A leaves on erect pseudostem usually green in

A study on the
distribution of Zingiberaceae in Kuantan, Pahang was carried out from January
to December of 2017. This study was conducted to investigate the morphological
variation and distribution of Zingiberaceae species in Kuantan, Pahang. The
materials obtained for this study were collected directly from sampling site
and prepared as herbarium voucher. The collected samples were studied, observed
and annotated. From this study, a total of 23 samples from 13 species was
collected. Identification was done based on morphological characteristics based
on the vegetative and reproductive structure of the collected samples., 13 Zingiberaceae
species from at least 4 genera were collected. It was concluded that
Zingiberaceae species are most abundant in environments of shaded forest and
mostly can be found in the subdistrict of Kuala Kuantan. An updated checklist
of Zingiberaceae in Kuantan has been prepared for future reference.The
Ginger family or Zingiberaceae is very well known all over the world. Zingiberaceae
has about 50 genera and over 1600 species worldwide (Maarten et al., 2016). It is easily recognizable
as a flowering plant with distinct aromas and rhizome roots. This perennial
herb features simple blades of slightly thick, fleshy leaves on erect
pseudostem usually green in colour.To locate members of Zingiberaceae family, one must
know that the plant thrives warm and sunny areas with damp soil conditions.
Thus, as a tropical plant, it can be found primarily in regions along the
equator with environments of adequate humidity and temperature. The plant is widely used as spices in cooking,
herbal medicines, and cosmetics. The Indians and ancient Chinese have practice
the use of ginger root to treat various common ailments since olden times. In
fact, ginger has been traded throughout history longer than most other spices
due to its medicinal merits. Common uses of Zingiberaceae stated by Ibrahim et
al. (2017) in the medicinal field include  relieving flatulence or stomach ache,
post-natal healthcare, treatment for muscle sprains and joint pains and
universal health drink. Basically, the plant is used extensively in modern
medicine and pharmacology as well as traditional medicine.

Although members of this family are commonly used in
various fields, it is quite difficult to recognize and differentiate between
species of Zingiberaceae as they all bear multiple resemblance with each other
especially without basic expertise and knowledge in taxonomy and ginger
morphological description. For example, turmeric, common ginger and galangal
are widely used in Malay delicacies but to the uninformed eyes, the rhizomes of
these species look basically similar and the plants all have large green leaves
without much distinction. Thus, this study was carried out to describe the
morphological variation of Zingiberaceae and evaluate the distribution of
Zingiberaceae family particularly in district of Kuantan, Pahang. This is
crucial for better understanding of Zingiberaceae distribution and goes hand in
hand to the efforts for recognizing key identification features of
Zingiberaceae family.Zingiberaceae
is a well-known plant with roughly 50 genera and over 1600 species worldwide and
about less than a hundred species in Malaysia (Maarten et al., 2016). It is a family of flowering plants of aromatic
perennial herbs with creeping horizontal or tuberous rhizomes distributed
throughout tropical Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Plants in Zingiberaceae
family are herbaceous with distichous leaves that forms pseudostem. The plants
are usually terrestrial or epiphytic. Flowers are hermaphroditic, usually
strongly zygomorphic, in determinate cymose inflorescences, and subtended by
