Of the world’s seven continents, Asia is the largest. Its physical landscapes, political units, and ethnic groups are both wide-ranging and many. Southwest, South and Middle Asia are highly populated regions which, as a whole, cover an extremely large area of varied geography. In total, this domain is unique in its plant diversity and large vegetation zones with different communities and biomes. It is rich in endemics, with specific and intraspecific diversity of fruit trees and medicinal plants, including a number of rare, high value, species. At the same time, much of the land in the region is too dry or too rugged, with many geographical extremes. Overgrazing, oil and mineral extraction, and poaching are the major threats in the area. This two-volume project focuses on the dynamic biodiversity of the region with in-depth analysis on phytosociology, plants, animals and agroecology. There are also chapters that explore new applications as well as approaches to overcome problems associated with climate change. Much of the research and analysis are presented here for the first time. We believe this work is a valuable resource for professionals and researchers working in the fields of plant diversity and vegetation, animal diversity and animal populations, and geo-diversity and sustainable land use, among others. The first volume guides our readers to West Asia and the Caucasus region, while volume two focuses on issues unique to South and Middle Asia.
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