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Benchmark of Plant Communities of Cholistan Desert  [PDF]
Mohammad Arshad,Ghulam Akbar
Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences , 2002,
Abstract: In Cholistan desert various landform units and associated plant communities were recognized. Out of sixteen, ten communities were identified in smaller Cholistan i.e. Calligonum polygonoides-Haloxylon salicornicum, Tamarix aphylla-Suaeda fruticosa, Haloxylon recurvum, Calligonum polygonoides-Lasiurus scindicus-Cyperus conglomeratus, Prosopis cineraria-Haloxylon salicornicum, Capparis decidua-Aerva persica-Haloxylon salicornicum - Haloxylon recurvum, Capparis decidua-Cymbopogon jwarancusa, Prosopis cineraria-Haloxylon recurvum-Haloxylon salicornicum, Prosopis cineraria-Capparis deciduas-Calligonum polygonoides and Haloxylon recurvum-Haloxylon salicornicum. While six plant communities were identified in greater Cholistan viz; Calligonum polygonoides-Haloxylon salicornicum-Dipterygium glaucum, Calligonum polygonoides-Aerva pseudotomentosa, Haloxlon salicornicum, Calligonum polygonoides-Aerva pseudotomentosa - Panicum turgidum, Calligonum polygonoides and Ochthochloa compressa. Threuophytes were dominant during the rainy season and initially colonized the base sand dunes. Perennial trees, shrubs, grasses and herbs were of the stable plant communities.
Pakistan Veterinary Journal , 2009,
Abstract: The camel is one of the typical and the best adopted animals of the desert, capable of enduring thirst and hunger for days and is the most patient of land animals. For desert nomads of Pakistani Cholistan, it is a beloved companion, a source of milk and meat, transport facility provider and a racing/dancing animal, thus, playing an important role in the socioeconomic uplift of the local community. Camels of Marrecha or Mahra breed are mainly used for riding and load carrying but may be trained for dancing or racing. Berella is another heavy and milch breed of camel famous for milk production and can produce upto 10-15 liters of milk per day. This breed is also suitable for draught purpose, though comparatively slow due to heavy body. The present paper also describes the traditional camel rearing system used by nomads of Cholistan desert. Some aspects of camel health, production, feeding, socio-economic values, marketing and some constraints and suggestions are also given so that the policy makers may consider them for the welfare of this animal.
Surface Water Suitability for Drinking Purpose in Cholistan Desert
Imtiaz Ahmad,Makshoof Athar,Farzana Sarwar
Journal of Biological Sciences , 2004,
Abstract: The desert dwellers in Cholistan desert use surface water collected in natural depressions or dugout ponds `Tobas` since the groundwater is brackish and not fit for human consumption especially for drinking purpose. The present study was conducted in cholistan desert to evaluate the quality of rainwater harvested in low lying areas or dugout ponds the only source of drinking water for humans as well as their livestock. Water samples were collected from 10 tobas of lesser Cholistan since most of the tobas were dried up due to the drought conditions. These samples were analyzed to quantify different parameters i.e. pH, HT, TDS, Alkalinity, Ca, Mg, Na, K, Fe, Zn, Cd, Cr, Cu, Sr, Ni, Pb, Co, Cl, PO4, SO4, CO3--, HCO3- and NO3 relating the water quality. The results showed that most of the parameters were found within the WHO recommended levels determining the suitability of this water for drinking purpose. However, Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) concentration was found high indicating undesirable presence of organic matter. Higher concentration of Sr was found demanding future detailed study of drinking water in Cholistan.
Biodiversity in the Surface Dwelling Fauna from Cholistan Desert, Pakistan  [PDF]
Nuzhat Sial,Mohammad Arshad
Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences , 2003,
Abstract: A field study aimed at knowing the patterns of distribution of surface dwelling fauna in Cholistan desert, was conducted from January 2000 to December 2001. Class insecta was found to achieve maximum abundance (68%) in such a dry and harsh conditions of Cholistan desert. The individuals recorded in class arachnida were 18%, in scincida 5%, in lacerta 4%, in squamata 3% and in mammalia 2%. Maximum number of animals were captured during the months of August, September and October of both the years. It is concluded from the results that the Cholistan desert sustains a high faunal range and a wide range of habitat selection mainly depending upon their feeding habits and other behavior.
Mycorrhizas in the Perennial Grasses of Cholistan Desert, Pakistan  [PDF]
M.S. Chaudhry,F.H. Nasim,Abdul G. Khan
International Journal of Botany , 2006,
Abstract: Roots of eleven perennial grass species and their associated rhizosphere soil samples were collected from different rangeland habitats of Cholistan desert and studied for the occurrence of symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) associations of Glomalean fungi with their roots and AM fungal propagules in their rhizospheres. Panicum antidotale roots showed highest percentage of AMF colonization (i.e., 92.75%) while lowest percentage (43.5%) was recorded in the roots of Cyprus conglomeratus. Roots of all the grasses studied had vesicular infection whereas only 27.27% grass species exhibited arbuscular infection. Except Cenchrus biflorus, Dark Septate Endophyte (DSE) fungal hyphae were always present concurrently with the AMF hyphae in the cortices of all the root samples of the grass species studied. Average number of AMF propagules recovered from the rhizospheres of the grasses examined in the present study ranged from 19.33 in Ochthochloa compressa to 356.32 in Cenchrus biflorus. Spores belonging to the Glomus sp. such as G. fasciculatus, G. deserticola and G. agrigatum were the dominant ones among the AMF species encountered in this study. Maximum number of AMF species were recovered from the rhizospheres of Cymbopogon jwarancusa. The potential significance of AMF in the development of mycorrhiza dependent perennial grasses of Cholistan desert is discussed. Researchers could use this knowledge in the revegetation attempts to put a green mantle on the desertified land and to stabilize sand dunes.