conspicuous, spirally arranged bracts. The perianth is composed of two whorls,
a fused tubular calyx, and a tubular corolla with one lobe larger than the
other. Flowers typically have two of their stamenoids (sterile stamens) fused
to form a petaloid lip, and have only one fertile stamen. The ovary is inferior
and topped by two nectaries, the stigma is funnel-shaped. The fruits are
capsular, fleshy or dry, dehiscent or indehiscent, sometimes berrylike. Seed
may be many or few, arilate, aril, often lobed or lacerate (Jatoi et al., 2007). Plants of the
Zingiberaceae family mainly reproduce asexually through underground rhizomes.  Kingdom         :           Plantae
Phylum                        :           Tracheophyta Class                            :           Liliopsida Order                           :           Zingiberales
Family                         :           Zingiberaceae Genus                          :           Zingiber 
Species                        :           officinale
2.1.1          
GENERAZingiberaceae
consist of approximately 50 genus distributed worldwide but according to
Ibrahim et al. (2007) , only 18 genera have been recorded in Peninsular
Malaysia .Below are morphological structure of some common and abundant genera
of Zingiberaceae in Malaysia.2.1.1.1    
AlpiniaALPINIA
RoxburghThe
genus is easily distinguished by its terminal inflorescence on leafy shoot,
which is emerging above its uppermost leaf sheath, rarely appearing lateral and
if so then not densely congested and labellum large and showy (Julius et al., 2010). Rhizomes are creeping and
thick. Pseudostems many, well developed and rarely absent. Leaves are many, leaf
blade oblong or lanceolate. Inflorescence at terminal panicle, raceme, or
spike, dense or lax. Calyx usually tubular. Corolla central lobe. Ovary usually
3-loculed and placentation axile. Stigma usually well expanded. Capsule usually
globose, dry or fleshy, indehiscent or irregularly dehiscent. Seeds numerous. (Delin
et al., 2000).2.1.1.2    
AmomumAMOMUM
RoxburghAmomum
is characterised by radical cone-like inflorescences without an involucre of
sterile bracts, sometimes stilted root (Julius et al., 2010). Rhizomes are widely creeping. Pseudostems elongate.
Leaf sheath long, leaf blade usually oblong-lanceolate, oblong, or linear.
Inflorescence arising from rhizomes, a densely flowered spike or spikelike
raceme or panicle. Calyx usually tubular. Corolla tube cylindric. Filament well
developed. Ovary 3-loculed; ovules many per locule, superposed. Style filiform;
stigma usually funnelform, small, ciliate. Seeds oblong or many angled. (Delin et al., 2000).2.1.1.3    
EtlingeraETLINGERA
GisekeEtlingera
is characterised by an involucres of sterile bracts, a short or much elongated peduncle,
tubular and elongated bracteoles, and distinct petal lobes, base of filament
and labellum (Julius et al.,
2010).  Rhizomes are creeping.
Pseudostems robust. Leaves petiolate, lanceolate, large. Inflorescence arising
from rhizomes. Calyx tubular. Corolla tube equaling or longer than calyx.
Lateral staminodes absent. Labellum tongue-shaped. Stamen shorter than
labellum. Ovary 3-loculed; ovules numerous per locule. Capsule fleshy,
indehiscent, smooth, longitudinally ridged, or with obtuse warts in rows. (Delin
et al., 2000).2.1.1.4    
ZingiberZINGIBER
MillerZingiber
is a monophyletic group which produces radical inflorescenceand
characterised by having pulvinus petiole and anther crest wrapped around the
exerted style (Julius et al., 2010). Rhizomes
branched, tuberous, aromatic. Pseudostems erect, leafy. Leaves distichous petiole
swollen, leaf blade oblong, lanceolate, or linear. Inflorescences conical,
arising from rhizomes on peduncle. Calyx tubular. Corolla tube slender.
