American Journal of Plant Sciences
Vol.5 No.15(2014), Article ID:47583,8 pages DOI:10.4236/ajps.2014.515234

Vegetation of Ranikot Fort Area, a Historical Heritage of Sindh, Pakistan

Nabila Shah Jilani, Syeda Saleha Tahir, Muhammad Tahir Rajput

Institute of Plant Sciences, University of Sindh, Sindh, Pakistan


Copyright © 2014 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).

Received 5 May 2014; revised 4 June 2014; accepted 22 June 2014


The investigation on the vegetation and flora of the Ranikot Fort area was undertaken during 2009-2013. Ranikot Fort Area is a historical heritage of Sindh. So far there has been no publication on vegetation of this important historic site. 89 plant species belonging to 69 genera and 32 families are identified which include monocot, dicots and pteridophytes. This contribution provides information on plant biodiversity of Ranikot, a natural heritage of Sindh, Pakistan.

Keywords:Diversity, Ranikot Fort, Families, Species

1. Introduction

Ranikot is a talismanic wonder of Sindh, which is visible about 5 km way over the hills. Every structure in the Ranikot has its own uniqueness and beauty. The investigation on the vegetation of Ranikot Fort was undertaken to document the plant wealth found in an important historical site area. So far there is no account on the vegetation of this area. The origin of Ranikot Fort is controversial but archaeologists and historians generally believe that it was constructed around 500 BC which was later on renovated by Talpurs, around 1819 AD. A large number of fossil wood and snail shell are found inside and outside the Ranikot Fort. Inside the fort, a fresh water spring is also present. The water of the spring is used for cultivation by the people living in the surroundings of the fort. The site area under investigation is also a good fossiliferous locality. Many fossil woods including monocot, dicot and gymnosperms were identified by many workers e.g. Ref: [1] and [2] . At the higher elevation the stones are mostly bigger in size and their size becomes smaller and smaller with the decrease in the elevation. In the valleys their size approaches to almost small clay particles.

2. Site Area

Ranikot Fort is located at 25˚45'N - 26˚00'N, long 67˚45'E - 68˚00'E about 30 km south west of Sann Railway Station, 109 km from Jamshoro City of Sindh, Pakistan, 120 km from Dadu, and 124 km from Hyderabad. The circumference of the fort is about 30 km, having walls constructed on about 8 km (personal com. Mr. Muhammad Siddiq Gabol, a guide of the Ranikot Fort area). At present the Indus River is about 18 miles away from the Fort. The study area is located at about 1480 feet above sea level. The site area comes under Khirther Range which falls under the Sahara-Sindhian region, Ref: [3] . The mean annual rainfall for Ranikot Fort Area is about 6 - 7 inches.

3. Materials and Methods

Survey and field collection of plants was carried out during September-October and February-March, 2009 to 2013. Herbarium sheets of the collected material were made following the standard techniques and were deposited in Sindh University Herbarium, at Jamshoro.

Most of the specimens collected from the site area were identified with the help of taxonomic key, description and illustrations provided in the flora of Pakistan. Ref: [3] -[9] . Every species is provided with a brief scientific description covering important taxonomic attributes, have been alphabetically arranged along with its family.

Vegetation of Ranikot Fort Area:

Pteridophyta (S.F. Gray) Gandich.

4. Results and Discussion

The field survey reveals the presence of twenty-nine angiospermic families including five monocotyledons and twenty four dicotyledons. Besides these, pteridophytic species of Adiantum has also been reported. Tamerix and Salvadora species are dominant in depressions. Rizastricta is very common on both side of the road leading to Ranikot Fort from Sunn.

The great diversity of Ranikot’s natural environment includes about 30 km area. The species composition and vegetation cover are profoundly affected by the Ranikot rocks and their derived soil. The plants growing on the top hills have mostly exposed roots.

Some of the species are directly threatened by human activates which includes the construction of roads, bridges overgrazing by animals and had great effect on biota. Majority of the species reported in Mohan-JoDaro are present in present study area.

5. Conclusion

During this research it has been observed that the vegetation of this important historical fort, which is claimed to be the largest fort of the world, is totally neglected. No research has been done in past. The current condition of the vegetation is critical. During survey it was observed that members of the Poaceae family were found dominating among all plant families throughout the year. Majority of the plants are herbs that belong to Poaceae family. It is also reported, that there are only a few trees present in Ranikot Fort area e.g. Salvadora oleoides, zizphusjujube, Acacia nilotica. In the beginning when I first visited this area for collection, Acacia tree was dominating species of the area amongst all tree species. Now, it has become endangered as just a few trees are surviving with poor condition. They are being chopped by the local people for different purposes like fuel, shelter; they use Acacia trunk and branches for making house boundary. They remove bark to make raw wine, which results in the disappearance of Acacia from Ranikot Fort area. The other disappearing species is Commiphora wightii Vern. Gugur. Only a few trees of Gugur are left, which are in very poor conditions as well, this will lead to total disappearance of the plant from this particular area.


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