Migration of Cholistani People from Desert areas toward Irrigated areas: Causes and Consequence (A Case Study of Cholistan, Pakistan)
Mariam Abbas Soharwardi,Karamat Ali,Muhammad Arshad
International Journal of Social Sciences and Education , 2011,
Abstract: Economy of Cholistan desert totally depends on the ecological conditions prevailing in the area. Purpose of this study is to describe migration pattern adopted by the people of Cholistan. Their income and expenditures in desert areas and irrigated areas are also described to know their problems with regard to household management. Two hundred samples were selected from the people who having agricultural land or without land and they visit to desert area during rainy season. Primary data on economic conditions and house hold strategies of people of Cholistan desert was collected by interview technique. The analysis of data showed that migration of cholistani people is not only for managing Cholistan desert dry lands but it could support to cultivation in the irrigated areas of cholistan. As people move toward desert for the better health of their livestock’s and migration towards cultivated areas results to increasing the cultivation of crops.
Eco-physiological Adaptability Potential of Sporobolus iocladus in Cholistan Desert  [PDF]
Mohammad Arshad,Altaf-ur-Rehman Rao,Ghulam Akbar,Munir Akhtar
Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences , 1999,
Abstract: The inherent genetic potential of four ecotypes of a perennial grass Sporobolus iocladus, collected from four habitats of Cholistan desert, showed considerably high genetic variation with regard to morphological characters recorded. Ecotype 4 from "Shaheedan Wala Toba" and ecotype 1 from "Lal Suhanra" appeared to be the best thriving ones with respect to leaf area, number of tillers per plant, fresh weight of plant and number of leaves per tiller. Positive correlations among various morphological variables indicate that selected ecotypes may eventually prove highly desirable for enhancing biomass production and restoration of plant cover in saline `dahars` in degraded rangelands of Cholistan.
Physico-chemical Analysis of Soils of Cholistan Desert  [PDF]
M. Ashraf,S. M. Muyassir Bukhari,Shoukat Ali Shahid,M. Arshad Azad
Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences , 1999,
Abstract: Soil samples from 3-6 inches depth were collected at 8 different locations from Cholistan desert during an expedition in November 1997. Physico-chemical analysis by standard methods revealed the following information as; electrical conductivity as 211±25.63 μ S/cm, pH as 8.72±0.09, total alkalinity as 5.36±1.63, bicarbonate content 91.44±6.8 MEq/L, chloride content 1.12±0.25 MEq/L, sulphate as 212.49±23.26 MEq/L, Na as 12.12±1.66 MEq/L, K as 11.83±5.06 MEq/L, Ca as 0.62±0.097 MEq/L and Mg as 1.00±0.17 MEq/L. Carbonate and orthophosphate were not detected by the employed methods. The amount of organic matter was 1.035±0.167 per cent with total nitrogen content of 0.047±0.01 per cent. When soil samples were subjected to metal analysis by atomic absorption spectroscopy, sub-optimal levels of all four studied metals (in ppm) were found, i.e., Cu was 0.079±0.022, Fe was 1.808±0.316, Mn was 1.653±0.212 and Zn was 0.0363±0.007. These lower levels of essential metals indicate lower demands of these metals by the desert vegetation.
Floristic Composition of the Plants of the Cholistan Desert, Pakistan  [PDF]
Hafiz Muhammad Wariss, Muhammad Mukhtar, Shazia Anjum, Ghulam Raza Bhatti, Saeed Ahmad Pirzada, Khurshid Alam
American Journal of Plant Sciences (AJPS) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/ajps.2013.412A1009

A floristic survey of Cholistan desert was carried out during 2009-2011 and total of 38 families, 106 genera and 154 species were documented from the area. Among families, 33 families belong to Dicotyledons of 79 genera and 115 species, while the 38 species of 26 genera belong to 4 families of Monocotyledons and 1 family of gymnosperms with 1 genus and 1 species. The largest family was Poaceae with 34 species followed by Papilionaceae and Zygophyllaceae with 10 species while Asteraceae with 9 species respectively. The life form of plant species was determined by following the Raunkier’s method. Therophytes comprised of 74 species (48%), Chamaephyte 40 species (26%), Hemicryptophyte 18 species (12%), Phanerophyte 19 species (12%) and Cryptophyte 3 species (2%) of the flroa of the area. It will be helpful and serve for the conservation and sustainable utilization of plant resources of the study area.

Germination Behavior and Electrolytes Leakage of Seeds of some Plants of Cholistan Desert  [PDF]
Izzat Yasmin,Mohammad Ashraf,Faiz-ul-Hassan Nasim
Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences , 1999,
Abstract: This work was conducted (i) to measure the electrical conductance of dry and imbibing seeda, (ii) to monitor the per cent age germination and spread of germination of these species at varying temperature conditions and (iii) to find the optimal germination conditions so that some biochemical and biomolecular studies could be carried out in near future. Seeds of different plant species of Cholistan desert such as Capparis decidua, Salvadora oleides and prosopis cineraria were allowed to germinate at various temperature regimes and their per cent age germination was monitored. Results show that optimal germination temperature for C. decidua is 20°C (90% germination in 8 days), and for P. cineraria (65% in 10 days) and S. oleiodes (85% in 4 days) is 30°C. Imbibition of P. cineraria in sand at 25°C has been effective to get 80 per cent seeds germination. Electrical conductance (μS/cm/10 seeds) measured during early hours/days of imbibition has been correlated with the increase in fresh weight of imbibing seeds, through there is decrease in the rate of electrolytes leakage ((μS/cm/hours/10 seeds) with increase in imbibitional time. Work is in progress on the biochemical aspects of these early hours/days of seed germination.
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