The Global Conservation Consortium for Dipterocarps brings together the world’s dipterocarp experts, conservationists, and the botanic garden community to ensure that no wild dipterocarp species becomes extinct.
Building on previous and existing work, and to further address the conservation needs of dipterocarps, the Global Conservation Consortium for Dipterocarps coordinates collaborative work on all aspects of conservation and will also focus on applied research in areas including phylogenomics, ecology, conservation genetics, tissue culture and cryopreservation. The consortium also encourages exchange of both material and data which are vital for the advancement of knowledge informing conservation strategies.
The Global Conservation Consortium for Dipterocarps is led by Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and works in a coordinated and collaborative way with the global dipterocarp community to achieve its aims.
The Dipterocarpaceae family has 17 genera and around 680 known species of mainly tropical, lowland rainforest trees. Dipterocarps are mostly large, emergent trees, with greatest diversity in Borneo and southeast Asia, though species are also found in tropical Africa and South America. They can be evergreen or deciduous and occur in a wide variety of habitats including lowland forests, coastal forests, limestone hills and savannas, reaching a maximum elevation of around 1300 m in Thailand.
Most dipterocarps produce valuable timber, which has resulted in extensive logging and many species are highly threatened in the wild due to habitat conversion, agriculture and urbanisation. Several also produce resins for which trees are sometimes harvested. Currently, 127 species are listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List, with a further 139 species assessed as Endangered. One species, Hopea shingkeng, is known to have recently gone extinct.
Dipterocarp seeds are recalcitrant, meaning that they cannot be banked via conventional methods and thus ex situ living collections are of vital importance for conservation. Much work has already been done to conserve and study the family and several initiatives have been successfully established, including projects undertaken as part of the Global Trees Campaign and Southeast Asia Botanic Gardens (SEABG) Network.
The Global Conservation Consortium for Dipterocarps is being led by:
Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences
For questions or more information, or if you are interested in learning more about current activities please contact Wen-Bin Yu, the Global Conservation Consortium for Dipterocarps Coordinator.
The Global Conservation Consortium for Dipterocarps has been divided into the following operational regions:
Two dipterocarp genera occur in Africa: Marquesia and Monotes. Marquesia comprises three species, native to parts of central and southern Africa, while Monotes includes around 30 species on mainland Africa and Madagascar, of which nearly half are threatened.
The centre of dipterocarp diversity is southeast Asia, though the distribution of the family extends to northern India and southern Sri Lanka. Greatest richness occurs in southeast Asia, particularly equatorial Malaysia and Indonesia.
One genus and species of dipterocarp occurs in South America. Pseudomonotes tropenbosii is native to Colombia, and was assessed as Least Concern in 2020.
The operational regions of the consortium may be further subdivided as consortium activities develop.