Filament short. Ovary 3-loculed; placentation axile. Style slender, stigma not
expanded. Capsule dehiscent loculicidally or irregularly. Seeds black. (Delin et al., 2000). 2.1.2       
Ecology
and HabitatZingiberaceae
are easily found in tropical and subtropical regions, primarily in tropical Asia
which posses moist and hot climate as well as large variety of habitats that probably
favored the development and differentiation of these plants. (Jatoi et a.l, 2007). They not only compromise
a prominent fraction of the undergrowth of tropical rain and monsoon forest but
are also sometimes found in secondary forest. 2.1.3       
Geographical
distributionMalaysia
is among one of the countries with the greatest number of Zingiberaceae species
in South East Asia besides Thailand. Of 60% of tropical rainforest covering
Malaysia, over 320 species of 21 genera of Zingiberaceae have been discovered
as stated by Ibrahim et al. (2007) albeit there are disputes to the exact
number of genera of Zingiberaceae found in Malaysia due to the persistent
process of evolution of the plant.   2.1.4       
UsesThe
Zingiberaceae species have long been exploited for a wide range of uses and
have been part of the Asian culture for centuries. In Malaysia, plants of
Zingiberaceae family are used as flavoring, spices, vegetables, medicine and
religious practices. Recently, cultivated gingers are utilized for
pharmaceutical and cosmeceutical field. (Ibrahim et al., 2007).Almost a fifth of the Peninsular Malaysian gingers
are consumable and eaten fresh or cooked. Almost all parts of the plants can be
eaten which includes mainly rhizomes but also fruits, seeds, young shoots and
flower. (Ibrahim et al., 2007). Some
species of Zingiberaceae are also used in post-natal healthcare and post-partum
medicine as it is believed to  be able to
help the process of internal healing in confinement period of new mothers             Kumar et al. (2013) stated  that the plants are characterized by the
presence of valuable volatile oils. Almost all of Zingiberaceae species have
aromatic rhizome and fruit which can act as tonics and stimulants. The plants
also can be processed into astringent and diaphoretic juice as utilized in Ayurvedic
medicine. More recent studies into pharmacological potential
of Zingiberaceae revealed anti-cancer and anti-microbial properties obtained
from ginger extracts  as revealed by
Wohlmuth (2008)  which is a spectacular
finding in the ultimate search for the cure to cancer.2.3       Recent
collection and checklist (Malaysia, Pahang and Kuantan)There
are approximately 160 species of Zingiberaceae belonging to 18

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genera
in Peninsular Malaysia as mentioned by Ibrahim et al. (2007) as described in Table
2.13.1         Sampling
siteThe
research was conducted in selected regions (subdistrict) in Kuantan, Pahang,
Malaysia. The collection of plant samples were focused in the Kuantan district
which consist of a total of six subdistricts or mukims (Beserah, Kuala Kuantan,
Penor, Sungai Karang, Ulu Kuantan and Ulu Lepar). The collection was limited to
three trails per mukim or subdistrict. Selected subdistricts in this study were
confined to Kuala Kuantan, Ulu Kuantan and Sungai Karang.3.2  Plant CollectionFor
each area of sampling covering a 5km radius, a total of at least 5 plants
(duplicates) of each species were  taken.
The plants were studied, identified and annotated. The collected specimen from
the field were prepared as herbarium voucher.  The plants collected must fulfil the
requirement of having stems, leaves, flower and fruit with no or minimal
damage. The size of plants specimen to be collected must be within 42cm of
height and 28cm of width to fit onto the mounting board or herbarium sheet. If
not, the plant specimen is cut in to separate parts and mounted on different
sheets of mounting board.3.3         Herbarium
preparation3.3.1 PressingThe
first step after collection of sample was pressing them between cardboards and
presser. Before they were pressed, any soil or dirt is removed of the sample to
prevent contamination which may damage the sample during long-term storage. All
parts of specimen were arranged neatly flat on the cardboard, showing leaves of
both surfaces (abaxial and adaxial surface) and have been ensured that none of
