Newsletter
Shorea henryana Pierre
by Ms. Nur Razan Faiqah Binti Zahili, Ms. Nurfarhana Hizan Binti Hijas & Mr. Tan Kok Kiat
Newsletter
Shorea henryana Pierre
by Ms. Nur Razan Faiqah Binti Zahili, Ms. Nurfarhana Hizan Binti Hijas & Mr. Tan Kok Kiat

Shorea henryana Pierre is one of the 62 Shorea species that occur in Peninsular Malaysia (Chua et al., 2010). It belongs to the family Dipterocarpaceae and is categorized under the white meranti group of Shorea (commonly called the Meranti Pa’ang Group). Members of the Dipterocarpaceae are tall hardwood tropical trees which usually have 2-5 winged fruits although there are some exceptions. Species of dipterocarps are the most abundant among the upper storey of the lowland evergreen rainforest in Malaysia. Since the early seventies, dipterocarps have provided the bulk of tropical hardwoods traded in the international and domestic markets (Soerianegara & Lemmens, 1993). Together with Parashorea, Shorea is listed as the most important source of world timber supplies from the family Dipterocarpaceae, producing the different forms of 'lauan', 'meranti' or 'seraya' (Killmann et al., 1994).

Shorea henryana is recorded to occur in Myanmar, Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia (Perlis and Kedah). On Langkawi Island its local preferred name is Meranti jerit, but in Perlis and Kedah, it is known as Meranti Sutera. Other than in seasonally dry tropical forests on granite, the species is also found on quartzite and deep limestone soils (Chua et al., 2010).

Shorea henryana is a large emergent tree that can grow up to 40 m tall. Its leaves are simple, wider in the middle, shaped like a lance tip, long, about 6.5-12.5 x 2.5-5 cm, pinkish on the undersurface and reddish brown when dry. Its midribs are canaliculated (channelled, with a longitudinal groove) above, with widely parallel secondary veins oblique to the midrib, and oblique tertiary veins. The fruit is a short-stalked, five-winged ovoid nut, about 22 x 4 mm in length, glabrous, and yellowish-green when young. The three outer wings are slightly narrower at the base and rounded at the tip (Symington, 2004).

Meranti Jerit has high economic value. It produces one of the hardest and heaviest meranti pa’ang timbers and is used in the construction of tongkang (Chinese sailing ship) in the Langkawi Islands (Yong et al., 2011). Besides that, its trunk produces clear or brownish resin (dammar) which is used traditionally for purposes such as caulking boats and baskets, as an adhesive, medicine, fuel for torches and sometimes in food as a clouding or glazing agent. The resin is obtained from the trunk by tapping, and is exported commercially from Langkawi (Yong et al., 2011).

Shorea henryana is categorized as Endangered (EN) under the Malaysia Plant Red List (Chua et al., 2010) and IUCN Red List (Ly et al., 2017). This is mainly due to habitat degradation, selective logging, and deforestation. Thus, conservation actions such as protection of the species and its habitat, information on its population size and ex-situ collections are needed in order to sustainably manage the species and prevent its population from declining.

References

  1. Chua, L.S.L., Suhaida, M., Hamidah, M. & Saw, L.G. (2010). Malaysia Plant Red List: Peninsular Malaysian Dipterocarpaceae. Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) & Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Malaysia, Malaysia. pp. 73, 146.
  2. Ly, V., Khou, E., Hoang, V.S., Barstow, M., Pooma, R. & Newman, M.F. (2017). Shorea henryana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T33276A2835934. Retrieved January 13, 2020, from http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T33276A2835934.en
  3. Soerianegara, I. & Lemmens, R.H.M.J. (1993). Plant Resources of South-East Asia (Prosea): Timber trees: Major commercial timbers, Volume 5, Issue/No. 1. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, Netherlands. pp. 610.
  4. Symington, C.F., Barlow, H.S., Ashton, P.S. & Appanah, S. (2004). Foresters' Manual of Dipterocarps. Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) and Malayan Nature Society, Malaysia. pp. 313-315, 442, 472-473, 478-479.
  5. Yong, W.S.Y., Chua, L.S.L., Suhaida, M. & Aslina, B. (2011). Forest Research Institute Malaysia: A Sanctuary for Threatened Trees, Issue/No. 130. Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), Malaysia. pp. 91.
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