The Ecological Niche of Pistacia Vera L. (Anacardiaceae) in Central Asia: A Comprehensive Tool for Agromeliorative Planning




Pistacea vera, Ecological Niche Model, Species Biology, Pistachio Cultivation


A model of the ecological niche of the nut fruit Pistacia vera has been developed based on known locations in Central Asia and an analysis of abiotic environmental variables in order to map out the area of optimal conditions for both the wild and domesticated forms. The model reveals a much larger area of suitability for the species than it presently occupies. The list of key variables and their optimal ranges are compared with the known values of those which have been gathered from experiments on the ground and which are described in the available literature. Most of the optimal values modeled for the key variables appear to resemble the known experimental ranges. The meaning and impact of most of the key variables in relation to the species’ life cycle are found in the physiological and ecological peculiarities of P. vera’s development at different stages as described in the literature. Unexplained variables may imply a gap in our knowledge of the pistachio and its interrelations with the environment; and point the direction of further study of the biology of the pistachio. The value of the model is the potential application of the results along with existing practical recommendations regarding pistachio cultivation in order to establish guidelines regarding the conservation and commercial cultivation of P. vera in Kazakhstan.


Alexeyev, V.P. (1963). Pistachio - Pistacia vera. Subtropical cultures, 3, 21-23.

Al-Saghir, M.G. (2009). Evolutionary History of the Genus Pistacia (Anacardiaceae). International Journal of Botany, 5(3), 255-257.

Baytullin, I.O., Kurochkina, L.Ya., Ogar, N.P., Rachkovskaya, E.I. (2009). Rare and unique plant communities of Kazakhstan, protection and rational use measures. Izv. ASRK, ser. Biol., 4, 3-10.

Beaumont, L. J., Hughes, L., & Poulsen, M. (2005). Predicting species distributions: use of climatic parameters in BIOCLIM and its impact on predictions of species’ current and future distributions. Ecological modelling, 186(2), 251-270.

Benmoussaa, H., Luedeling, E., Ghrab, M., Ben Yahmed, J., & Ben Mimoun, M. (2017). Performance of pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) in warming Mediterranean orchards. Environmental and Experimental Botany, 140, 76-85.

Booth, T. H., Nix, H. A., Busby, J. R., & Hutchinson, M. F. (2014). BIOCLIM: the first species distribution modelling package, its early applications and relevance to most current MAXENT studies. Diversity and Distributions, 20(1), 1-9.

Chaban, I.S. (1941). Kazakhstan subtropics: Bostandyk region of Kazakhs SSR (vol. 2). In: Vegetation of Kazakshtan. Moscow-Leningrad.

Enfyadzhan, L.A. (1954). The Experience of cultivating true pistachios in Ijevan region. Izv. As ArmSSR, ser. biol and agricult., 7(2), 17-32.

FAO – UNESCO Soil map of the world. (1974). Paris, Unesco. Vol.1. 59 p.

Gijón, M. del Carmen, Gimenez, C., Perez-López, D., Guerrero, J., Couceiro, J. F., Moriana, A. (2011). Water relations of pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) as affected by phenological stages and water regimes. Scientia Horticulturae, 128, 415–422.

Gudochkin, M.V., Chaban, P.S. (1958). Forests of Kazakhstan. Alma-Ata.

Hijmans, R. J., Cameron, S. E., Parra, J. L., Jones, P. G., and Jarvis, A. (2005). Very high resolution interpolated climate surfaces for global land areas. International Journal of Climatology, 25, 1965-1978.

Kalayda, F.K. (2016). The culture of pistachio (Pistacia vera) at the south coast of Crimea. Imperial Botanical Cabinet and Botanical Garden, 2, 22..

Kamelin, R.V. (1990). Pistachio in Badkhyz. Leningrad.

Karmysheva, N.H. (1982). Flora and Vegetation of Western Spurs of Talass Alatau. Almaty.

Khanazarov, A. A., Chernova, G. M., Rakhmonov, A. M., Nikolyi, L. V., Ablaeva, E., Zaurov, D. E., ... & Funk, C. R. (2009). Genetic resources of Pistacia vera L. in Central Asia. Genetic resources and crop evolution, 56(3), 429-443.

