An Introduction to the
East Asian Moss Database

Prepared by Benito C. Tan and M. Ignatov
Online designed by Chua Keng Soon



Geographically speaking, East Asia is a vast and geologically old continent encompassing China, Mongolia, Korea, Japan and Indochina. The moss biodiversity of this expansive territory is high and diverse because of the wide ranges of climatic zones from the arctic to the tropic, and also because of the great variation of topography and altitudinal differences. The area covered by this database includes the highest mountain peak and the lowest land point on earth.


This database was put together by Dr. M. Ignatov in Moscow and myself by merging two recently published moss checklists: one for China (Redfearn et al., 1996, Journ. Hattori Bot. Lab. 79: 163-357) and another one for the Indochina (Tan and Iwatsuki, 1993, Journ. Hattori Bot. Lab. 74: 325-405). The idea is to expand the list gradually to include all the moss records from Japan, Korea, and perhaps, also the Indian subcontinent.

The main purpose of this database is to provide updated information on the accepted names of mosses known from the region, their family classification, economic importance and their regional distribution by countries. For many of them, their economic importance lies in the important ecological role they play in the proper functioning of the natural ecosystems.



As is, the total moss taxa known from East Asia is more than 2,000 species, representing nearly 1/5 of the world's total moss diversity. Several of these are also found in tropical Malesia and their additional range information can be gleaned from the Malesian Moss Database provided on this website.

We would appreciate if you can call our attention to any typing errors or inconsistencies in the taxonomical, nomenclatural and distributional information presented in our moss databases. In your future publications, please acknowledge the use of SINU online moss databases should you find the data presented useful to your works.