them was folded. An exception is for large leaves that could not fit properly
thus needed to be folded. Fleshy parts like fruits were kept in air-tight
sealed jars containing Copenhagen solution (70% ethanol + 28% distilled water +
2%glycerol). The pressed specimen is then stacked and tied firmly.   Zingiberaceae leaves are known to be fleshy
and thus crinkle easily making the pressing process harder. As a result, the
sample was treated with methylated spirit (distilled water and  95% ethanol 1:1) to soften them. The ready to
be dried sample was then put in a plastic bag, together with the methylated
spirit and sealed tightly for a week. After seven days, the samples were ready
for drying process. The samples were arranged between newspapers and strips of
cardboard boxes for ventilations so that water can evaporate easily during
drying process.3.3.2 DryingThe
pressed specimen were placed in oven for drying at 55oC
for three weeks or until fully dried. This was different from conventional method
as Zingiberaceae species were fleshy and have relatively higher water content therefore
needed longer drying period.3.3.3 Mounting After
the specimen have been dried, they were mounted on a herbarium sheet and fixed
on by sewing or gluing. This was done to make sure no part was damaged or
missing for long term storage. The
mounted specimen were attached with proper labeling including the author name,
location collected, date of collection, scientific and common name3.4 Data collection

The collected plants
will have to be taken with proper details including location as well as visual
observation with several parameters. Below mentioned were the suggested
parameters to be recorded during collection for example, habitat description,
height, rhizome type and colour, leaf size, type and venation and flower colour
and position. Plant
description: Herbs perennial, terrestrial, with tuberous and sub-erect
brown-coloured  rhizome with adventitious
root. Stem of pseudostem with 0.3cm diameter and without leaf sheath. Leaf
single, sessile, arranged alternately, simple with margin entire. Lamina elliptic,
with length of 21-25cm and width of 5-7cm, thick, apex acuminate, base cuneate.
Apical process absent. Ratio of lamina length/ width 3:1. Craspedodromous
venation. Trichomes absent. Sheath absent. Ecology
and habitat: Shaded forest

Distribution:
Kuala Kuantan4.1.2.1   Hornstedtia
sp (sp2)Plant
description: Herbs perennial, terrestrial, with tuberous and erect
cream-coloured rhizome with adventitious root. Stem of pseudostem with 0.3cm
diameter and without leaf sheath. Leaf single, petiolate of 1cm, arranged
alternately, simple. Lamina narrowly elliptic, with lengthof 20-24cm and width
of 3-6cm, thick, apex acuminate, base cuneate. Apical process absent. Ratio of
lamina length/ width 5:1. Craspedodromous venation. Trichomes present on both
adaxial and abaxial surface. Sheath absent.

Ecology
and habitat: Shaded forest, open areaPlant
description: Herbs perennial, terrestrial, with tuberous and sub-erect
cream-coloured rhizome with adventitious root. Stem of pseudostem with 1cm
diameter. Leaf single, petiolate of 1-4.5cm, arranged alternately, simple.
Lamina narrowly elliptic, with length of 14-21cm and width of 2-4.5cm, apex
acuminate, base narrowly cuneate. Apical process absent. Ratio of lamina
length/ width 5:1. Craspedodromous venation. Trichomes absent. Sheath absent.Plant
description: Herbs perennial, terrestrial, with tuberous and erect
pink-coloured rhizome with adventitious root. Stem of pseudostem with 1.3cm
diameter with leaf sheath. Leaf single, petiolate of 1-2cm, arranged
alternately, simple. Lamina narrowly elliptic, with length of 24-25cm and width
of 3-6cm, apex acuminate, base narrowly cuneate. Apical process present of
1-1.5cm. Ratio of lamina length/ width 5:1. Craspedodromous venation. Trichomes
absent. Sheath present of 1-1.5cm length.Plant
description: Herbs perennial, terrestrial, with tuberous and sub-erect
brown-coloured rhizome with adventitious root. Stem of pseudostem with 0.4cm
diameter. Leaf single, sessile, arranged alternately, simple. Lamina elliptic,
with length of 15-17cm and width of 1.5-2.5cm, apex acuminate, base cuneate.
Apical process present of 1.5-2.5cm length. Ratio of lamina length/ width 9:1.
