Complex estimation of the phytocoenotic diversity and spatial-structural organization of the vegetation cover of the south of western siberia

The Central Siberian Botanical Garden, SB RAS, Novosibirsk

Head of the Institute:

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

Principal researchers:

V.P.Sedelnikov, Doctor of Biological Sciences, Professor,
Head of the Laboratory of Ecology and Geobotany

Project objectives

The project is aimed at inventarisation, characteristics and revealing of the regularities of spatial organisation of the diversity of the plant communities of southern Western Siberian Plains (forest-steppe and steppe zones) and its mountainous frame (the Altai, Western Sayan).

This region is of the most complicated structure of biological diversity resulting from wide zonality and altitudinal belts. Here, the main areas of the agricultural soils, coil-mining industry, large industrial works as well as the main part of the population of the Western Siberian region are concentrated.

Their activities are the cause of the negative transformation and destruction of many types of terrestrial ecosystems. In particular, the steppe vegetation is completely destroyed, the phytocoenotic diversity of the forest-steppe zone and mountainous territories is abruptly decreased.

The vegetation cover begins to lose its biosphere and resource functions. The investigations, carried out by the researchers of the laboratory, showed that the simplification of the vertical structure of communities, the decrease of the species diversity, the fall of the productivity and the appearance of the large amount of the secondary communities take place, which, as a result, on the principle of reverse links, influences negatively the well-being of the population.

At the same time, the south of Western Siberia with the mountainous frame is the unique region for the revealing of the degree of biodiversity as well as its spatial organisation. Here, the borders of many natural zones and climatic sectors run, zonality and altitudinal belts are well marked, practically all types of the terrestrial ecosystems of the Northern Asia are presented here.

Background and significance of objectives

For the realisation of the project, it is suggested to solve the following main tasks:

On all points mentioned above, there is a great amount of fond materials including cartographic ones and a lot of publications covering the partial solving of the given problems. At present, the works on the creation of a 1:1000000 ecological phytocoenotic map for southern Western and Middle Siberia are conducted; a 1:500000 map of the vegetation for Novosibirsk Region, an ecological map for Kemerovo Region were completed; a start has been made on the writing of the monograph “The vegetation of the south of Western and Middle Siberia”. A start has been made on the creation of the computer databases “The plant communities of Siberia” and “Rare and endangered plant communities of Siberia”, part of the material is already generalised in the monograph “Rare and endangered communities of Siberia”.

Research plan: approaches and methods

The fond material will be processed using the current computer programmes for the revealing of the main units of diversity and their characteristics. Additional field works will be conducted in poorly studied regions. The map-making of the regions with the use of the aero-space pictures will be carried out for the revealing of the spatial structural organisation of biodiversity. The methods of many measured statistics and the theory of the multitudes will be used for the revealing of the hierarchical organisation of coenotic diversity. The methods of the ordination will be used for identification of the factors that control the spatial structure of biodiversity.

Expected results

A database will be developed on the diversity of the plant communities of forest-steppe, steppe zones and mountainous systems of the south of Western Siberia. The main regions of the concentration of biodiversity will be revealed and, on their basis, the recommendations on their protection will be developed. For large areas (like administrative regions), ecological phytocoenotic maps will be created showing the degree of phytocoenotic diversity as well as its spatial organisation. The degree of the anthropogenic transformation of the vegetation will be revealed, the losses of biodiversity will be estimated and the prediction of its dynamics will be given. The most important results will be the database, the maps and the monograph.

List of publications of participants related to the project

More than 100 papers and about 10 monographs have been published on the topic of the project. Here are given only the main, latest monographs.

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