Northern Baluchistanian Xeric Juniper Woodland

The open juniper woodlands found throughout the montane zones of northern Baluchistan at altitudes ranging from 1500-2000 m and including the Sulaiman Range are believed to be the most extensive existing area of juniper woodland in the world. It can be found as far north as the eastern Hindu Kush and the Himalayan Mountains. The main tree species depending on location include Juniperus macropoda (J. excels), J. semiglobosa, and J. seravschanica together with Lonicera caprifoliaceae, L. hypoleuca, Pistachia atlantica, P. khinjuk, Prunus eburea and P. rosaceae. Grasses and shrubs such as Amygdalus communis, A. kuramica and Fraxinus xanthoxyloides largely dominate the ground layer. In the transition zone to alpine vegetation Olea cuspidata and the shrub Dodonaea viscos canbecome a feature of these woodlands. Many of these xeric woodlands appear to be extremely ancient – some specimens of Juniperus macropoda have been dated at 2500 years old. Some of the older trees take on weird shapes with gnarled and twisted branches and their bark can become extremely thick. Despite their slow growth they can eventually reach heights of over 20 m. The juniper woodland of Khalifat near Ziarat is one of the largest. Here the main species is Juniperus macropoda, but several different sub-association or communities have been recognized most of which have been affected to varying degrees by grazing. The Juniperus macropoda-Ephedra nebrodensis community is confined to bare rocky cliffs composed of mixtures of sand stone and limestone. The upper layer is exclusively dominated by Juniperus macropoda, while the second layer includes small trees and shrubs such as Caragana ambigua, Daphne oleoides, Prunus amygdalus and the endemic or near endemic Berberis baluchistanica (Berberidaceae). At ground level there are dwarf shrubs like Acantholimon polystachyum, Thymus serpylum, perennial herbs like Bupleurum falcatum, Cymbopogon jwarancusa, Dianthus annulatum, Echinops griffithianus, Othonnopsis intermedia, Verbacscum erianthum, Viola kunawurensis, and annuals like Bromus japonicus, Centaurea depressa, Cousinia onopordioides, Eremurus aucherianus, Hedysarum wrightianum and Onosma hookeri. The juniperus macropoda – Perowskia abrotanoides community is confined to moist areas such as along periodically dry streambeds. The upper storey is again largely dominated by Juniperus macropoda but also includes occasional Fraxinus xanthoxyloides. Small trees and shrubs in the second storey include Caragana ambigua, Cotoneaster nummularia, Daphne oleoides and Lonicera quinquelocularis. At ground level the perennial herb Perowskia abrotanoides dominates while others include woody perennials like Acantholimon munroanum, Artemisia maritima, Lactuca viminea, Salvia cabulica, perennial herbs like Peganum harmala, Verbascum erianthum, Viola kunawurensis and annuals like Eremurus aucherianus and Salvia glutinosa.


Northern Baluchistanian Xeric Sophora griffithii-Seriphidium maritimum Woodland

In the Takatu Mountains of the Hazarganji-Chiltan National Park there are woodlands at elevations of 1200-2200 m characterized largely by the small tree Sophora griffithii and the shrubs Seriphidium maritimum (Artemisia maritima). The first story has a sparse scattering of Fraxinus xanthoxyloides while the second storey is mainly composed of Sophora griffithii and Seriphidium maritimum together with Daphne oleoides, Ephedra procera and Prunus eburnea. A third or ground layer includes Allium capitellatum, Cenchrus pennisetiformis, Eragrostis poaoides, Hedysarum wrightianum, Nepeta bracteata, Ferula kastata, Othonnopsis intermedia, Paracyrum purpureum, Perovskia abrotanoides, Plantago ciliata, Prangos pabularia, Pulicaria gnaphaloides, Salvia cabulica, Teucrium stocksianum, Valerianella oxyrrhyneha and Verbascum erianithum.