Khudaykulov, B.S. (2016). Establishment of anti-erosion pistachio plants on eroded pastures in southwestern Tajikistan. Dushanbe.

Kordon, R.Ya. (1936). Pistachio. Cultural flora of the USSR. Moscow-Leningrad. Academy of Sciense of USSR, 17, 313-344.

Kornilova, V.S. (1966). The history of flora and vegetation in Kazakhstan. Vegetation of Kazakhstan. Alma-Ata, 1, 37-190.

Kottek, M., Grieser, J., Beck, C., Rudolf, B., & Rubel, F. (2006). World Map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification updated. Meteorologische Zeitschrift, 15(3), 259-263.

Kovda, V.A. (1973). The principles of pedology. General theory of soil formation. Second book. Moscow.

Kravchenko, V.I. (1963). Pistachio and its breeding. Moscow.

Lovelius, N.V. (1979). Variability of tree growth. Dendroindication of natural and anthropogenic processes. Leningrad.

Malakhov, D. V., & Chirikova, M. A. (2018). Species Distribution Model of Varanus griseus caspius (Eichwald, 1831) in Central Asia: An Insight to the Species’ Biology. Russian Journal of Herpetology, 25(3), 195.206.

Malakhov, D. V., Tsychuyeva, N. Y., & Kambulin, V. E. (2018). Ecological modeling of Locusta migratoria L. breeding conditions in South-Eastern Kazakhstan. Russian Journal of Ecosystem Ecology, 3(1).

Pakkish, Z., Rahemi, M., Panahi B. (2011). Low Temperature Resistance of Developing Flower Buds of Pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) Cultivars. Journal of Biological & Environmental Sciences, 5(15), 153-157.

Popov, K.P. (1979). Pistachio in Central Asia. Ashgabat.

Rustamov, I.G., & Kepbanov, P.A. (2012). Natural populations and pistachio (Pistacia vera) culture in Badkhyz. Ashgabat.

Schepotiev, F.L., Richter, A.A., Pavlenko, F.A., Molotkov, P.I., Kravchenko, V.I., Iroshnikov, A.I. (1985). Walnut forest and horticultural crops. Moscow.

Sorokin A. (2018). Botanical identification of ancient Hebrew phytonym boṭnîm. On domestication history of pistachio (Pistacia vera L., Anacardiaceae). Hortus Botanicus, 13, 78-89.

Swartman, R. K., & Ogunlade, O. (1967). A statistical relationship between solar radiation,’ sunshine and relative humidity in the tropics. Atmosphere, 5(2), 25-34.

United Nations Environment Programme. (1997). World atlas of desertification. (2Ed). UNEP, London.

Verdú, M., & García-Fayos, P. (1998). Ecological causes, function, and evolution of abortion and parthenocarpy in Pistacia lentiscus (Anacardiaceae). Canadian Journal of Botany, 76(1), 134-141.

Winslow, J. C., Hunt, E. R., & Piper, S. C. (2001). A globally applicable model of daily solar irradiance estimated from air temperature and precipitation data. Ecological Modelling, 143(3), 227-243.

Zapryagayeva, V.I. (1964). Wild fruits of Tajikistan. Leningrad.

Zverev, N.E., Kalybayev, K.R., & Islamgulova A.F. (2017b). Recommendations on pistachio cultivation in Kazakhstan. Proc. Inst. Bot. 23(2), 62.

Zverev, N.E., Kalybayev, K.R., Kurmantayeva, A.A. (2017a). Evaluation of the fruits of Pistachio, allocated in populations which growing in Kazakhstan. News NAS RK, ser. Biol. and Med., 5(323), 121-126.




How to Cite

Malakhov, D., & Islamgulova, A. (2021). The Ecological Niche of Pistacia Vera L. (Anacardiaceae) in Central Asia: A Comprehensive Tool for Agromeliorative Planning. Biosis: Biological Systems, 2(1), 209-216.