ZARINKAMAR, FATEMEH. Laboratory of Plant Anatomy, Research Institute of Forests and Rangelands, P.O.Box. 13185-116, Tehran, Iran. - Anatomical/ecological studies of rare species in Arasbaran's protected area in Iran.
Arasbaran, a protected region of Iran contains a large variety of bio
diversity, some of them on the endangered lost. This paper introduces
an anatomical-structural study and its relation with ecological,
systematic characters of some 400 rare species in a very valuable
protected area, named Arasbaran. This mountainous region was
designated as a protected area in 1971. It is about 72465 hectares,
and encompasses a variety of natural features, such as high mountains,
deep valleys, sharp slopes, dense forests and vast rangeland,
indicating a very rich environmental diversity. The altitude
variations are between 450 to 2841 meters. The average temperature in
February and August are 1.8 and 25C respectively. The annual
precipitation is around 450-500 mm. (semi-humid zone). In the
Arasbaran protected area, some 785 plant species have been recognized
so far. Research on adaptive characters has been directed mainly
towards leaves. Given the importance of foliar anatomy on ecological
development in environment, systematic efforts are required for
research and investigation of the maximum number of species possible.
Some 400 samples from various ecological situations and different
altitudes have been collected representing some 60 families,
including: Compositae, Caryophyllaceae, Papilionaceae, Chenopodiaceae,
Labiateae, Liliaceae, Rosaceae, Boraginaceae, Rhammnaceae ,
Anacardiaceae, Cruciferae, Malvaceae, Umbelliferae, Zygophyllaceae.
Structural and anatomical studies were conducted to compare anatomical
characters of similar families in different ecological conditions and
observe the impact of ecological factors on the structure of the
plant. From the systematics point of view, this work led to
recognition of certain unknown or incorrectly known species in some
cases. From the ecological and protection point of view, this study
has contributed to the recognition of some elements, which have impact
on rare and endangered species. This paper presents proposals for
future analysis and plans for the management of the ecosystem.
Key words: Arasbaran protected region, drought adaptation, Iran, rare species