Northern Baluchistanian Pinus gerardiana Forest

Forests characterized by Pinus gerardiana can be found at altitudes ranging from 2500-3500 m in the Suleiman Range of Baluchistan. They also occur in various isolated valleys in Pakistan and extend to Kashmir and eastern Afghanistan. Other important trees and shrubs include Fraxinus xanthoxyloides, Olea ferruginea, Pinus wallichiana, Pistacia khinjuk, P. munita, Prunus amygdalus and P. eburnea. The first story usually comprises Pinus gerardiana together with Fraxinus xanthoxyloides and Pistacia cabulica. A second storey typically includes shrubs like Artemisia maritima, Caragana ambigua, Cotoneaster nummularia, Daphne oleodies, Ephedra nebrodensis, Pinus eburnea, Rosa moschata and Sophora griffithii. At ground level a multitude of small shrubs and herbaceous species may be encountered. Prominent grasses include Agropyron junceum, Melica persica and Stipa himalaica, while typical forbs include Astragalus trichocarpus, Campanula leucoclada, Centaurea peragamacea, Silene conoides and Tulipa stellata.


Northern Baluchistanian Artemisia-Boissiera-Poa-Stocksia Vegetation

Vegetation supporting various combinations of Artemisia herba-alba, Boissiera squarrosa, Poa bulbosa, Poa sinaica and Stocksia brahuica as the main species can be found in the Maslakh Range Forest in the Pishin district of Baluchistan. In fact, several different plant communities or sub-associations have been recognized. The draught tolerant perennial grass Poa sinaica and spiny shrub Stocksia brahuica predominate in shallow-rocky soils in draught prone areas. Stocksia is also commonly found in dry streambeds. Boissiera squarrosa is an annual, seasonal grass that can become prolific during favourable spring conditions, but is very susceptible to grazing by goats, sheep and mules. On clayed-sandy soils Artemisia herba-alba and Poa bulbosa become more conspicuous especially where there is protection from biotic interference. Other plant species found scattered among this complex of different sub-associations include Acantholimon longiflorum, Alyssum desertorum, Anthemis gayana, Arnebia serpyllifolia, Astragalus sericostachys, Centaurea bruguirerana, Ceratocarpus arenarius, Chrysopogon aucheri, Convolvulus spinosus, Delphinium centeteroides, Descurainia sophia, Diarthron vesiculosum, Ducrosia anetifolia, Ebenus stellatus, Erodium bryoniafolium, Gagea persica, Garhadiolus papposus, Papaver cornigerum, Polygonum afghanicum, Psammogeton biternatum, Taeniatherum crinitum, Tulipa lehmanniana, Valeriana jatamansi, Valerianella dufresnia, Ziziphora tenuior, Zoegia purpurea and the endemic or near endemic Ferula baluchistanica (Apiaceae).


Northern Baluchistanian Peganum harmala-Hordeum murinum-Poa annua Vegetation

Vegetation characterized by these species occurs on sandy-loamy, slightly salty soil in the arid ‘wastelands’ of the Quetta-Pishin districts. Other relatively common species include Alhagi maurorum, Centaura calicitrapa, Haloxylon griffithii and Malcolmia africana. Less common is Achillea santolina, Ceratocephalus falcatus, Diarthron vesiculosum, Eragrostis poaoides, Euclidium syriacum, Euphorbia granulata, Garhadiolus minutissimus, Heliotropium dasycarpum, Plantago lanceolata, Polygonum afghanicum, Scabiosa olivieri and Veronica biloba.


Northern Baluchistanian Salsola kali-Alhagi maurorum Vegetation

Found in the arid ‘wastelands’ of the Quetta-Pishin districts this vegetation occurs on salt loam to loamy sand that can be salt-free to moderately saline. Other relatively common species are Atriplex dimorphostegia, Carthamnus lanatus, Eucalidium syriacum, Hordeum murinum, Plantago lanceolata, Poa annua and Veronica biloba. However, in places Salsola kali can be the main dominant. Less common species include Agropyron squarrosum, Artemisia maritima, Chrozophora oblique, Cotula aurea, Cousinia minuta, Cynodon dactylon and Torularia torulosa together with many of the species found in the Peganum harmala – Hordeum murinum-Poa annua association.


