A late Holocene subfossil record of Sphagnum squarrosum Crome (Sphagnopsida, Bryophyta) from NW Iran
Kürschner, Harald; Shumilovskikh, Lyudmila; Djamali, Morteza; de Beaulieu, Jacques-Louis
The subfossil record of Sphagnum squarrosum [Sect. Squarrosa] in a late Holocene core from Tuska Tchal peat bog (NW Iran) is the first record of this species in Iran. Together with S. girgensohnii, recorded from NE Iran, it is the second find of this genus of wetland habitats in Iran. Spores and charred leaves of Sphagnum as well as sphagnophilous indicators such as rotifer Habrotrocha angusticollis and parasitic fungi Geoglossum shagnophilum occur during the entire record, indicating presence of the Sphagnum-related ecosystem during the last 2000 years. Presence of these indicators also in the top-sample strongly suggests recent presence of Sphagnum in the wetland of Tuska Tchal. The new finding of S. squarrosum highlight that (i) colonisation of the site occurred during a relatively cool and humid period of late Holocene, and (ii) 'interglacial relict populations' of the species possibly more widespread during the last glacial indicate the importance of this site in terms of biodiversity conservation.