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Siberian Journal of Forest Science

2015 year, number 1

Forests and Open Woodlands of Alpine–Taiga Landscapes of the Bureya Mountains (Diversity, Structure, and Dynamics)

S. V. Osipov1,2
1The Pacific Institute of Geography, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Radio str., 7, Vladivostok, 690041 Russian Federation
2Far Eastern Federal University, Sukhanova str., 8, Vladivostok, 690950 Russian Federation
Keywords: vegetation, classification, life form, ecological succession, forest-forming process, altitudinal zonality, Bureya Mountains, Russian Far East


Many of classic questions of vegetation and forest sciences do not lose their relevance because they are basic knowledge for solving a large number of scientific and practical tasks. The aims of this paper are to describe the coenotic diversity, structure, catastrophic and successional changes of forests and open woodlands in alpine-taiga landscapes of the Bureya Mountains, and to consider some of the approaches that are promising for solving such problems. The analysis of some important characteristics of forest and open woodland vegetation is executed. It is shown that the peculiarities of woodland vegetation are not always reflected in the classification schemes. Contrasting approaches to the classification of woodland vegetation are considered. The main diversity of forest and woodland communities, micro-, meso - and macrocomplexes of alpine-taiga landscapes of the Bureya Mountains is revealed. The main forest forming species of trees are the Ajan spruce (Picea ajanensis) and Cajander larch (Larix cajanderi). The ecological-phytocoenological classification of forest and woodland vegetation is developed. A concept of the life form of vegetation is used as a common basis for the classification of vegetation of different structural types. The concept is considered as the multidimensional and multilevel characteristic of vegetation, which consists of at least three components: structural, dynamic and ecological-phytocoenotic types of vegetation. The scheme of vegetation cover zonality of alpine-taiga landscapes of the Bureya Mountains is revised on the basis of concepts of the zonal vegetation and the zonal habitats. Forest and open woodland vegetation form three subbelts: subalpine larch and spruce open woodlands, subalpine spruce and larch forests, taiga spruce and larch forests. The main disturbance factor in vegetation cover of the territory under consideration is fires. Main pyrogenic catastrophic changes and post-fire demutation successions are revealed. Geobotanical mapping of 4500 km2 of alpine-taiga territory was made. The zonality, general diversity and spatial ratio of vegetation classes, location on relief (landscape) and dynamic series of vegetation are represented on the map of the contemporary vegetation cover at 1:200000 scale.