Exploration and Inventory of Native Orchid Germplasm in West Borneo, Indonesia

in HortScience
View More View Less
  • 1 Department of Horticulture, College of Agriculture, University of Tanjungpura, Jln. Ahmad Yani Pontianak 78124, Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia

Borneo (Kalimantan) is the third largest island in the world. It is rich with various indigenous orchid species that grow epiphytically, terrestrially, or saprophytically in the forests. Its rain forests are also home to some rare species such as some Aërides sp., Bulbophyllum sp., Cymbidium sp., Dendrobium sp., Dimorphorchis sp., Grammatophyllum sp., Paphiopedilum sp., Phalaenopsis sp., Paraphalaenopsis sp., and Vanda sp., all of which have a very high economic value. These species are endangered and some of them may have not yet been found or discovered, because of the loss of habitat resulting from fire, forest damage, illegal logging, and orchid hunting either by domestic or foreign collectors. Until recently, there are only a few records on the orchid native to West Borneo. For this reason, a research was conducted to identify and create an inventory of all orchid species that exist in West Borneo before they become extinct along with their habitat and to conserve them ex situ. This research was conducted in 10 counties and one municipal city in West Borneo, and inventory was done through exploration. Orchids found were recorded and identified into their genera and their species by visual examination of vegetative and floral characteristics, respectively. A total of 197 species of orchids from 66 genera were identified, and among those, 27 species live as terrestrials, 169 species live as epiphytes, and one species lives as both an epiphyte and terrestrial.

Abstract

Borneo (Kalimantan) is the third largest island in the world. It is rich with various indigenous orchid species that grow epiphytically, terrestrially, or saprophytically in the forests. Its rain forests are also home to some rare species such as some Aërides sp., Bulbophyllum sp., Cymbidium sp., Dendrobium sp., Dimorphorchis sp., Grammatophyllum sp., Paphiopedilum sp., Phalaenopsis sp., Paraphalaenopsis sp., and Vanda sp., all of which have a very high economic value. These species are endangered and some of them may have not yet been found or discovered, because of the loss of habitat resulting from fire, forest damage, illegal logging, and orchid hunting either by domestic or foreign collectors. Until recently, there are only a few records on the orchid native to West Borneo. For this reason, a research was conducted to identify and create an inventory of all orchid species that exist in West Borneo before they become extinct along with their habitat and to conserve them ex situ. This research was conducted in 10 counties and one municipal city in West Borneo, and inventory was done through exploration. Orchids found were recorded and identified into their genera and their species by visual examination of vegetative and floral characteristics, respectively. A total of 197 species of orchids from 66 genera were identified, and among those, 27 species live as terrestrials, 169 species live as epiphytes, and one species lives as both an epiphyte and terrestrial.

Orchids are members of the Orchidaceae, the largest family among flowering plants, which includes 25,000 species from 850 genera. It is estimated that 2500 to 3000 orchid species grow in the forests of Borneo (Irawati, 2002).

In their natural habitats, most orchids live as epiphytes in the forest trees. Increasing forest exploitation, either legally or illegally, and excessive logging have caused damage to the forests of West Borneo. Gold mining, wild forest fires, and illegal burning to establish a new agriculture land occur often and are some of the reasons orchids are becoming extinct. There are also economic factors contributing to the endangerment of Borneo's orchids such as illegal collecting and selling of wild orchids by collectors (orchid lovers) and the increasing demand for orchids by neighboring countries such as Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam. These conditions point to the urgency of the need to conserve native orchids in West Borneo.

Conservancy efforts should be conducted in accordance with the following Indonesian legislations: UU No. 5 ratified in 1990, The Conservation of Biological Natural Resources and Its Ecosystem (Indonesian Ministry of the Environment, 1990); UU No. 5 ratified in 1994, The Conservation of Biological Diversity (Indonesian Ministry of the Environment, 1994); and PP No. 7 ratified in 1999, The Conservation of Flora and fauna (Indonesian Ministry of the Environment, 1999).

