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Research Article

Floristic Study of Ghasemloo (Shohada) Valley Forest Reserve and adjacent area

L. Malekmohammadi, A. Mahmoudzadeh and A. Hassanzadeh
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In this survey flora of protected region of Ghasemloo valley Forest reserve and adjacent areas has been studied. The study area includes about 577 ha and is located at south of Urmia. The method which used for plant collection is the same as regional floristic studies. Collected plants were recognized and determined as families, genera and species by using of indispensable references. Alphabetical list of taxa in this region was provided on the base of families, genera and species. The life form of plant species was determined by using of Raunckier’s method and chorotype of plant species was determined by indispensable references. In this research 50 family, 165 genera and 204 species were identified. The largest plant family is Compositae with 21 genera and 26 species and the largest genera is Astragalus from Papilionaceae family with 6 species. The main biological forms respectively are: Therophytes and hemichryptophytes. The most extended chorotype with 61.28% is related to Irano-Turanian.

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  How to cite this article:

L. Malekmohammadi, A. Mahmoudzadeh and A. Hassanzadeh, 2007. Floristic Study of Ghasemloo (Shohada) Valley Forest Reserve and adjacent area. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 10: 1618-1624.

DOI: 10.3923/pjbs.2007.1618.1624



In general, determination and introducing the plant species of a region is very important for easy and rapid access to special of plant of species in a district and a known time, determining the potential and production power of region, the possibility of increasing the density of vegetation cover, determining the resistant species and endangered species and supporting them, recognition of medicinal plants for proper use of them and finally determining the vegetation cover particularly in arid regions the same as Iran. Despite of aridity, Iran is very rich with refer to biodiversity of plant species, which resulted to many studies in this field from 1648. The conducted researches with this regard are as follows: Floristic study of Band-Golestan (Kazemian et al., 2003): Floristic study of English yew (Taxus baccata L.) in afratakhteh-Golestan (Esmailzadeh et al., 2003).

Plant species of Vanak-Semirom-Isfahan (Parishani, 2003), Floristic study of Hashtad-pahlu-Lorestan (Abrari and Veiskarami, 2003); Floristic study of Palangdarreh-Qom (ZareMaivanm et al., 2001); Floristic study of Dalamper-west Azarbaijan (Shaikhi, 2005) and Floristic study of National Park of Urmia Lake (Biabani, 2005). The investigation of plant biodiversity has the basic role for ecology, environmental studies, Forestry, watershed management, agriculture and etc. In addition, considering the effects of many factors on survival, distribution of plant species, destruction of some of them, leads to necessity of Floristic studies in different areas, especially in reserve. While, these sort of studies are very useful for planning with refer to protection, reclamation, management of valuable species. Releasing the above mentioned points, present study is conducted in natural Forest reserve of Ghasemloo Valley and it’s adjacent areas. This region is situated between 37°15' to 37° 20' Northern latitude and 45° 5' to 45° 10' Eastern longitude, the lowest and the highest of it's height are 1420 and 2280 meters. The mean annual rainfall is 459.6 mm. The average maximum temperature is 32.8°C in August and minimum temperature is -15.9°C in February. The main objectives of this study are to investigation of possibility of collecting the endemic species of study area, determination of collected species, contributing in the description of plant diversity of country and making possible to compare the study area with other degraded areas which are similar, finally providing the conditions for improving the degraded areas as much as possible. Protected areas of Iran with refer to floristic studies has evaluated by some researcher as follows: Investigation of floristic situation of Touran biosphere reserve (Asri et al., 2000). Floristic study of Maymand Shahrebabak and identification biological forms and chorotype of area plants (VakiliShahrebabaki et al., 2001) and floristic and cartographic study of protected area of Ghamishloo (Yousefi Najafabadi, 1996).


In this investigation plant specimen of different districts of Forest reserve were collected in two years and digital photos of this region were taken.

For attaining the plants we went at there least twice, because it might in some cases the plants didn't have some reproductive or vegetative organs. We kept the

collective specimens in special nylon bags separately and all the bags labeled according to the Time, Place, geographical latitude, longitude and Altitude of the habitat of plants.

First of all the plants were pressed and transferred to the University Herbarium of Urmia and recognized according to the Flora Iranica; (Rechinger 1963-2000). Flore de L'Iran; (Parsa 1943-1950). Flora of Turkey; (P.H.Davis 1965-1988). Colored Flora; (Ghahreman 1975-2000) and Flora of Iran; (S. Mobayen 1980-1996). In this manner, the place of distribution of these species also determined according to these Flora. Determining the Life Form were done by Raunckier's (1934). classification and the diagrams and spectrum of the Habitat and also the geographical plant distribution were drown.