Craspedodromous venation. Trichomes absent. Sheath absent.Based
on overall morphology of samples collected, species of Zingiberaceae were
identified through vegetative characteristics including leaves, stem and
rhizomes. Primarily, identification of species in this family is done through
flower morphology analysis but due to unavailability of flower sample retrieval
from sampling site, vegetative characteristics were instead used.   Based on observation of collected samples, the
samples collected from shaded area tend to have glabrous leaf while samples of
open area usually have pubescent leaves.            From Scaphochlamys
breviscapa, we can observe that the species have pseudostems without leaf
sheath. The leaf  is single, sessile and
alternately arranged with elliptic lamina. The venation is craspedodromous and trichomes
are absent  From Hornstedtia
sp, it can be observed that the species have pseudostem with leaf sheath. The
leaf is single, petiolate and arranged alternately with elliptic lamina. The
venation is craspedodromous and trichomes are present on bot adaxial and
abaxial surface.     4.3 ECOLOGYThere
are various types of environment from sampling site which contributes to the
distribution of Zingiberaceae species found throughout the Kuantan district. We
can observe that the average height of plant samples was higher in shaded
forest habitat of Kuala Kuantan compared to open area of Ulu Kuantan and
mangrove area of Sungai Karang. This may be due to greater suitability of
Zingiberaceae to inhabit shaded area with high moisture content thus
contributes to relatively greater size of plants. Samples collected from shaded
area also was observed to have glabrous leaf while samples of open area
displayed pubescent leaves. Altitude is a major factor influencing the
Zingiberaceae distribution as the number of species increased consistently with
rise of elevation.   Soil type also contributes to distribution of
Zingiberaceae as it affects nutrient availability to the plants. From the
gathered data, three types of soil was observed from the sampling site which
constitutes of loamy soil (shaded forest and open area) and alluvium soil (in
mangrove area). Collection of Zingiberaceae in loamy soil of Kuala Kuantan and
Ulu Kuantan yielded the highest number of species compared to alluvium soil of
mangrove area in Sungai Karang.Apart from environmental effect, human
activities can also affect Zingiberaceae distribution. For example, sampling
site in Kuala Kuantan showed disturbance of forest where some areas was damaged
by illegal logging. In fact, the number of species found should have been
higher if not for the destructive deforestation damage.4.4 GEOGRAPHICAL
DISTRIBUTION

From
the total of 23 samples collected, 12 distinct species from at least 4 genera
was identified (refer Table 4.3). Compared with previous record, Holttum (1950)
stated that there were only 3 genera in Kuantan district. Based on the study
conducted, Zingiberaceae species was most abundant in Kuala Kuantan  with 18 species.From
the study, a total of 23 samples from 13 species was collected. The  most abundant location of Zingiberaceae was
in shaded forest of Kuala Kuantan totalling up to 18 samples from 10 species. We
can observe that the average height of plant samples was higher in shaded
forest habitat of Kuala Kuantan compared to other habitat types of open area of
Ulu Kuantan and mangrove area of Sungai Karang. This may be due to greater
suitability of Zingiberaceae to inhabit shaded area with high moisture content
thus contributes to relatively greater size of plants. Among the samples
obtained, only two species was successfully identified which are Scaphochlamys breviscapa and Horstedtia sp which was found in both
Kuala Kuantan and Ulu Kuantan. The two identified species was also found to be
the most abundant species of Zingiberaceae in Kuantan. The inability to
identify all species found was due to absence of flower during the time of
collection as flowers of Zingiberaceae is notoriously rare and only blooms for
a brief time period. This was detrimental to identification efforts as
Zingiberaceae identification key of species heavily relies on reproductive
structures. Insufficient information regarding Zingiberaceae also affected the
study as records of Zingiberaceae are mostly outdated. In short, flower parts
are easy to identify Zingiberaceae species compared to leaf, stem and rhizome
parts. For future references in Zingiberaceae, it is recommended that the
length of study and frequency of sampling be increased to increase the chances
of obtaining flower samples of Zingiberaceae for easier identification process.

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