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Recent Topics Posters

Saghatelyan, Anna [1].

Biogeography of Armenia.

The Caucasian isthmus is a complex floristic center where diverse geographical and historical elements are connected. Armenia, a Lesser Caucasian country, lays on the boundary of the Caucasian Province (Boreal Subkingdom) and an active Western Asian (Tethyan Subkingdom) center of xerophytic speciation. We have compiled a checklist and conducted a biogeographical analysis trying to untangle the multiple threads coming from different directions and different times. The flora is very rich: 3320 species of vascular plants on an area of 30,000 sq. km., with elevation ranging from 1300ft to 13,419ft. It represents a mixture of Laurasian, Gondwanan, and Tethyan historic elements. The majority of the large families have predominance of the Tethyan geoelement. These are Asteraceae, Papaveraceae, Plumbaginaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Fabaceae, Brassicaceae, Boraginaceae, Lamiaceae, and Apiaceae. The largest genera in the flora are Astragalus, Carex, Centaurea, Veronica, Allium, Silene, and Vicia. Most species of the Liliidae had originated in the Eastern Mediterranean-Western Asian secondary center of speciation and have Gondwanan ancestors. The Liliaceae, Orchidaceae, Melanthiaceae, and Convallariaceae have smaller genera with Palearctic connections. Among the Dicots, species of Boraginaceae, Rhamnaceae, Nitrariaceae, and Zygophyllaceae are Tethyan with Gondwanan roots. Holarctic geoelement is better expressed in Cyperaceae, Poaceae, Ranunculaceae, Polygonacae, Geraniaceae, Trifolieae, Vicieae, Gentianaceae, and Rubiaceae. Four of the large families: Rosaceae, Fabaceae, Poaceae, and Scrophulariaceae have a mixture of different elements. The total number of Holarctic species is 643; Sub-Mediterranean - 892; Tethyan - 1519. More than one third of the Sub-Mediterranean species are sub-endemics of the Caucasian Province (375 species). Armeno-Atropateno-Zagrossian Province has 473 species in the flora, while total number of species confined to the Irano-Turanian region is 1104. The majority of them are xerophytic Cenozoic derivatives of the more ancient Laurasian historic element, or less abundant derivatives of the Gondwanan element.


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1 - McMurry University, Biology, McM Station Box 368, Abilene, TX, 79697, USA

Keywords:
Caucasus
Asian flora
Tethyan element
floristics
Biogeography.

Presentation Type: Recent Topics Poster
Session: 33-120
Location: Salon C, D & E - Gov Ballroom/Hilton
Date: Tuesday, August 16th, 2005
Time: 12:30 PM
Abstract ID:649


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