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Notes on the Osaka City University biological expedition to southeast Asia 1957-58



Notes on the Osaka City University biological expedition to southeast Asia 1957-58



Nature And Life in Southeast Asia 1: 1-19



Some of the noteworthy results hitherto obtained may be summarized as follows. Main types of forest vegetation in NW Thailand were classified and described. Ordination of the types along thermal and moisture gradient was successfully made and revealed the close correspondence with the vegetation of Burma. Especially the savanna forest, one of the least known vegetation types of the world, was most intensively analyzed with respect to its flora and structure. There are evidences that this type of tropical forest, characterized by open canopy and grassy undergrowth, had occupied the most extensive area in the original vegetation of Thailand. Quantitative analyses of organic matter turnover in certain forest types revealed that the rate of gross production of dry matter by tropical evergreen forest might exceed 100 ton/ha [center dot] year, or 2-3 times as great as those in temperate forests. Decomposition rate of soil organic matter was also exceedingly greater in moist tropical forest than in temperate vegetation. The inhibition of the rates due to climatic aridity was elucidated. The greatest population of wild gibbons in NW Thailand was found in lower temperate zone forest. Evidences were found that, besides the normal family life described by Carpenter, they may live in larger groups containing more than 10 heads in some cases. Possibility and certain adequate localities were found for provisioning wild gibbons with artificial baits which may enable closer observation of their social life. Insect specimens, except Lepidoptera, Orthoptera, Heteroptera, and some others, were taxonomically studied. Some fifty forms were proved to be new to science. General concepts on the distribution of Hymenoptera in the countries visited were obtained. Especially noteworthy was the occurrence of temperate bumble bees on highlands of NW Thailand. Some important observations were made on the life of subsocial bees (Ceratina and Allodape) at Chieng Mai. Rohrschach personality of a few villages in NW Thailand was more or less allied to that of Japanese rural communities. Notably it was entirely different from the results obtained in Himalayan villages. Through the experiences described above, it was felt that the next research should be in the area of pure tropical rain-forest climate as well as into the rainy season of monsoon climate, particularly in botanical and entomological researches. Long-term stay at a favorable field seems indispensable for the advance of insect and primate sociology. This is also true of the studies in cultural anthropology. On the other hand, we feel an increasing interest in the life of various hill tribes among highlands of northern regions, for which, however, another reconaissance seems necessary. The highlands of Southeast Asia are also attractive for biologists since they offer an ideal chance to study the transition from Sino-Japanese to Indo-Malayan biota occurring within very short distances. These will be the main items of study to be carried in our next expedition now in preparation.

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Accession: 025103209

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Related references

Bees of Xylocopinae and Apinae collected by the Osaka City University biological expedition to Southeast Asia 1957-58, with some biological notes. Nature And Life in Southeast Asia 1: 409-444, 1961

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