The map above shows the Malesian Botanical Region which according to Berg & Corner (2005) hosts the world’s richest assemblage of fig species per unit area with approximately 367 species out of a world total of c. 750 species.
Berg & Corner (2005) Flora Malesiana Moraceae- Ficus
The Malesian Botanical Region can be divided into 3 distinct regional sub-floras (1) Sundaland including Borneo, Palawan, Java, Sumatra, Bali and the Malay Peninsula (2) The Philippines excluding Palawan and (3) Sulawesi and Wallacea east to New Guinea.
This Figs of Borneo Website describes the c. 150 species of figs found within The Borneo Province i.e. the area shown within the yellow line in the map above. The Borneo Province includes the whole of the island of Borneo and some of the surrounding islands including Maratua to the east of Borneo and the Natuna Islands to the west of Borneo.
Sundaland and Fig Arrivals from the West: Until approx. 10,000 years ago Borneo was joined by land to the Malay Peninsula, and the islands of Java, Sumatra and Bali forming a now vanished land mass known as Sundaland. Thus it is not surprising that Borneo shares many fig species with Sumatra, Java and the Malay Peninsula. Figs are believed to have originated in the Himalayas and so most Bornean figs are believed to have migrated to Borneo from the Asian continent in the west.
Fig arrivals in Borneo from the East: However some fig species have arrived in Borneo either from the Philippines or from Sulawesi i.e. they have crossed Wallace’s Line over the sea, east to west. These Wallacean figs include Ficus concinna, Ficus copiosa, Ficus cumingii, Ficus forstenii , Ficus glandifera, Ficus gul, Ficus heteropoda, Ficus lawesii, Ficus melinocarpa, Ficus minahassae, Ficus prasinicarpa and Ficus septica.
Phylogeny of genus Ficus: Our knowledge of the phylogeny of genus Ficus is rapidly expanding as a result of ongoing Ficus DNA studies. For the latest update see this 2020 paper by J Y Rasplus and colleagues. Rasplus et al (2020) The evolutionary history of the genus Ficus. Current research indicates that Ficus originated in the Himalayas as a standalone monoecious tree later splitting into two main groups the monoecious and the dioecious (gynodioecious) figs. Figs are now naturally present in all the tropical and most sub-tropical forests of the world with two centers of diversity, Borneo and New Guinea.
Changes in Bornean Fig Taxonomy and additions to the Borneo Fig List since the Publication of Berg & Corner (2005).
Listed below are changes to Berg & Corner (2005) on The Figs of Borneo website. https://borneoficus.info/ Last updated 23 June 2021 by Quentin Phillipps.
Page refs refer to Berg & Corner (2005).
Pg. 109: Ficus glandulifera is split to create a new species F. lumutana. Berg (2008) New species F. lumunata
Pg.250: Ficus sandanakana is sunk into F. inaequipetiolata Pg: 133. Ficus sandanakana is sunk into Ficus inaequipetiolata
Pg.281: Name change from Ficus obscura to Ficus scaberrima following Berg & Pattharahirantricin (2011) Flora of Thailand, Moraceae. Ficus scaberrima: Introduction
Pg.347: Ficus variegata has been moved from Section Neomorph (now obsolete) into Section Sycomorus which now includes 3 Borneo species F. auriculata, F. racemosa and F. variegata) instead of 2, following Ronsted et al (2008). Ronsted et al (2008) Reconstructing the Phylogeny of Ficus
Pg: 397 Ficus temburongensis. A new Bornean endemic fig collected at Selapon in Temburong, Brunei by Coode et al. The closest relative is F. albomaculata. See Berg (2012). Berg (2012) Ficus temburongensis BLUM2012057002011
Pg 450: Ficus schwarzii is split into 3 species, 2 of which occur in Borneo (1) F. rosulata and (2) F. kalimantana. Berg (2008) Redefinition of F. schwarzii and two new species of Ficus
Pg.461: Ficus uncinata is split to create 2 additional species Ficus malayana and Ficus bukitrayansis. Berg (2007) A study on the taxonomy of some stoloniferous species of Ficus
Pg 503. Ficus gamostyla is found to be an invalid species and is removed from the Borneo fig list.
Pg. 606: Ficus prasinicarpa (Section Urostigma) from Sulawesi is discovered in the Derawan islands and added to the Borneo list.
Pg.622: Ficus palungensis is listed as a valid species not as a synonym of F. acamptophylla. Ficus palungensis: TYPE Collection
Pg.647: Ficus stupenda is listed as a valid species not as a sub-species of F. crassiramea. Ficus stupenda: Introduction
Pg.691: Ficus elastica is removed from Section Malvanthera and included in Section Conosycea. Section Stilpnophyllum becomes redundant. Ronsted (2008) Phylogeny of Ficus section Malvanthera
Pg.695: Following the discovery of F. glandifera in the Derawan Islands of East Kalimantan this fig (the only Bornean fig in Section Malvanthera) is added to the Borneo list. Ficus glandifera: Introduction
Pg. 635: Ficus bracteata Wall. ex Miq. (1867) is removed form the list of Ficus species native to Borneo and is sunk into (listed as a synonym of) Ficus cucurbitina.
Pg. 446: Ficus ribes Reinw. ex Blume. Following discoveries in the Crocker Range by Linus Gokusing and by Shuai LIAO and a team from the Sandakan Herbarium at Mesilau on Kinabalu, F. ribes is added to the Borneo list.
Pg. 219: Ficus copiosa. Following a discovery in Kunak East Sabah, by Shavez Cheema and Chun Xing Wong, Ficus copiosa is added to the Borneo list.
Pg. 232: Ficus heteropoda Discovered growing in front of Samboja Lestari Lodge, Balikpapan and added to the Borneo list.