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Contemporary Problems of Ecology

2014 year, number 6

Anthropogenous Influence of Norilsk Industrial Plants on the Vegetation Cover of the Tundra and Forest Tundra

Central Siberian Botanical Garden SB RAS, 630090, Novosibirsk, Zolotodolinskaya str., 101
Keywords: anthropogenic transformation, the Putorana Plateau, vegetation, syntaxonomy, tundra, forest-tundra, air emissions, Norilsk, pollutants


The diversity of vegetation of the study area was represented by 17 associations, 9 alliances, 7 orders, and 6 classes. The geobotanic maps of the region were compiled for the first time using modern technology. The medium-scale mapping of natural vegetation was also carried out. It was shown that the spatial structure of the vegetation in the flat lands was presented mostly by ordered structures - complexes and by fewer disordered structures - combinations. In the western part of the territory, which had experienced a greater impact of humid climate of the Atlantic, there was noted a prominent role of subalpine meadows. The Eastern part of the region had always been under the influence of the cold Siberian anticyclone. So in the subalpine altitudinal zone of the Eastern part the combinations with alder played the central role, and in the forest belt the grassy bogs and tundra-swamp complexes were more important. Anthropogenic changes of the vegetation, that had taken place due to the impact Norilsk factories emissions, were detected. The zones of strong, medium and low anthropogenic impact and the stages of vegetation degradation were specified. The cartographic models of transformed vegetation helped to reveal specifics of the spatial structure of the transformed vegetation depending on the elements of the relief. As the emissions from the enterprises were regular, the impact of pollutants (hydrogen sulfide, in particular) on vegetation was constant. Vegetation was dying without ever getting to the recovery stage. The impact of pollutants proved to be an additional ecological factor that significantly changed the environment and created new artificial ecosystems in which species diversity was greatly reduced among all the systematic groups of higher and lower plants. Especially it concerns slowly regenerating plants: mosses, lichens, some species of shrubs, dwarf shrubs and trees. Thus, natural restoration of vegetation is yet impossible due to high level of pollution. Anthropogenic factor plays the limiting role in the region.