According to Global Forest Watch (2002), Indonesia is one of the countries experiencing the most drastic loss of forestland in the world. It was estimated in 1996 that ≈1 million ha of Indonesian forestland was being destroyed every year, including ≈1.7 million ha every year during the 1990s such that it was estimated that the forests in Borneo will have completely vanished by 2010. It is as a result of these figures that the author tries to promote conservation efforts, which include conserving native orchids by ex situ processes and making an inventory and identifying native orchids in West Borneo in accordance with the legislation mentioned previously.

Materials and Methods

Time and location.

The research was conducted in 3 years, from 2002 to 2005. The author explored forests in all 10 counties and one municipal city in West Borneo. The counties were Sambas, Bengkayang, Pontianak, Sekadau, Sanggau, Kapuas Hulu, Sintang, Landak, Malawi, and Ketapang and the municipal city was Pontianak City.

Materials and tools.

Materials used for this research were orchid plant guidebooks. Several reference books written by Banks (1999, 2004a, 2004b), Chan et al. (1994), Clayton (2002), Cribb (1997), Dixon et al. (2003), Dressler (1993), Marinelli (2004), Moeso (1988), O'Byrne (2001), Teo (1995), Vermeulen (1991), and Wood (1997, 2001, 2003) were used for orchid determination. Especially useful were Orchids of Borneo Vol. 1 (Chan et al., 1994), Orchids of Borneo Vol. 2 (Vermeulen, 1991), Orchids of Borneo Vol. 3 (Wood, 1997), Orchids of Borneo Vol. 4 (Wood, 2003 ), and A to Z of South East Asian Orchid Species (O'Byrne, 2001).

The tools used were a camera, a compass, measuring tapes, clippers, wrapping paper, plastic sacks, paper bags, ropes, and a forest map of West Borneo.

Research methods.

Explorative inventory through purposive sampling was conducted to identify the native orchids into their genera and species. Purposive sampling involved choosing exploration sites based on the existence of forests, both primary and secondary, and along riverbanks within counties. Epiphytic orchids were collected from the forest by climbing the trees or from the dead plant, and terrestrial ones were dug, including the soil, surrounding the roots. They were put into paper bags, and their habitats and their locations were recorded. Then, they were taken to the nursery and grown ex situ. Fresh flowers and their pictures were also taken for identification. Genus and species identifications were determined by visual examination of vegetative and floral characteristics, respectively. Identification was accomplished using the reference guidebooks mentioned previously. The average temperature in the forests of West Borneo is 24 to 33 °C, relative humidity 60% to 80%, light intensity is 7000 to 8000 lx, soil types are organic soil (peat) and mineral soils (yellowish red podzolic and alluvial), and pH of the soil is 4.0 to 5.5 (soil information needed for terrestrial orchids only). This information was recorded to grow the orchids ex situ.

Results and Discussion

One hundred ninety-seven orchid species from 66 genera have been identified, including some with high economic value and others with low economic value. Among these orchids, 27 species live as terrestrials, 169 species live as epiphytes in the forest, and one species lives as both an epiphyte and terrestrial (Table 1). In addition, the identification of 200 taxa is still pending, because these plants have not flowered at the time this article was written. The author found that orchid species were not uniformly distributed in West Borneo. Some species have become vulnerable, some have become endangered, whereas others have become almost extinct. Some vulnerable species such as Aërides odorata is still abundant, especially in Sambas, Landak, and Bengkayang counties. Similarly, Arundina graminifolia and Bromheadia finlaysoniana are easily found in their habitats in many counties.

Table 1.

List of orchid species found in West Borneo, Indonesia.

Table 1.
Table 1.
Table 1.

Some species with high economic value such as Arachnis breviscapa, Arachnis hookeriana, Bulbophyllum beccarii, Bulbophyllum dearei, Coelogyne pandurata, Cymbidium bicolor, Dendrobium hallieri, Dendrobium singkawangense, Dimorphorchis lowii, Vanda dearei, Paphiopedilum hookerae, Paphiopedilum kolopakingii, and Paphiopedilum lowii have become endangered. Among these orchids, Paphiopedilum lowii still can be found in Sanggau and Sintang counties. Bulbophyllum beccarii and Bulbophyllum dearei can be found in Landak, Kapuas Hulu, and Bengkayang counties, and only a few Vanda dearei can be found in Landak county. On the other hand, Arachnis breviscapa and Arachnis hookeriana are very rare. Similarly, endemic Dendrobium species such as Dendrobium hallieri and Dendrobium singkawangense are difficult to find as a result of high demand by the buyers. It is also difficult to cultivate these endemic species ex situ, perhaps because of the difficulties in copying the exact microhabitat, which supports its specific associated mycorrhiza.

