This vast BioProvince (as defined by Armen Takhtajan) includes the Anatolian Plateau east of the ‘Anatolian Diagonal’, the Armenian Highlands, most of Iran and part of Afghanistan. Not surprisingly therefore it can be divided into a number of subprovinces which are important centres of endemism in their own right. These include: 1. The Armenian Highland Sub-BioProvince. 2. The Atropatenian Sub-BioProvince, which includes southern transcaucasia, the basins of Lake Sevan and Lake Van, the Diabar Depression and parts of the Kurdish Alps and Elburz Mountains. 3. The Khorassan Sub-Bioprovince east of the Caspian Sea, 4. The Kurdo-Zagrosian Sub-BioProvince, which includes parts of Kurdistan and the Zagros Mountains (thought to be the home of the legendary Garden of Eden). 5. The Central Iranian Sub-Bioprovince, which includes the saline Dasht-e-Kavir Basin, the sandy Dasht-e-Lut Basin and parts of southern Afghanistan, and 6. The Fars-Kermanian Sub-Bioprovince in southern Iran. The area as a whole in extremely rich in endemic taxa, but has been difficult to quantify. However, of the 2400 native plant species in Iran about 1727 are considered endemic. The alpine flora is particularly rich with about 58% of alpine plants either endemic or subendemic. The Zagros Mountains, has a very high level of endemism with some 87 endemic species. In terms of vegetation, the area, particularly Iran, is very important for salty ecosystems with 365 species in 151 genera and 44 families, and probably has the most diverse halophytic and salt tolerant flora in the world. The Irano-Turanian Region is thought to be the centre of origin of many of the halophytic genera of the Chenopodiaceae including Bienertia, Climacoptera, Gamanthus, Halanthium, Halimocnemis, Kalidium, Petrosimonia, Piptoptera, Salsola and Suaeda.
The following accounts for this BioProvince have been written or will be written with particular reference to endemic and locally important species. Accounts available are displayed in green or yellow. Those displayed in red are either in the pipeline or awaiting expert contributions.
|Endemic Vascular Plant Flora|
|Endemic Flora (Hezar Mt)|