May 27, 2022

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Three threatened north Iran tree species need protection

Forests are defined by the United Nations to be rendering 33 services to the life on earth, including oxygen production, carbon sequestration, climate balancing, and increasing the earth’s thermal capacity so that the difference between day and night temperatures.

The forests in northern Iran were measured to span 18 million hectares in the 1950s, but it had deceased to 12 million hectares as latest surveys show, proving a 6-hectare deforestation during six decades.

Iran’s northern forests are located between the Caspian Sea and Alborz mountain range, covering the northern skirts the mountains. The geolocation has allowed for good precipitation.

However, Golestan Province forests which are located in the proximity of central Iran’s deserts have proven to be fragile and more susceptible to deforestation.

Golestan forests consist of two areas, namely Hyrcanian and Iran-Tourani. The Hyrcanian forests of Golestan Province have embraced 115 tree species, while the Iran-Tourani part has 1,452 species, as said by Alireza Arab, a professor at Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

Arab said that Golestan forests have different species than what is seen in the areas closer to the Caspian Sea because the moisture decreases as the forests go further than the sea.

Mahmoud Vaez Mousavi, also a professor at Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, told IRNA correspondent that three trees in these forests are categorized as threatened species.

European yew (Taxus Baccata), Buxus, and Ulmus Glabra are the three threatened species that need serious determination of the relevant governmental bodies, according to Mousavi.

Mousavi also said that some plant species are exclusively peculiar to Iran’s northern forests and aren’t witness any other place on the earth.

The Persian ironwood, as said by Mousavi, are live fossils because they have been observed in some other regions of the world only as fossils buried deep underground, but they live on earth here in northern Iran.

The professor mentioned climate change, wildfire, illegal harvest, prevalence of pests and disease, irresponsible tourism and land-use change as the problems that challenge Hyrcanian forests’ survival.


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