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Effect of Arid Conditions on the Distribution of Poisonous Plants in the Regional Biomes of Russia

Dikareva, T. V., Malkhazova, S. M., Rumyantsev, V. Yu., Soldatov, M. S.
Arid ecosystems 2018 v.8 no.1 pp. 64-72
Aconitum, air temperature, arid zones, climatic factors, correlation, dry environmental conditions, ecosystems, mountains, poisonous plants, steppes, toxicity, tundra, vascular plants, Russia
An ecological and geographical analysis of the distribution of poisonous plants in the regional biomes of Russia and the effect of arid conditions on it are presented. On the territory of Russia, 82 of the most toxic species of vascular plants (belonging to 34 families) were identified; of them, 55 were poisonous species of the genus Aconitum. Cartographic analysis demonstrated that the smallest number of poisonous plant species (excluding species of the genus Aconitum) is confined to the plain biomes of the forest-tundra and tundra, and the largest number of such species grows in lowland steppe biomes. In the lowland desert biome and in some mountain biomes, the number of poisonous plant species is also significant but is slightly lower than in the steppe biomes. The maximal number of species of the genus Aconitum was detected in the mountainous Far Eastern biomes. Correlation analysis of the relationship between the number of plant species and climatic factors revealed the maximal correlation between the total number of poisonous plant species (excluding species of the genus Aconitum) with the average annual air temperature.