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Biodiversity and Ferula gummosa
Ferula gummosa (FG) is named Barijeh, Balijeh, Ghasni and Barzard in Persian. It belongs to the Ferula genus in the family Apiaceae. This family with at least 112 genera contains aromatic plants with hollow stems and umbrella inflorescences. The genus Ferula contains 170 species and is extensively distributed from Central Asia to South Africa. FG is one of the industrial, medicinal and forage valuable assets in Iran. As a dominant or associated species, it forms a wide range of plant types in mountainous areas. The phenological stages of the FG plant are as follows: seed germination starts from late March to early April, and vegetative growth begins from the second half of April and continues until the first half of July.
The uncontrolled exploitation of soil and plants by people has generated important ecological imbalances all over the world. This manuscript focuses its attention on the ecosystem of Ferula gummosa (FG). FG belongs to the Apiaceae family and has a vast distribution from central Asia to South Africa, as well as northwest Iran, including the Zanjan Province. This plant has diverse applications across industrial, forage and medicinal fields. To investigate the effective factors on the FG distribution, four main natural habitats were selected based on field visits and a literature review. Then, environmental factors, such as climate features, topography conditions, and soil characteristics, were collected and analysed. According to the results, the slope is mainly north-northeast with a slope of 55 to 70 degrees, and an elevation range above 2200 m is suitable for the growth of FG in the Zanjan Province. The main companion plants were Silene bupleuroides L. and Thymus kotschyanus. The results show that in the habitats where FG grew, the soil was mostly shallow, sometimes semi-deep and consisting mainly of loam, loamy sand, loamy clay and mostly clay loam with very low salinity (less than 0.7 dS/m), and was in the neutral range of soil acidity (6.9 to 7.33). Soil organic carbon was relatively high, but the amount of nutrients, such as phosphorus and potassium, was less than optimal in these soils. Next, using a Geographic Information System (GIS), maps of homogeneous areas for possible FG establishment across the province were created. In conclusion, the main factors affecting the FG distribution in the Zanjan Province were land use conversion, harvesting fodder and grazing livestock, improper exploitation of rangelands, pests and diseases of Ferula gummosa in the region. The ecological data collected on FG may be useful to understand how human action can affect the existence and extinction of many plant species.
2. Ferula Gummosa
The entry is from 10.3390/su13147874
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