Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences
Iran, with its unique climatic and topographic conditions, is home to about 8200 species of vascular plants. Approximately 2300 of the 8200 species are popularly characterized as medicinal or aromatic. Here, we compile information about the endemic medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) of Iran and map their distributions. Our survey found 180 endemic species of MAPs, belonging to 10 families and 30 genera. The majority of species are found in Lamiaceae, Fabaceae, and Apiaceae, with 86, 30, and 18 species, respectively. Approximately 70% of these plants have been recorded in the 10 provinces of Esfahan, Kerman, Fars, Tehran, Chaharmahal va Bakhtiari, East Azarbaijan, Lorestan, West Azarbaijan, Hamadan, and Mazandaran. These provinces are located in the Iran-o-Turanian region, one of the three major phytogeographic regions in Iran, which covers five areas of endemism (i.e., Azarbaijan, Zagros, Kopet Dagh-Khorassan, Alborz, and Central Alborz). So, Iran-o-Turanian region is the main center of diversity for the Iranian endemic MAPs. The north, center and western parts of Iran are rich in MAPs and could be considered as the dominant biodiversity hotspots of Iran more seemingly due to the diverse climatic and geographic assortment which generates the highest frequency and distribution of MAPs. Many of these MAPs are at the edge of extinction due to the unwise, unscientific harvesting and/or global climate change. Therefore, there is an urgent need to conserve and propagate some of these important MAPs to save them from extinction and also to ensure the availability of raw materials for their use and future research into their efficacy. Furthermore, identifying the areas of endemism (AEs) is an essential part of ongoing regional conservation management programs in Iran and worldwide.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Hassanpouraghdam, M. B.,
Alford, M. H.,
(2022). Diversity and Distribution Patterns of Endemic Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of Iran: Implications for Conservation and Habitat Management. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(3).
Available at: https://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/20174