Ang Ka Luang Nature Trail at Doi Inthanao National Park
The Gate to Himalayan Range
From here, you are entering the Himalayan Range, it is consisted of several peaks with Gradually different height. As a part of Himalayan range, the summit of Doi Inthanon National park also shares the same temperate climate. Therefore, there are various temperate native species found in this area, such as Rhododendron arborea var. delavayi, Acersp., Podocarpus neriifolius, Darcrycarpus imbricatus and Oaks, etc.
Ang Ka Luang Nature Trail
This trail is a broad walk which it approximately 366 meters in length. It takes about 30 minutes to complete the trail. It is at about 2,500 meters from the averaged mean sea level. Ang Ka , which means Crow’s Pond in Thai could be considered as the highest natural water body in Thailand. Since it is surrounded by hi evergreen forest, the weather here is pretty mild throughout the year. Additionally, the organisms living in this area are well adjusted to such a specific climatic condition.
Ang Ka Luang Ecosystem
Ang Ka Luang is classified as a temperate evergreen forest with a specific feature distinguished from the typical one since a peat bog appears in the middle of the area. Barely decomposed litter is accumulated in the bog and the temperature is low all year found. This habitat is inhabited by some rare plants and wildlifes indigenous to this ecosystem. Such as Rhododendron, Sphagnum Moss, Ferns, Common European White-toothed Shrew, Pere David’s Vole and Green-tailed Sunbird, etc.
Sphagnum moss is a large flowerless moss species. It is indigenous to the high moist area covered with dense cloud and fog. You cannot generally see this organism only in the shaded area deep down into the valley or at the elevation higher than 2,000 meters. Here you can enjoy the beauty of Sphagnum moss as long as you wish to stay right here.
Rhododendron is not a member of Rosaceae as the Thai name is misleading though its flower is in the similar form. It occurs on the cliff with less soil layer where the weather is cold throughout the year. These species are considered as pioneer species. Three species are found and indigenous to this area. Two of them have white flower; one is a medium shrub and another is epiphytic. The other is a small tree with red flowers which can be found in Thailand only in this area
Dominant Tree Species
As it is mentioned, this area is classified as upper hill evergreen forest. The continuous canopy covers more than 95 percent of crown cover. According to it unique climatic condition, both temperate and tropical tree species can be found intermingle in this area. The dominant species are Oaks, Chilaune and Black Plum. How many plant species are here? Please try to identify all plant species surrounding you here.
Every organism in an ecosystem has to have some relationship with the others. None of them can be living alone. The relationships among these organisms can be parasitism, mutualism, symbiosis or neutralism. An example is just right in front of you. For example, these big trees covered with mosses, ferns and lichens which is a type of living together that both benefit from their living. Mosses, ferns and lichens living on the tree control the temperature and the moisture of the tree at the same time.
Doi Inthanon is the home of 384 out of 930 birds species recorded in Thailand. Their habitats vary from the riparian zone, to along the stem of the trees, and up to the canopy, The native species which are only indigenous to this area are Green-tailed Sunbird and Ashy-thaoted Warbler being quite and harmonious to the surroundings are the recommended strategies to be able to see these wild birds.
One of the distinguishable things that you can feel when you are up here is the cloud covering this area almost throughout the year. Additionally, you may also notice that the temperature here is pretty much lower than the averaged temperature of the country. These happen because of its high elevation. An academic reference stated that every increment of 100 meters of elevation would drop the temperature about 0.6-1.0 degrees Celsius.
Origin of Water Supply
When it is raining, the tree canopy, including branches and stems, is an obstacle to reduce the velocity of rain contacting the ground. Additionally, the root system which wildly spread around the trunks, will not only assist the penetration and percolation, but also reduce the run off water dropped on the ground as well. At the end of the rainy season, the water retained in the ground will be released and finally gathered together into several creeks. Which one of them in front of you is a part of several creeks are the origin of Mae Jam River which will runs into Ping River, and then, combining with the others to be Chao Pra Ya River which is considered the major blood stream of Thailand
An ecosystem is consisted of both living and non-living components. When we talk about trees, people always think about living trees. In fact, standing and lying deaths, are also important to the system. They are not only the home to several species of floras and faunas, but also the sources of nutrients to be returned to the ground. This is how a live cycle exists eternally. Therefore, all of us can be a part of maintaining this precious heritage to be existed forever.
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