Experience in assessing the dynamic state of vegetation based on a large-scale map of modern vegetation (on the example of the area “Levashovskiy les”, St. Petersburg)

E. A. Volkova, V. N. Khramtsov

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31111/geobotmap/2019.39


The article is devoted to the vegetation mapping of the “Levashovskiy les”— a large forest-mire massif located in the northern part of St. Petersburg (Fig. 1). It continues a series of articles on the vegetation of existing and proposed specially protected natural areas of St. Petersburg (Volkova, Khramtsov, 2018). Large-scale map of modern vegetation (Fig. 2) is presented; the map legend includes 67 main numbers, the signs and numeric indexes at the numbers made it possible to show 93 mapping units (associations and their variants). Brief description of the main types of plant communities (spruce, pine, birch, aspen, gray alder and black alder forests; raised bogs, transitional mires and fens, floodplain and upland meadows) reveals the content of the legend.

Vegetation cover is characterized by the dominance of secondary communities. The main anthropogenic impacts on modern vegetation are following: drainage reclamation, deforestation and former agricultural use, forest fires, gas pipelines, highways. Most of the forest communities are secondary ones; they have grown under the pressure of various anthropogenic factors and at different time. Nowadays an active process of natural regeneration of conife­rous (mainly spruce) trees goes in the forests.

Plant community structure and species composition were taken into account as well as their dynamic state. To assess the degree of disturbance of plant communities and the potential for their restoration, the analysis of all mapped vegetation categories with respect to their position in the ranks of restorative successions was made. Then an assessment map “Dynamic state of plant communities” (Fig. 3) was compiled. The map shows following categories of dynamic types of communities: conventionally primary; relatively long-term secondary and stable long-term secondary (Sukachev, 1938; Isachenko, 1964; Karpenko, 1965; Gribova, Isachenko, 1972); short-term secondary that were divided into 3 categories representing different stages of restorative series.

Present state of the vegetation cover of the “Levashovskiy les” can be determined by the ratio of the areas of conventionally primary and secondary communities. Areal analysis of dynamic categories of plant communities showed that only a bit more than 20 % of the territory is occupied by conventionally primary communities and about 60 % – by short-term secondary ones with good restorative potential. Without strong anthropogenic and natural disturbances, a significant part of the disturbed plant communities will be able to self-restore to their natural state. The establishment of a specially protected natural area as well as the regulation of conservation regime will support restoration process of nature ecosystems.

Key words: large-scale vegetation map, dynamic categories of plant communities, map of dynamical state of vegetation, Levashovskiy les

Section: Articles

How to cite

Volkova E. A., Khramtsov V. N. 2019. Experience in assessing the dynamic state of vegetation based on a large-scale map of modern vegetation (on the example of the area “Levashovskiy les”, St. Petersburg) // Geobotanical mapping 2019. St. Petersburg. P. 39–56. https://doi.org/10.31111/geobotmap/2019.39

Received September 2 2019


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