This broadly equates to the Tien Shan Mountains (from Chinese ‘Divine or Celestial’ Mountains) of Central Asia, but includes a number of related uplands such as the Kirgizian Range, the Kungei Ala-Tau, the Transalai (Zaalai) Range, the Fergana Range, the Susamyr Tau, the Talassian Ala-Tauthe Kirgizian Mountains, the Talassian Altai (Mountains), Transilian (Zailiisky) Altai, Dzungarian Altai, the Tarbagatai Mountains, the Badghys, the Karabil Uplands, the Paropamisus Range, the Safod Koh Range, western Hindu Kush, the Koh-i-Baba Range and the Pamirs.

Tien-Shan Intermountain Grass-Sagebrush Desert

These formations are found in the dry intermountain depressions. Characteristic species include grasses like Cleistogenes squarrosa, Stipa breviflora and S. desertorum, and sagebrush like Artemisia issykkulensis, Ceratoides papposa and Helianthemum songaricum. Dwarf semi shrubs such as Limonium kaschgaricum, Reaumuria kaschgarica and Sympegma regelii may also be present.

Tien-Shan Intermountain Dwarf Semi-Shrub Desert

Dwarf semi-shrubs such as Artemisia issykkulensis, Ceratoides papposa, Limonium kaschgaricum, Reaumuria kaschgaricum and Sympegma regelii dominate certain intermountain depressions. More locally is Artemisa nigricans, Psathyrostachys hyalantha, the grass Stipa desertorum and the perennial saltworts Salsola gemmascens and Suaeda physophora.


Knystautas, A. 1987. The Natural History of the USSR. Century Hutchinson Ltd.

Walter, H. & Box, E. O. 1983. Deserts of Central Asia. In: Ecosystems of the World 5 - Temperate Deserts and Semi-Deserts. Ed. N. E. West. Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company.