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Jungles of Iran: Hyrcanian Region

Hyrcanian Jungle

Jungles of Iran: Hyrcanian Region

In this post we will discuss the divisions of jungles of Iran. But first, we have to know what the divisions are. The Botanist, based on the flora of the world, divide it to 7 kingdoms of Holarctic, Pleotropic, Nootropic, Antarctic, Australian, Cape, and Oceanic.  Each of the kingdoms are then divided to Regions and Provinces. All these divisions stem from the endemic family of plants that we witness there. Iran is part of the Holarctic and Pleotropic Kingdom. If you are interested in an adventure in Iran , you can choose jungles of Iran or the popular Damavand trekking tour.

Botanical Divisions of Iran

Geographically, a great part of Iran is in Holarctic Kingdom and only a small part in Pleotropic Kingdom. We said that each kingdom includes some regions, and each region include some provinces. In the Kingdoms of Iran, we have the same thing. The Holarctic Kingdom has two regions of Euro-Siberian and Irano-Turanian. In turn, the Euro Siberian Region has two provinces of Hyrcanian and Aralo-Caspian. Then, we have the Irano-Turanian Region that includes the provinces of Armeno-Iranian, Kurdo-Zagrosian and Central Iranian. Each of the provinces have some subprovinces as well that we will name here. To make it easier to understand, we outlined them all here. Here is the whole thing in short.

  • Holarctic Kingdom
    • Euro-Siberian region
      • Hyrcanian province
      • Aralo-Caspian province
    • Irano-Turanian region
      • Armeno-Iranian province
        • Atropatanian subprovince
        • Elbursian subprovince
        • North Khorasanian subprovince
      • Kurdo-Zagrosian province
        • North Zagrosian subprovince
        • South Zagrosian subprovince
        • East Zagrosian subprovince
      • Central Iranian province
    • Pleotropic Kingdom
      • Saharo-Sindian region
        • Nobo-Sindian province / South Iranian province
          • Omanian subprovince
          • Sinu-Persian subprovince

Here, we will discuss the Hyrcanian Region and name a list of the most famous plants of the area. Other posts about Irano-Turani and Saharo-Sindian region will soon follow. Wait for It.

 Euro-Siberian Region

This region started from Europe, where the name Euro-Siberian comes from. Due to drastic cold, none of the plants of this region survived in Europe. However, they still exist in Iran. In Iran, this region includes two provinces of Hyrcanian and Aralo-Caspian.

Hyrcanian Province

Hyrcanian is one of the most important regions of Iran. It is a remnant of the third geological era. In this era, a great part of Holarctic went under layers of ice and many of the endemic plants of the region became extinct. In the northern lands of Iran, south of Caspian Sea, however, the weather was not as rigid. Because of the more moderate weather, these jungles survived in the northern areas of Iran.

In the geography of Iran, Hyrcanian Region is the northern side of Alborz Mountain Range where we have some of the highest mountains of Iran like Damavand and Alam-Kuh. The jungles of this region are broad-leaved, deciduous and dense. The most famous endemic plants of Hyrcanian are as follow.

  • Betulaceae
  • Buxaceae
  • Caesalpinaceae
  • Juglandaceae
  • Compositae
  • Liliaceae
  • Ulmaceae
  • Euphorbiaceae
  • Caryophyllaceae
  • Salicaceae
  • Rosaceae

Aralo-Caspian Province

In Farsi, we refer to these jungles as Arasbaran. There are still debates about putting Arasbaran as part of the Euro-Siberian Region. However, since we find some similar plants in Arasbaran, it is not farfetched to put Arasbaran in this region. Some of these plants are Quercus Macranthera, Carpinus Betulus, and Viburnum Lantant. On the other hand, some consider Arasbaran more as part of Irano-Turanian region. In that case, Aralo-Caspian becomes a small area in the Gorgan plain. The plant life are very limited mostly from the family of Chenopodiaceae and Artemisia. This area is different from the dense forests of Hyrcanian.

What we thus far discussed only covers the northern jungles of Iran that look like a green belt covering south of Caspian Sea. The green belt of north are very important and Iranian have been trying to register them in UNESCO for years. Finally, in 2019, after years of attempt, the hyrcanian jungle was registered.

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