Northern Baluchistanian Kochia stellaris Vegetation

This species poor community characterized by Kochia stellaris is found on variably saline soils that can be strongly sodic. The only other relatively common species is Torularia torulosa, but there may also be scattered plants of Diarthron vesiculosum and Plantago lanceolata.


Northern Baluchistanian (Zangilora) Elymus hispidus Vegetation

Vegetation characterized by Elymus hispidus is confined to dry streambeds in the eastern part of Zangilora. Other important species include Calamagrostis pseudophragmites, Peganus harmala, Sophora alopecuroides and Veronica biloba. As to be expected this vegetation is periodically flooded during the wet season. Other less common associates include Achillea santolina, Aegilops tauschii, Alhagi maurorum, Artemisia herba-alba, Atriplex canescens, Bromus danthoniae, B. tectorum, Ceratocephalus falcatus, Cichorium intybus, Convolvulus arvensis, Conyza bonariensis, Cousinia minuta, Eremopyrum bonaepartis, Euclidium syriacum, Eimbristylis dochotoma, Heliotropium dasycarpum, Heterocaryum subsessile, Hyoscyamus insanus, Koelpinia linearis, Lactuca serriola, Lepidium repens, Malcolmia africana, M. scorpioides, Phalaris minor, Poa bulbosa, P. sinaica, Prosopis glandulosa and Tragopogon gracilis.


Northern Baluchistanian (Zangilora) Alhagi maurorum-Desmostachya bipinnata Vegetation

Alhagi maurorum and Desmostachya bipinnata dominate areas of sandy-loamy soil with relatively high salt content. They also prefer low-lying habitats. Other common species include Artemsia herba-alba, Bromus tectorum, Calamagrostis pseudophragmites and Eremopyrum bonaepartis. Less common associates are Aegilps tauschii, Aeluropus macrostachyus, Astragalus subuliformis, Boissiera squarrosa, Brachypodium pinnatum, Bromus danthoniae, B. japonicus, Ceratocephalus falcatus, Conringia planisiligua, Conyza bonariensis, Cousinia minuta, Diarthron vesciculosum, Euphorbia falcata, E. granulosa, Filago pyramidata, Heliotropium dasycarpum, Lactuca serriola, Malcolmia african, M. scorpioides, Phalaris minor, Poa bulbosa, Scabiosa olivieri, Senecio desfontanei and Sophora alopecuroides.


Northern Baluchistanian (Zangilora) Aeluropus macrostachyus-Artemisia herbs-alba Vegetation

Highly saline soils provide one of the main habitat characteristics of the vegetation type, but the perennial grass Aeluropus macrostachyus is also characteristic of dry mountain slopes and sandy deserts. Other common species include Calamagrostis pseudophragmites, Halocharis violacea, Sophora alopecuroides and Veronica biloba. Less common associates include Acanthophyllum squarrosa, Alhagi maurorum, Boissiera squarrosa, Bromus danthoniae, B. tectorum, Ceratocarpus arenarius, Ceratocephalus falcatus, Desmostachya bipinnata, Elymus hispidus, Eremopyrum bonaepartis, Euclidium syraicum, Koelpinia linearis, Malcolmia africana, M. scordioides, Panicum antidotale, Peganum harmala, Poa bulbosa and Poa sinaica.


Northern Baluchistanian (Zangilora) Malcolmia africana-Desmstachya bipinnata Vegetation

This type of vegetation appears to be confined to the southern part of Zangilora and was recorded at an altitude of 1676 m. It is also found on better soils of moderate salinity that are protected from domestic grazing and human interference. Not surprisingly it supports more plant species than other Zangilora vegetation types. Common associates include Alopecurus macrostachyus, Bromus danthoniae, Carthamus oxyacantha and Haloxylon griffithii. Among the less common species are Achillea santolina, Arnebia inconspicua, Chrozophora tinctoria, Descurainia sophia, Halocharis violacea, Heliotropium europaeum, Heterocaryum subsessile, Kochia stellaris, Psylliostachys spicata, Salsola kali and Tamarix dioica.

Further information required.



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