Noteworthy taxa include two species from genus Paphiopedilum (Paphiopedilum hookerae and Paphiopedilum kolopakingii), two species from the genus Paraphalaenopsis (Paraphalaenopsis denevei and Paraphalaenopsis serpentilingua), Cymbidium bicolor, Dimorphorchis rossii, and several species from genus Phalaenopsis, none of which are common in nature because they are highly prized by poachers or they have vanished as their habitat is destroyed. These orchids are hardly found in their habitats but are more easily found outside their habitats. They are found in Serawak (Malaysia), in nurseries in Java, and some big cities in Indonesia as well as some parts of the Western hemisphere. Especially, Paraphalaenopsis serpentilingua is now critically endangered, and it can only be found in Sintang county. However, the Bogor Botanical Garden in Indonesia has successfully cultivated it. Likewise, Macodes petola, Anoectochilus albolineatus, and Ludisia discolor have become extremely rare and critically endangered. Only a few of these plants were encountered. These orchids live in shady, moist, and humically rich habitats. Moreover, Phalaenopsis gigantea, Paraphalaenopsis denevei, and Phalaenopsis amabilis are also critically endangered. They have never been found in their habitats and are hardly found in the markets. The author recommends that all vulnerable, endangered, and critically endangered species should be cultivated before they become extinct. Local government intervention and participation in conservation, cultivation as well as marketing of orchids are necessary so that parties will not directly take the plants from their habitat.

Literature Cited

  • Banks, D.P. 1999 Tropical orchids of Indonesia Periplus Edition (HK) Ltd Singapore

  • Banks, D.P. 2004a Handy pocket guide to the orchids of Indonesia Periplus Edition (HK) Ltd Singapore

  • Banks, D.P. 2004b Orchids: Cultivation, propagation and varieties Murdoch Books Pty Ltd Sydney, Australia

  • Chan, C.L., Lamb, A., Shim, P.S. & Wood, J.J. 1994 Orchids of Borneo Vol. 1 The Sabah Society Kota Kinabalu in association with The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Surrey, UK

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Clayton, D. 2002 The genus Coelogyne a synopsis Natural History Publications (Borneo) in association with The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Surrey, UK

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cribb, P. 1997 Slipper orchids of Borneo Natural History Publications Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

  • Dixon, K.W., Shepagh, P.K., Russell, L.B. & Philip, J.C. 2003 Orchid conservation Natural History Publications (Borneo) Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

  • Dressler, R.L. 1993 Phylogeny and classification of the orchid family Dioscorides Press Portland, OR

  • Global Forest Watch. 2002. Indonesia: Overview. 25 Sept. 2002. 28 Apr. 2006. <http://www.globalforestwatch.org/English/Indonesia/index.htm>.

  • Indonesian Ministry of the Environment 1990 Undang-Undang No. 5 Tahun 1990 Tentang: Konservasi Sumberdaya Alam Hayati dan Ekosistemnya 28 Apr. 2006 <http://www.menlh.go.id/i/art/pdf_1038295823.pdf>.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Indonesian Ministry of the Environment 1994 Undang-Undang No. 5 Tahun 1994 Tentang: Pengesahan United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity <http://www.menlh.go.id/i/art/pdf_1038297639.pdf>.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Indonesian Ministry of the Environment 1999 Peraturan Pemerintah No. 7 Tahun 1999 Tentang: Pengawetan Jenis Tumbuhan dan Satwa 28 Apr. 2006 <http://www.menlh.go.id/i/art/pdf_1038451276.pdf>.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Irawati 2002 Pelestarian jenis anggrek di Indonesia Proseding Seminar Anggrek Nasional Yogyakarta

  • Marinelli, J. 2004 Plant Dorling Kindersley Limited London, UK

  • Moeso, S. 1988 Mengenal anggrek alam Indonesia Penebar Swadaya Jakarta

  • O'Byrne, P. 2001 A to Z of South East Asia orchid species Orchid Society of South East Asia Singapore

