Asperula affinis: Red Data Book of Armenia

EN B 1 ab(iii) + 2 ab(iii)

Category. Endangered species. The extent of occurrence and the area of occupancy are less than 500 km2. The species faces decline of the extent of occurrence and the area of occupancy caused by changes in habitat conditions. It was included in the first edition of the Red Data Book of Armenia under Category 2: Rare species. It is not included in the Annexes of CITES and that of the Bern Convention.

Description. Grayish–green cespitose dwarf semishrub. Flowering stems ascending, 7–10 cm. Leaves linear, up to 1 mm broad, in verticills 4–leaved. Flowers almost sessile, congested by 3–7 on the stem tips, pinkish, 5–5,5 mm long.

Distribution. In Armenia it grows only in Upper Akhuryan (neighborhoods of Amasia) and Shirak (Djadjur mountain pass, neighborhoods of Artik) floristic regions. EOO is 300 km2, AOO is 16 km2, the number of locations is 3. Besides Armenia grows in Georgia (Adzharia) and East Anatolia (Erzrum).

Ecological, biological and phytocoenological peculiarities. Grows in upper mountain belt at the altitudes of 1700–1900 meters above sea level, in the steppes, steppe shrubs, on rocky slopes, on screes. Flowering from June to July, fruiting from July to August.

Limiting factors. Restricted extent of occurrence and area of occupancy, loss/degradation of habitats caused by the expansion of arable lands.

Conservation actions. No conservation actions. Necessary: monitoring of the population state, establishment of a specially protected nature area on Shirak mountain range.

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