Vegetation: display in the new Ecological tlas of Russia

T. V. Kotova



In 2017 the fundamental scientific-reference multidisciplinary Ecological Atlas of Russia was published (Ecological , 2017; Kasimov et al., 2018). The Atlas reflects the ecological situation at the beginning of the 21st century. The Geography Department of Lomonosov Moscow State University with the participation of more than 30 leading departmental and scientific organizations contributed to the Atlas. The Atlas represents a wide range of ecological-geographical spatio-temporal characteristics of the territory of Russia and its regions. The six structural sections of the Atlas contain more than 30 maps showing vegetation in different aspects: Introduction; Natural conditions for the formation of an ecological situation; The impact of economic activity on the environment; Natural and technological hazards; Modern ecological situation; Environmental monitoring and nature conservation. The scale of the base maps of Russia is 1 : 20 000 000, others 1 : 30 000 000 and smaller. Maps are accompanied by text descriptions, graphs and slides. More than 20 % of the Atlas volume is given to satellite imagery an effective, in some cases unique, means of visualizing environmental information. The description of the maps is given in the following sequence: inventory maps estimation maps.

The Introduction Russia on the Ecological Map of the World analyzes the ecological role of Russia on a planetary scale and assesses the contribution to the observed degradation of the planets environment. The text reveals the role of vegetation in the biosphere and its environmental functions. In the section Natural Conditions for the Formation of an Ecological Situation there is a photomap Vegetation Cover created using MODIS images. The 18 divisions of vegetation are grouped in the legend into five large typological complexes  Forests, Grass and shrub vegetation, Tundra, Wetland complexes, Other vegetation. Mires are represented by three maps in 1 : 30 000 000 scale: Mires and wetlands (Fig. 1), Types of mires, Afforestation of mires. The key topic ‒ Ecological functions of the vegetation cover has been made as a separate map (Volkova, Fedorova, 1995). Large proportion of the section is devoted to the productivity of the vegetation cover (3 maps), the most important indicator controlling the stability of geosystems (Fig. 2).

In the section Impact of economic activity on the environment, vegetation is displayed through the main object of economic activity forests and factors that determine the current state of forests: deforestation, derivative forests, forest burnability, and frequency of forest fires. The cumulative effect of their impact is presented on the map Forest disturbance (Fig. 3). The consequences of adverse effects on biota are presented on the integrated map Degradation of the plant and animal world at a scale of 1 : 20 000 000.

The maps of poisonous plants and plants-allergens in 1 : 30 000 000 scale (Dikareva et al., 2017) were made for the first time; they are placed in the section Natural and technological hazards (Fig. 4). The map Ecological state of natural fodder lands (1 : 20 000 000 s.) is included in the group of maps characterizing the ecological state of individual natural components (surface and underground waters, soils, lands, etc.).

The final section of the Atlas Environmental monitoring and nature conservation contains the maps Nature Protection, Specially Protected Natural Territories, Especially Valuable Wetlands and maps of the Red Book species of plants. The section concludes with the topic Environmental Benefits of the Russian Federation and Their Capitalization. Russia is in the market of ecosystem services. It complements the Introduction chapter, focusing on the huge role of the territory of Russia as a natural regulator of the global environment and the need to capitalize its environmental benefits.

Key words: multidisciplinary ecological atlas of Russia, vegetation maps, state of vegetation cover

Section: Articles

How to cite

Kotova T. V. 2019. Vegetation: display in the new Ecological tlas of Russia // Geobotanical mapping 2019. St. Petersburg. P. 317.

Received September 23 2019


Dikareva T. V., Malkhazova S. M., Rumyantsev V. Yu., Soldatov M. S. 2017. Ecologicalgeographical analysis of the poisonous plants distribution in Russia. Vestnik Moskovskogo universiteta. Ser. 5: Geografia. 4: 29‒37. (In Russian).

Ecologicheskiy atlas Rossii [Ecological Atlas of Russia]. 2017. Moscow. 510 p. (In Russian).

Kasimov N. S., Kotova T. V., Tikunov V. S. 2018. Ecology of Russia in the new multidisciplinary atlas. Materialy Mezhdunarodnoy konferentsii Interkarto-InterGIS [InterCarto. InterGIS. Proceedings of the International Conference]. Vol. 24 (1). Petrozavodsk. P. 518. (In Russian).

Volkova E. A., Fedorova I. T. 1995. The map of ecological functions of vegetation cover of Russia.

Geobotanicheskoe kartografirovanie 1993 [Geobotanical mapping 1993]. P. 51‒57. (In Russian).