Biogeographic term

Carmine Colacino colacino at SOCRATES.BERKELEY.EDU
Mon Apr 6 18:59:41 CDT 1998

>Carmine Colacino replied to Alec McClay as follows:
>>At 08:58 -0600 6.04.1998, Alec McClay wrote:
>>>Can someone please tell me the definition of the term "Irano-Turanian" in
>>>reference to plant distribution?
>>Plants whose distribution extends from the eastern Mediterranean to
>>Anatolia and Iran. (Also referred to as simply "Turanian")
>While this is true, it should be noted that the
>"Irano-Turanian" phytogeographic region is but one that is
>represented in the area Carmine Colacino describes.  For
>example within the geographical entity of Palestine, Zohary
>identifies the "Mediterranean" region near the coast, the
>"Irano-Turanian" further inland, and the "Saharo-Sindian"
>further east.  John McNeill

Thanks for pointing it out. Actually, my previous definition was
incomplete, as on further search, the Irano-Turanian region extends further
east than previously indicated (by myself, and more exactly, by the work I
referred to).
Regarding Palestine, actually Zohary refers to 4 different regions for
Palestine (cf. eg Zohary: Plants of the Bible): Mediterranean,
Irano-Turanian (Oriental Steppe), Saharan - all temperate - and Sudanian
(tropical Sudanian-Zambesian, e.g. Aravah Valley).

A more precise definition of the Irano-Turanian region can be found in vol.
1 of "Centers of Plant Diversity", in the chapter on South West Asia and
the Middle East:

"The Irano-Turanian covers 2,400,000 km2, extending eastwards from Anatolia
(Asiatic Turkey) to include most of Syria, Iran and noth-east Afghanistan,
northern Iraq and parts of Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel. Outside south-west
Asia it extends northwards into Central Asia (including most of Kazakhstan)
and eastward to the Tien Shan and Altai Mountain chains. ... It is
topographically very diverse, including deserts, low plains, high plateaux
and high mountains."

This time we should all agree, I believe :-)


Dott. Carmine Colacino
Herbarium Lucanum Universitatis Studiorum Basilicatae (HLUC) &
Dipartimento di biologia, difesa e biotecnologie agroforestali
Universita` della Basilicata - Via N. Sauro, 85
I-85100 Potenza, southern Italy
Tel.: ++39 971 474172; Fax: ++39 971 474256
e-mail & URL personale: colacino at
e-mail & URL Herbarium: hluc at
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