According to the survey Forest reserve about 204 species belong to 165 Genera and 50 Families have been recognized. Among the existing families, 44 families are Dicotyledonous, 3 families are monocotyledon and 2 families (Ephedracaea, Cupressaceae) are Gymnosperm and 1 family (Equisetaceae) is pteridophyta (Table 1).The biggest plant family of the region is Compositae with 26 species. Graminae (23 sp.) Rosaceae (18 sp.), Leguminosae (18 sp.), Brassicaceae (17 sp.), Umbeliferae (10 sp.) are in the next order (Fig. 1).

Among the existing genera; there are 139 genera with one species, 20 genera with 2 sp., 3 genera with 3 sp., 2 genera with 5 genera, 1 genera with 6 species. Astragalus with 6 species and Centurea and Amygdalus with 5 species are the biggest genera (Fig. 2).

Table 1:

Life form and chorotype of plants in studied area

Ph: Phanerophyte; Th: Therophyte; He: Hemicryptophyte; Cr: Cryptophyte; Ch: Champhyt, IT: Irano-Touranean; Med: Mediterranean; ES: Europe Siberean; Cosm: Cosmopolitan; Endem: Endemic.

Fig. 1:

The column chart of frequency species in family

Fig. 2:

The column chart of frequency species in genus

Fig. 3:

The pie chart of life form plants of studied area

Fig. 4:

The column chart of percentage of phytocorya in studied area

Iranian endemic species especially in these regions are 14 species. The Life Form percentage of plants in the Forest reserve are as follows: Th 30.90%, He 29.90%, Ph 16.70%, Ch 12.25%, Cr 10.30% (Fig. 3).

The plants phytocorya distributions of the Forest reserve are as follows: IT 61.28%; IT, ES 16.18; ES 8.33%; IT, Med 3.43%; Endem 6.86%; Med 0.98 %; IT, Med, Es 0.98% Cosm 1.47%; Med, Es 0.49% (Fig. 4).


It is concluded from the results of the study that the study area despite of limited surface area, is very rich with refer to plant diversity. This conclusion is supported by the existence of 50 families, 165 genera and 204 species.

Astragalus diversity with its 6 species in the Forest reserve which is mountainous, shows that Astragalus has adapted to the mountainous conditions. Comparison of life forms shows that the Therophytes with 30.9% have the highest dominance. In fact, life forms of the plants indicate the possibility of adaptation of plants to environmental factors especially climatic condition. In addition, different life forms are the base of plant communities structure. In other word, natural vegetation cover is resulted from the effects of all climatic factors, and the plant communities are completely adjusted to climatic region. Plants by using different the mechanisms adapting themselves with environmental condition, so, to spend dry period in dormant and complete their life cycle in suitable condition with refer to moisture. Relatively high percentage of therophyte indicates the fact that, they spend vegetative period in the form of seed and in a short period that area has higher rainfall (21 of march to 21 of June). In other months they are rare and sometimes only they remains are visible. Hemi-cryptophyte, with 29.9% dominance are the second group that adapted to conditions of area. They adapted and developed them selves to area by using different ways such as: reserving water, using ground water, reducing their water need by loosing their leaves and reduction of vegetative growth (Asri, 2003). Generally, the above mentioned plant groups by increasing their tolerance to aridity, are adapted physiologicaly, morphologicaly, or anatomically to area which leads to reduction of water use. Dominance of Therophytes and Hemi-cryptophytes clearly indicate the adaptation of these plants to aridity of area which are supported by Asri (1999) and Hamzeh (1995).

The low percentage of Cryptophyte, Champhyte, Phanerophyte shows that they are not adapted to existence climate and edaphical situations. Each plant species has it’s special ecological area with a known tolerance to life conditions of area. There fore, the geographical distribution of plant species depending on life conditions of area and adaptation of plants to area (Asri, 1999).

The phytocorya distribution of plants reflects the climate conditions. Considering to this fact that 61.28% of plants in Forest reserve are Irano-Turanian elements, so we can conclude that these regions are belong to Irano-Turanian. Because of the vicinity to Mediterranean and Euro-Siberian, there are elements with distribution limited to this region.

The existence endemic species due to climatic climax in plants community and the diversity in Iran climate. It should be mentioned that the study area is under different conserving strategies including: protected area and non-protected area, additionally, with refer to conserving policies the protected area has the best situation. Abundance of species of composition may be indicates the destruction of some parts of study area, or the destruction may be resulted from other reasons. Any way, despite of protection of area destruction even in limited sizes need a serious investigation. It is experiencly understood that the increasing of the number of some plant families including compositae accompanied with destruction in area; following studies support the mentioned fact: (Vakili et al., 2001), (Archibold, 1995). According to rich biodiversity of study area which resulted from floristic study, it is quite possible to concentrate the improving practices and reclamate to area again.

The most frequent species are as follows: Thymus kotchyanus, Bromus danthoniae, Festuca arundinacea, Hordeum bulbosum, Juniperus excelsa, Acer monspessulanum, Pistacia atlantica, Amygdalus eleagnefalia and Medicago sativa.

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