Dipterocarpoideae: the largest of the subfamilies, it contains 13 genera and about 475 species. Distribution includes the Seychelles, Sri Lanka, India, Southeast Asia to New Guinea, and a large distribution in Borneo, where they form the dominant species in the lowland forests. North Borneo (Brunei, Sabah and Sarawak) is the richest area in the world for dipterocarp species. The Dipterocarpoideae can be divided morphologically into two groups, and the tribe names Shoreae and Dipterocarpeae are sometimes used, but genetic evidence so far does not support this division:
Valvate - Dipterocarpeae group (Anisoptera, Cotylelobium, Dipterocarpus, Stemonoporus, Upuna, Vateria, Vateriopsis, Vatica). The genera of this group have valvate sepals in fruit, solitary vessels, scattered resin canals, and basic chromosome number x = 11.
Imbricate - Shoreae group (Balanocarpus, Hopea, Parashorea, Shorea). The genera of this group have imbricate sepals in fruit, grouped vessels, resin canals in tangential bands, and basic chromosome number x = 7. A recent molecular study suggest that the genus Hopea forms a clade with Shorea sections Anthoshorea and Doona, and should be merged into Shorea.
A recent genetic study found that the Asian dipterocarps share a common ancestor with the Sarcolaenaceae, a tree family endemic to Madagascar. This suggests that ancestor of the Dipterocarps originated in the southern supercontinent of Gondwana, and that the common ancestor of the Asian dipterocarps and the Sarcolaenaceae was found in the India-Madagascar-Seychelles land mass millions of years ago, and were carried northward by India, which later collided with Asia and allowed the dipterocarps to spread across Southeast Asia and Malaysia. The first dipterocarp pollen has been found in Myanmar (which at that time was part of the Indian plate) and it dates from the upper Oligocene. The sample appears to slowly increase in terms of diversity and abundance across the region into the mid-Miocene Chemical traces of dipterocarp resins have been found dating back to the Eocene of India.
Dipterocarpaceae species can be either evergreen or deciduous. Species occurring in Thailand grows from sea level to c. 1300 m elevation. Environments in which the species of the family occur in Thailand include: Lowland dipterocarp forest 0–350 m; Riparian fringe; Limestone hills; and Coastal hills.
^ abcAshton, P.S. Dipterocarpaceae. In Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak, Volume 5, 2004. Soepadmo, E., Saw, L. G. and Chung, R. C. K. eds. Government of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. ISBN 983-2181-59-3
^ abcAshton, P.S. Dipterocarpaceae. Flora Malesiana, 1982 Series I, 92: 237-552
^Maury-Lechon, G. and Curtet, L. Biogeography and Evolutionary Systematics of Dipterocarpaceae. In A Review of Dipterocarps: Taxonomy, ecology and silviculture, 1998. Appanah, S. and Turnbull, J. M. eds. Center for International Forestry Research, Bogor, Indonesia. ISBN 979-8764-20-X
^S. Indrioko, O. Gailing, R. Finkeldey (2006). "Molecular phylogeny of Dipterocarpaceae in Indonesia based on chloroplast DNA". Plant Systematics and Evolution261 (1-4): 99–115. doi:10.1007/s00606-006-0435-8.
^Dayanandan, S. Ashton, P. S. Williams, S. M. Primack, R. B. 1999. Phylogeny of the tropical tree family Dipterocarpaceae based on nucleotide sequences of the chloroplast RBCL gene. American Journal of Botany. 86(8): 1182.
^M. Ducousso, G. Béna, C. Bourgeois, B. Buyck, G. Eyssartier, M. Vincelette, R. Rabevohitra, L. Randrihasipara, B. Dreyfus, Y. Prin. The last common ancestor of Sarcolaenaceae and Asian dipterocarp trees was ectomycorrhizal before the India-Madagascar separation, about 88 million years ago. Molecular Ecology 13: 231 January 2004.
^ abMorley, R.J. 2000. Origin and Evolution of Tropical Rain Forests. Wiley-Blackwell, NY.