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Research articles

ScienceAsia 46 (2020): 429-435 |doi: 10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874.2020.057

Distribution pattern of the genus Rhododendron in Bhutan Himalayan range

Sangay Namgaya,b,*, Kitichate Sriditha

ABSTRACT:     The genus Rhododendron is considered one of the relictual plant taxa having circumboreal distribution. However, through vicariance followed by orogeny, the distribution of this plant genus was vastly affected. A total of forty six Rhododendron species in Bhutan Himalayan region share most of its species with central Himalayan countries. Additionally, the genus Rhododendron is found even to the extend to Far East Asia. However, very little information is available on the comparative study of the phytogeographic distributions of genus Rhododendron between Himalayan countries and the extent of East Asia. Various literatures and derived data on the Rhododendron species availability were studied. Findings revealed that the Rhododendron arboreum is found to be widely distributed across the whole Himalayan range to the neighbouring countries in East Asia. It could be reasoned that Rhododendron species of Himalayan range are confined within their geographical boundary and remain isolated from other populations. We proposed that heterogenous environmental condition offered by might have played an important role in sustaining the diversity of Rhododendron in Himalayan range. Although Bhutan Himalayan range is not accounted a center of distribution of Rhododendron species, it might have helped as an important corridor for the dispersal of plant elements as it connects many floristic region and biogeographic realms.

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a Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University, Songkla 90112 Thailand
b Wanakha Central School, Ministry of Education, Royal Government of Bhutan, Thimphu, Bhutan

* Corresponding author, E-mail: sangaynamgay@gmail.com

Received 30 Dec 2019, Accepted 23 Jun 2020