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Formation of Forest Biogeocenoses on Disturbed Lands of the Northern Caspian Region

  • Sizemskaya, M. L.1
  • Elekesheva, M. M.2
  • Sapanov, M. K.1
  • 1 Institute of Forest Science, Russian Academy of Sciences, Uspenskoe, 143030, Russia , Uspenskoe (Russia)
  • 2 Russian State Agrarian University, Timiryazev Moscow Agricultural Academy, Moscow, 127550, Russia , Moscow (Russia)
Published Article
Biology Bulletin
Pleiades Publishing
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2021
DOI: 10.1134/S106235902110023X
Springer Nature
  • Article


Abstract—The features, trends, and rates of formation of new forest biogeocenoses on anthropogenically disturbed lands, in particular, on an unused pond created on heavy loamy soils in the semidesert of the Northern Caspian region are analyzed. At the early stage of spontaneous pond colonization by vegetation, the development of the pond was most significantly influenced by a seed source (300 m from the pond) in the Arboretum of the Dzhanybek Research Station of the Institute of Forest Science, Russian Academy of Sciences, in which 120 species of introduced tree and shrub plants grow. Thirty-four pioneer species initially colonized the lower part of the unused pond, and 29 of these species had survived into 2018. The formation of intrazonal willow–oleaster–poplar communities of the quasi-tugai type with a weed–wet-meadow herbage has been revealed. Their development was influenced by geographical isolation, self-regulation under rather unstable moisture conditions due to occasional flooding by melt snow waters and bogging. The upper part of the soil-forming rock brought to the surface has been differentiated. A forest leaf litter has been formed from slightly decomposed tree leaves and twigs with a thickness of 1–2 cm; the stock of this litter is currently quite substantial, reaching 0.953 ± 0.196 kg/m2, and the ash content has reached 13.85%. Ca absolutely prevails in the ash, while the amounts of Mg, Fe, and K are significantly lower. A humus horizon has been formed, and the soil effervescence depth has changed. On the whole, the previously infertile substrate has acquired features of immature soil over the almost 40 years of its colonization: the manifestation of humus-accumulative process, gradual humification of organic matter, and decarbonization of the matter. On the whole, a compact, structurally diverse, spontaneously emerging self-developing forest biogeocenoses may significantly transform disturbed semidesert areas. The features of their structure and the composition of emerging species make it possible to choose species properly that are the most suitable for landscaping.

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