J Syst Evol ›› 2020, Vol. 58 ›› Issue (3): 339-353.DOI: 10.1111/jse.12575

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The new locally endemic genus Yazdana (Caryophyllaceae) and patterns of endemism highlight the high conservation priority of the poorly studied Shirkuh Mountains (central Iran)

Jalil Noroozi1*, Atefeh Pirani2,3, Hamid Moazzeni3, Mohammad Mahmoodi4, Golshan Zare5, Alireza Noormohammadi6, Michael H.J. Barfuss1, Michael Suen1, and Gerald M. Schneeweiss1   

  1. 1Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research, University of Vienna, Vienna 1030, Austria
    2Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad 91779‐48974, Iran
    3Department of Botany, Research Center for Plant Sciences, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad 91779‐48974, Iran
    4Botany Research Division, Research Institute of Forests and Rangelands, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Tehran 13185‐116, Iran
    5Department of Pharmaceutical Botany, Faculty of Pharmacy, Hacettepe University, Ankara 06100, Turkey
    6Cologne Excellence Cluster for Cellular Stress Responses in Aging‐Associated Diseases (CECAD), University of Cologne, Cologne 50931, Germany
  • Received:2019-01-08 Accepted:2020-02-17 Online:2020-02-19 Published:2020-05-01


Although mountain ranges are often recognized as global biodiversity hotspots with a high level of endemism, diversity and biogeographic connections of isolated and weakly explored mountains remain poorly understood. This is also the case for Shirkuh Mts. in central Iran. Here, Yazdana shirkuhensis gen. & spec. nov. (Caryophylleae, Caryophyllaceae) is described and illustrated from the high alpine zone of this mountain. Molecular phylogenetic analyses of nuclear and plastid DNA sequence data show that Y. shirkuhensis is related to Cyathophylla and Heterochroa (tribe Caryophylleae). The newly described genus and species accentuate Shirkuh Mts. as a center of endemism, which harbors a high number of narrowly distributed species, mostly in high elevations reaching alpine habitats. As this area is currently not protected, a conservation priority is highlighted for high elevations of Shirkuh Mts.

Key words: biogeography, endemism, genus novum, phylogeny, species nova, taxonomy