NEWS

To Protect Endemics and Rare Species of Flora

The compilation of the next, fourth, edition of the Red Data Book of Turkmenistan, which taxonomists often refer to when studying the biology of rare species, is at the final stage. One of the compilers of the scientific work of the flora section is the senior research worker of the laboratory of forest and pasture ecology of the National Institute of Deserts, Flora and Fauna of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment Protection of Turkmenistan Guljamal KURBANMAMEDOVA. For readers of the newspaper, the scientist explains the nuances in the general concept of rare plant, offering to expand the boundaries of understanding of such a status, because the identification of a low abundance of a species does not always clearly indicate the need to take measures to protect it: “The small number of plants with a limited habitat due to anthropogenic causes is understandable; it arises under the influence of various forms of human economic activity or from recreational loads. If we consider the rarity of species of natural origin, then it can be conditioned by various factors; scientists divide them into biotic and ecological, while not dependent on humans. Then the circumstances that limit the size of the population are not always regarded as indicators that can threaten the state of the species. Under normal life activity, including self-renewal, the biological resistance of plant

Thirst-quenching yandak

«7/24. tm», № 27 (110), 04.07. 2022 Hot days have come, and each of us wants to quench his thirst. The hand stretches to the refrigerator for a soft drink.

Thirst-quenching yandak

Hot days have come and each of us wants to quench our thirst. So the hand stretches to the refrigerator for a soft drink. And I remember the distant 1960s, when my grandfather gave me instructions on how to quench my thirst in the summer with health benefits, especially in case of indigestion after taking melons or other gifts of the Turkmen fields. He used to get his tin box of Indian tea with a tight-fitting lid from the shelf and, like a magician, take out a pinch of crushed and dried flowers of yandak – camel’s thorn. Having brewed and mixed it with honey, he gave us this wonderful, truly tonic drink. Our ancestors from time immemorial grasped the causal relationship of the effects of medicinal plants on human health. Knowledge was fixed and deposited in the collective memory of an endless succession of generations, in order to later find application in everyday life.

Amazing Meetings in the Daray-Dere Gorge

This year’s expedition season presented new scientific finds and discoveries, which pleased the joint group of employees of the Kopetdag and Koytendag State Natural Reserves, who carried out research work in the picturesque watered gorge of the Koytendag Mountains – Daray-dere. This place can be called a paradise, although for scientists it is a Klondike for floristic research, a vast natural “botanic garden”, where viewing the rarities of the plant world is a real pleasure for the researcher, and every now and then on the path, one come across not only amazing representatives of flora, but also animals that inspectors do not often see in their natural habitat. The length of the branched gorge exceeds 18 kilometres, and all this linear space is accompanied by life-giving river water – clear and icy, “crunchy” from purity, tasty moisture goes around the high sides throughout the season and irrigates the deep canyon. Therefore, the entire gorge is a lush green oasis, which is filled with the sonorous voices of birds. Where there is water, life is in full swing, and, going there in anticipation of new impressions, we took with us cameras, all kinds of accessories for biotechnical work and sampling and the basis for collecting an herbarium.

Dushak-Erekdag – one of the models of the Kopetdag Mountains

This is a remarkable place for botanists – a natural model of the Central Kopetdag Mountains, which is characterised by talus and stony-precipitous rocks, gentle grassy mountain slopes, narrow gorges with steep deep sides, plateau-like mountain peaks and intermountain dry steppe valleys. Its most familiar view is waterless, dry, as if breathing with heat in the summer sultry weather, high mountain ranges, which fascinate tourists with their inaccessibility and unique contrasts. For example, from the burning summer atmosphere of acclive slopes and lowlands with scorched vegetation and an abundance of thorns, you can move on to late spring on the intermountain plateau, where feather grass and fescue and couch grass vegetation blooms for a long time. The higher the mountains, the cooler the climate. Strong off-season winds sway these grasses, as if they passed in multidirectional frequent ridges along a rustling soft shiny base, abruptly breaking off from the edge of the sloping sides of the plateau down into echoing gorges, where insects buzz during the day, and cicadas monotonously “sing” at night. In the desert, summer quickly and imperceptibly absorbs all life and dissolves it in its boundless ocean of sands, where superheated air, dancing in the distance and creating a mirage over hot dunes, makes an indelible impression.

Astragalus Blossoms in the Karakum Desert

In early spring, one can observe various astragalus species blossoming on the sand dunes, exhaling a subtle, exquisite delicate aroma. Less often, astragalus can be found at the foothills, where they do not “climb” high. The representatives of Astragalus alopecias that have fluffy spherical panicles-inflorescences are particularly beautiful; seven species are known, including Astragalus globiceps and Astragalus schahrudensis These large perennials up to 1 metre high with seven-centimetre inflorescences in diameter adorn flower beds. Astragalus macrobotrys with elongated inflorescences with pinkish-purple flowers that can be found in the sands has a peculiar form. The “inhabitant” of the Karakum Desert, Astragalus flexus blooms beautifully; its bright yellow large flowers form racemose inflorescences. The endemic gem of the nature of the Kopetdag Mountains is the cushion-shaped Astragalus podolobus. In the spring, during the blooming period, it resembles an impressive bunch of flowers – a fragrant pink-purple “ball” on the rocks, up to 80 centimetres in diameter. Some of astragalus species are attractive during the fruiting period. Astragalus chiwensis is quite extraordinary; it reaches 70 centimetres in height and diameter in wet years. Shaggy leaves and racemes of swollen beans give the shrub its originality. Astragalus sericopetalus is an endemic plant of the mo

Spring tree planting campaign

«Türkmenistan Sport», № 1 (13), 2022 On March 20, 2022, the spring tree planting campaign was launched with the participation of President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov.

