,000 photographs for the various character states of the species were taken during the field trips and botanical line drawings were also used to supplement. All the specimens collected were processed and lodged at the herbariums in NUoL.

Field Work
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IFP CIRAD  Asia IT&C National University of Laos National Herbarium - Leiden