  • Teo, C.K.H. 1995 Native orchids of Peninsular Malaysia Times Book International Singapore

  • Vermeulen, J.J. 1991 Orchids of Borneo Vol. 2 Bulbophyllum. Bentham-Moxon Trust, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Surrey, UK

  • Wood, J.J. 1997 Orchids of Borneo Vol. 3 The Sabah Society Kota Kinabalu in association with The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Surrey, UK

  • Wood, J.J. 2001 Dendrochilum of Borneo Natural History Publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu in association with The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Surrey, UK

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wood, J.J. 2003 Orchids of Borneo Vol. 4 The Sabah Society Kota Kinabalu in association with Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Surrey, UK

Contributor Notes

I thank Deliana Siregar McCreary and Rieza Soelaeman for reviewing and editing this paper.

To whom reprint requests should be addressed; e-mail chairani8@yahoo.com

  • Banks, D.P. 1999 Tropical orchids of Indonesia Periplus Edition (HK) Ltd Singapore

  • Banks, D.P. 2004a Handy pocket guide to the orchids of Indonesia Periplus Edition (HK) Ltd Singapore

  • Banks, D.P. 2004b Orchids: Cultivation, propagation and varieties Murdoch Books Pty Ltd Sydney, Australia

  • Chan, C.L., Lamb, A., Shim, P.S. & Wood, J.J. 1994 Orchids of Borneo Vol. 1 The Sabah Society Kota Kinabalu in association with The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Surrey, UK

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Clayton, D. 2002 The genus Coelogyne a synopsis Natural History Publications (Borneo) in association with The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Surrey, UK

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cribb, P. 1997 Slipper orchids of Borneo Natural History Publications Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

  • Dixon, K.W., Shepagh, P.K., Russell, L.B. & Philip, J.C. 2003 Orchid conservation Natural History Publications (Borneo) Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

  • Dressler, R.L. 1993 Phylogeny and classification of the orchid family Dioscorides Press Portland, OR

  • Global Forest Watch. 2002. Indonesia: Overview. 25 Sept. 2002. 28 Apr. 2006. <http://www.globalforestwatch.org/English/Indonesia/index.htm>.

  • Indonesian Ministry of the Environment 1990 Undang-Undang No. 5 Tahun 1990 Tentang: Konservasi Sumberdaya Alam Hayati dan Ekosistemnya 28 Apr. 2006 <http://www.menlh.go.id/i/art/pdf_1038295823.pdf>.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Indonesian Ministry of the Environment 1994 Undang-Undang No. 5 Tahun 1994 Tentang: Pengesahan United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity <http://www.menlh.go.id/i/art/pdf_1038297639.pdf>.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Indonesian Ministry of the Environment 1999 Peraturan Pemerintah No. 7 Tahun 1999 Tentang: Pengawetan Jenis Tumbuhan dan Satwa 28 Apr. 2006 <http://www.menlh.go.id/i/art/pdf_1038451276.pdf>.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Irawati 2002 Pelestarian jenis anggrek di Indonesia Proseding Seminar Anggrek Nasional Yogyakarta

  • Marinelli, J. 2004 Plant Dorling Kindersley Limited London, UK

  • Moeso, S. 1988 Mengenal anggrek alam Indonesia Penebar Swadaya Jakarta

  • O'Byrne, P. 2001 A to Z of South East Asia orchid species Orchid Society of South East Asia Singapore

  • Teo, C.K.H. 1995 Native orchids of Peninsular Malaysia Times Book International Singapore

  • Vermeulen, J.J. 1991 Orchids of Borneo Vol. 2 Bulbophyllum. Bentham-Moxon Trust, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Surrey, UK

  • Wood, J.J. 1997 Orchids of Borneo Vol. 3 The Sabah Society Kota Kinabalu in association with The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Surrey, UK

  • Wood, J.J. 2001 Dendrochilum of Borneo Natural History Publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu in association with The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Surrey, UK

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wood, J.J. 2003 Orchids of Borneo Vol. 4 The Sabah Society Kota Kinabalu in association with Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Surrey, UK

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 536 103 11
PDF Downloads 342 135 27