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Flora and Vegetation of Asian Russia

2022 year, number 2


Irina G. Borisova, Tatyana N. Veklich, Elena V. Lesik, Natalia A. Kochunova
Amur Branch of the Botanical Garden-Institute of the Far East Branch of the RAS, Blagoveshensk, Russia
Keywords: geobotanical map, habitat mapping, expert judgment, significance, geobotanical and floristic criteria, EUNIS, Amur region


The Russian Far East has large areas of natural and semi-natural ecosystems. With the intensification of economic activity, it is necessary here a new look at the environmental policy with a focus on increasing the value of nature and its resources. The work consisted of converting a geo-botanical map into a habitat map. Habitats are presented in categories of significance and value. For all habitats are available floristic, ecological and biotope characteristics. The study area is a part of the Amur-Zeya plain. It is limited by geographical coordinates: 12807 -12823  north latitude and 5125 -5134  east longitude. It is part of the territory of advanced social and economic development Svobodny. The vegetation has been largely modified by humans. There are practically no native plant communities left here (pine, oak-pine, black birch-pine and black birch-oak-pine forests with larch). At present, secondary forest communities (oak, black birch, white birch) and their re-generative series grow here. The flora of the studied area includes 430 species of vascular plants. The list of fungi is represented by 267 species of macromycetes. The plant communities include 20 rare species of vascular plants listed in the Red Books of the Russian Federation (2008) and the Amur Region (2020). Plant communities are the main indicator of habitat, and their boundaries mark habitat boundaries. Habitats were divided into 5 groups: valuable, significant, moderately significant, insignificant and disturbed. In addition, the compliance of biotopes with the European habitat classification EUNIS was taken into account. Valuable habitats occupy 3 % of the total area on the habitat map. They include habitats of particular importance for the protection and the conservation of biological and landscape diversity. The significant habitats occupy 17 % of the total area. They include the Upper Amur forests (pine, oak and oak-black birch forests), mari, swamps and coastal aq-uatic vegetation, which have signs of standard natural communities. Moderately significant habitats account for 22 % of the territory. They belong also to natural communities, but have signs of disturbance. The insignificant habitats occupy 21 % of the total area. Species diversity decreases significantly here. Disturbed habitats occupy the largest areas (37 %).