This BioProvince (as defined by Armen Takhtajan) covers the southeastern part of the Arabian Peninsula including Oman and the eastermost parts of the United Arab Emirates. Much of the area is composed of limestones and other sedimentary rocks. The escarpment mountains of Dhofar come under the influence of the south-west monsoon from June to September when a cold up-welling off the coast causes the formation of dense fogs. This provides a significant addition to annual precipitation on seaward facing slopes allowing the development of tropical deciduous woodland. These fogs that roll in from the Indian Ocean also moderate the arid climate. The flora comprises some 1100 indigenous species, of which about 90 are endemic, and there are two endemic genera (Dhofarica and Cibirhiza). Of special interest is the fog-affected Dhofar Mountains and surrounding desert (the Nejd). The area is classed as a centre of plant biodiversity in the Arabian Peninsula and contains the highest number of endemic species in Oman. It also supports some of the most species rich habitats in the BioProvince. Also of considerable interest is the presence of an ancient assemblage of species derived from a stock originally distributed along the southern and northern coasts of the ancient Tethys Sea. These are thought to be the oldest elements in the Oman (and Arabic) flora and include species such as Anastatica hierochuntica, Diplotaxis harra, Haloxylon salicornicum, Helianthemum lippii, Neurada procumbens, Paronychia arabica, Polycarpaea repens, Rhazya stricta, Sclerocephalus arabicus and Scrophularia deserti.
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|