Turkestanian BioProvince

This BioProvince (as defined by Armen Takhtajan) comprises much of the uplands and mountains of Central Asia including most of the Badghys, the Karabil Uplands, Afghanian Turkestan, Badakshan, the Paropamisus Range, the Safod Koh Range, western Hindu Kush, the Koh-i-Baba Range and the Kabul River Valley. In the east it extends to central Tien Shan and the Pamirs. The area is mostly built on Pre-Cambrian gneisses and metamorphic slates. The climate can be described is hyper-continental, subtropical, and semiarid, but changes drastically with elevation. At lower elevations the average temperature ranges from 23° to 30°C in July and -1° to 3°C in January, whereas in the eastern Pamirs, the average July temperature is 5° to 10°C, and the average January temperature is -15° to -20°C. Much of the lowlands, however, including the Fergana Valley are shielded from Arctic air masses by mountains but temperatures still drop below freezing for more than 100 days a year. In the subtropical southern lowlands, which have the highest average temperatures, the climate is arid. The heaviest precipitation has been recorded at the Fedchenko Glacier, which averages 2,236 mm per year, whereas the lowest is in the eastern Pamirs, averaging less than 100 mm per year. Most precipitation occurs in winter and spring. The flora is exceptionally rich with some 30 endemic genera including Calymmatium (Brassicaceae), Cephalopodum (Apiaceae), Chalcanthus (Brassiaceae), Cousiniopsis (Asteraceae), Cryptocodon (Campanulaceae), Cylindrocarpa (Campanulaceae), Cymatocarpus (Brassicaceae), Diptychocarpus (Brassicaceae), Fergania (Apiaceae), Gontscharovia (Lamiaceae), Iskandera (Brassicaceae), Komarovia (Apiaceae), Korshinskia (Apiaceae), Kughitangia (Caryophyllaceae), Ladyginia (Apiaceae), Lepidolopha (Asteraceae), Mediasia (Apiaceae), Mogoltavia (Apiaceae), Ostrowskia (Campanulaceae), Paulia (Apiaceae), Pilopleura (Apiaceae), Schmalhausenia (Asteraceae), Schrenkia (Apiaceae), Schtschurovskia (Apiaceae), Sergia (Campanulaceae), Seselopsis (Apiaceae), Sisymbriopsis (Brassicaceae), Sphaenolobium (Apiaceae), Thylacospermum (Caryophyllaceae), Tytthostemma (Caryophyllaceae), Ugamia (Asteraceae), Vvedenskya (Apiaceae), Zeravschania (Apiaceae) and a multitude of endemic species.

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.


Major Ecosystems
Endemic Vascular Plant Flora
Endemics Flora (Zeravshan Mts)
Bryophyte Flora
Fungus Flora
Lichen Flora
Invertebrate Fauna
Amphibian Fauna
Reptile Fauna
Bird Fauna
Mammal Fauna
Conservation Status