a floodplain forest in the deserts of Middle and Central Asia; a type of fringing, or gallery, forest. Tugai are found in river valleys where the groundwater is close to the surface. Various species of trees are represented, including variable-leaved poplars, the willow, the tamarisk, the salt tree (Halimodendron halodendron), and the buckthorn. Typical tugai extend along river channels and narrow islands. Tugai on rich alluvial soils form dense stands of trees and shrubs entwined by lianas (Clematis, Calystegia). The herbaceous cover includes species of reed, dogbane, and, in some places, plum grass (Erianthus). In the floodplains of the Amu Darya and Syr Darya there is a predominance of variable-leaved poplars; on salinated soils thickets of Tamarix ramosissima (2–4 m or, sometimes, 5–6 m in height) and Tamarix hispida (up to 1 m in height) predominate. Tugai are inhabited by boars, pheasants, and a number of other animals. The area occupied by tugai is noticeably diminishing owing to the reclamation of floodplains.
E. L. LIUBIMOVA