Central desert field study by the Oman Botanic Garden and Anglo-Omani Society

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This project brings together an international team with common interests in environmental conservation and cross-cultural partnership.  Under the direction of OBG botanists, the team will trek across a barren landscape for three weeks; from the coast, through sandy plains and mountain ridges collecting data and specimen at intervals on that route.

There has been a long standing debate over the boundary between the tropical and extra-tropical division of Arabia–is it as the heart of understanding the biogeography of the central and southern areas.

The central desert Of Oman and southern coast can be considered as the mixing zones with tropical elements.  The area around Ras Madrakh in central Oman seems to be either the northern most area of the tropical zone or part of the palaeartic zone with tropical elements.

The research method is based on looking at the species combination in that area, the vegetation mosaic and the biogeographical boundaries. With the right preparation we hope as a cross cultural team to complete the research to answer the most interesting biogeographic question of where the  boundary sits.

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Objectives:

  • Establish the distribution of seven endemics in the study area, the species are:

1- Pulicaria Pulvinata

2- Ochradenus Harsusiticus    

3- Hyoscyamus Gallagheri

4- Rhus Gallagheri

5- Aerva Artemisoides

6- Salvia aff. hillcoatiae

7- Polycarpaea Jazirensis

  • Measure a number of environmental variables: Ph, soil texture and electrical conductivity (EC) – to determine their effects on the distribution of the species in quest.
  • Train international team on some field techniques including collecting plant materials such as seeds and herbarium specimens.
  • Foster collaboration between international and Omani field scientists.

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