Central Ayeyarwady palm savanna



An open woodland with conspicuous sugar palms, Borassus flabellifer, (“Taung-on”) up to 15 m tall, and distinctively white-trunked trees of Acacia leucophloea (“Htanaung”) that grow up to 10-12 m tall occur in the driest climates of the central Myanmar plains. A ground layer comprises C4 grasses, sedges and forbs that become lush in response to monsoon rains. It co-occurs with Sha thorn scrub, which occurs on drier sites and is distinguished by the absence of palms and drier, more open ground layer vegetation. No remnant patches of this ecosystem were identified in the assessment, despite extensive field traverses, only relic trees and small plantations were observed.

Assessment summary

The former range of this ecosystem is evident in agricultural landscapes by conspicuous Sugar Palms. We found no occurrences of this ecosystem, rather only single trees scattered throughout agricultural landscapes. Overall, the palm savanna appears to have been transformed into anthropogenic ecosystems with scattered native trees and a large introduced biota, especially of exotic plants and domestic livestock. Therefore, it appears that the historical distribution of the ecosystem may have declined by 100% (Criterion A3). Collapsed.