Pro­fes­sion that Gives Joy

The­re is a pro­fes­sion – a flo­rist, which gives a go­od mo­od for peop­le. For as long as she can re­mem­ber, Sa­par­gul Mam­met­ku­liyeva, an ag­ro­no­mist at the green­hou­se comp­lex of the Pub­lic Uti­li­ties De­part­ment of the Ash­ga­bat Hya­kim­lik, has al­ways be­en sur­roun­ded by flo­wers and plants. It was so in Mag­tym­gu­ly et­rap, whe­re she spent her child­hood and in the sett­le­ment of Chan­dy­bil, whe­re she la­ter wor­ked as a mas­ter gar­de­ner for several years and at the foot­hills of the Ko­pet­dag Moun­tains, in a new green­hou­se comp­lex. In­te­res­ting­ly, the love of this won­der­ful pro­fes­sion and in fact, the way of li­fe, was ins­til­led in the crafts­wo­man by her fat­her, who for a long ti­me, un­til re­ti­re­ment, wor­ked as a fo­re­man in the nur­se­ry of the Gök Gu­şak Joint Stock Com­pa­ny. In­deed, fol­lo­wing the es­tab­lis­hed rhythm, Sa­par­gul be­gins her wor­king day by discus­sing the tasks of the cur­rent day with her friend­ly te­am that con­sists of 15 peop­le. And the­re are a lot of them: the checking of how seed­lings grow in special cas­set­tes for sub­sequent plan­ting in open ground, the se­pa­ra­tion of flo­wers by varie­ty and colour sche­me, the pre­pa­ra­tion of pot­ted flo­wers and much mo­re.

Bloo­ming vio­lets and win­ter-sweets

In the flo­wer­beds of city parks, lacy leaves of or­na­men­tal cab­ba­ge and bright frag­rant calen­du­la flo­wers are still blos­so­ming in splen­dour. So­on, in ear­ly March, mass plan­ting of an­nual and pe­ren­nial flo­wer crops is be­gin­ning in the capi­tal city. From now on, every day in flo­wer­beds along the cent­ral avenues and streets, thou­sands of various species of or­na­men­tal flo­we­ring plants, cut­tings of ro­ses and wild ro­ses will be plan­ted dai­ly, ta­king in­to account two months of bright but short Turk­men spring in or­der to crea­te a con­ti­nuous se­ries of flo­we­ring, whe­re the blos­som fa­ding of so­me flo­wers would be com­pen­sa­ted by the bloom of ot­hers. To do this, plan­ting pat­terns, com­bi­na­tions of plants and the quan­ti­ties of seeds la­id in au­tumn in con­tai­ners with a nut­rient mixtu­re are calcula­ted. And now, in the nur­se­ries, green­hou­ses and con­servato­ries of the capi­tal city, count­less Ka­lanchoe, ge­ra­niums, ma­ri­golds, pe­tu­nias and decora­tive pop­pies have al­rea­dy be­en grown and are rea­dy for transp­lan­ta­tion. A few weeks be­fo­re the plan­ting sea­son, landscaping work be­gan: dig­ging and pre­pa­ring the so­il, re­novating tree plan­ta­tions and clea­ring the ho­les from de­ad plants.

Pis­tachio Grove on the Outs­kirts of the Capi­tal

The af­fo­res­ted hills in Bik­rova, app­roaching the sout­hern outs­kirts of the capi­tal, are low: on­ly 200-300 met­res above sea level. The ear­liest and ma­tu­re fo­rest plan­ta­tions are concent­ra­ted on a vast area up to the Ko­pet­dag rid­ge. The hills be­gin to “swell” and “dive” down be­hind the last row of cot­ta­ges – the foot­hill start the­re. The bo­ta­nical ra­ri­ties li­ned up ne­ar the count­ry ro­ad – mul­ber­ry trees, po­pu­lar­ly cal­led “han tut”, its fruits are juicy and full of “cher­ry-rasp­ber­ry” juice, Zi­zip­hus, pecan trees and Elaeag­nus orien­ta­lis, and pis­tachio trees can be se­en be­hind them. If you climb hig­her, you can see that the­re are ma­ny of them – a lar­ge grove, about 50 ma­tu­re trees. The trees are in excel­lent con­di­tion and de­monst­ra­te their unp­re­ten­tious­ness to soils and lack of ir­ri­ga­tion in a se­mi-wild landscape. Cer­tain­ly, the seed­lings we­re loo­ked af­ter, wa­te­red and kept nou­ris­hed du­ring their ear­ly years. When wal­king amongst the trees, the count­ry’s ol­dest fo­res­ter Ak­mu­rad Ata­mu­ra­dov, a specia­list in pis­tachio cul­tivation, explai­ned that the grove con­sists of fe­ma­le and ma­le trees, the fe­ma­le trees be­ar lar­ge fruits, lar­ge clus­ters re­sult