Estimation of the Biodiversity of Cryptogam Plants (Algae, Fungi, Lichens) of southern Western Siberia

Central Siberian Botanical Garden, SB RAS, Novosibirsk

Head of the Institute:

Igor Yu.Koropachinskiy, Academician of the RAS
101 Zolotodolinskaya Sr., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
Tel. (383-2) 35-41-01
Fax (383-2) 35-49-86

Principal researchers:

V.I.Ermolayev, Head of the Laboratory of Lower Plants,
Tel. (383-2) 35-51-70
Fax (383-2) 35-49-86

Project objectives

In aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems of Siberia, it is difficult to find a habitat in which there are no representatives of lower plants algae, fungi and lichens. The theoretical groundwork of floristics and the understanding of general patterns of plant geography and plant cover cannot be comprehensive without considering cryptogam plants. The latter play an important role in the functioning of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, often being edificators, dominants and even key components of the autotrophic part of biogeocoenoses in which they serve as indicators of vital activity, self-regulation and relative sustainability of ecosystems along with different organisms.

Species composition and detailed characteristics of cryptogam plants of the south of Western Siberia are given in the project. To date they have been studied insufficiently for a range of regions of southern Siberia (plain, mountain plants), there is no complete inventory of the composition of these plant groups. The mountain regions, due to vertical zonality and diversity of rocks, determine different types of plant communities, which is reflected on the flora composition of lower plants.

Poor exploration of many regions of southern Siberia leads to an insufficient knowledge of the pattern of formation of the vegetation, including algae, fungi and lichens. Therefore, it is very important to study them.

Background and significance of objectives

Over many years the scientists of the Laboratory of Lower Plants have studied the algal, myco- and lichen flora of separate regions of the south of Western Siberia, occurrence of cryptogam plants in certain ecotopes and plant communities and flora genesis, which has led to numerous publications. As a result of this study, taking into account literature data, about 1000 species of algae and over 160 species of mushrooms-macromycetes have been established for the forest-steppe zone of the south of Western Siberia (including the Ob river); more than 1000 species of algae, over 400 species of macromycetes and 920 species of lichens - for the Mountain Altai; and 550 species of algae, 450 species of macromycetes and 520 species of lichens - for the Salair Ridge.

Research plan: approaches and methods

When studying cryptogam plants, traditional methods of collection and treatment of the material, widely used in algology, mycology and lichenology, will be employed. Contemporary statistic methods will be used for treatment of the material.

Expected results

Work on the project suggests characterising basically the algal, myco- and lichen flora, determining peculiarities of the taxonomic structure, biomorphological and ecological compositions, and finding out the geographical distribution and flora genesis. Considerably more information will be obtained on the structure and functioning of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, formation of the cryptogam flora not only in the south of Western Siberia, but in Siberia as a whole, as well as in Central and North Asia. It will be possible to create a management database on cryptogam plants of Siberia. Monographic reports on algae, fungi and lichens of the given region will be published.

List of publications of participants related to the project