Natural End for Zagros Jungles?

Natural End for Zagros Jungles?
Natural End for Zagros Jungles?

The Zagros Mountain range forests for various reasons, including indiscriminate human intervention, have lost their ability to revive under natural conditions, said Ahamad Tavakkoli, forestry expert.

The survival of every ecosystem depends largely on its regeneration. Natural forest revitalization and regeneration is possible through pollination. Saplings or seedlings, as a rule, sprout after the process of pollination and germination. Finally, after many, many years, seedlings become full-grown trees, he said.

“But this natural regeneration doesn’t occur for various reasons in the Zagros forests. Even if the process occurs in the forests with the help of supportive plans, it is time consuming, as from seed to tree takes decades,” he said, reports ISNA.

 Other Methods

Therefore, for the revival of Zagros jungles, other methods which enhance tree growth in a shorter span of time should be employed for faster recovery, he said.

“One method is to place the aerial parts on old roots. After some time, a link between aerial parts and roots will be formed and a separate new plant will be created. Fortunately most Zagros forest plant species has this ability,” he pointed out.

In this method, the newly grown branches will be removed from the mother base and planted separately. At present, investigations on this method of regeneration have been conducted and if accepted can be effective in preventing deforestation, the expert said. The Zagros forests filter or block harmful particles in the air and also contribute to rainfall in the region and thus play an important role in the national economy.

In areas of the Zagros range where rain-fed cultivation and grazing occur, the natural vegetation has been reduced to remnants of its former extent. Overgrazing has also led to changes in vegetation composition, resulting in the retreat of the original woodlands and a wider distribution of thorny shrubs and thorny dwarf-shrubs. Advanced degradation is visible even in densely forested areas of the Zagros Mountains and species that are better able to withstand grazing and pruning have crowded out original species, such as Carpinus spp. and Quercus spp., in many areas.

 Rich Diversity

The Zagros forest steppe eco-region supports oak-dominant deciduous forests and pistachio-almond forests, amidst a diversified steppe flora. A variety of animal life, such as brown bear, eagles, wolves, leopard and many other species have long made their homes.

The highly endangered Persian fallow deer, once believed extinct, has recently been rediscovered in the western foothills, and a number of protected areas have been established to combat the tide of habitat degradation and species loss.