Anthropogenic dynamics of sub-climax forests of the southern Russian Far East

1 Pacific Institute of Geography FEB RAS, Vladivostok, Russia
2 Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok, Russia
3 Botanical Garden-Institute FEB RAS, Vladivostok, Russia

Reduction of forest cover of the most complex conifer-broadleaf forests of the Russian Far East, traced through pollen-spore spectra, and also through oldgrowth trees and their remnants testifies to a slow regeneration of the forest even with reduced human activity. Reduced human activity did not lead to a regeneration of sub-climax forests in broad river valleys and on slopes up to the first hundred meters in altitude above sea level. By studying the age of a large quantity of Taxus cuspidata (from 1 500 years on the islands in Peter the Great Bay in the Sea of Japan, to 800 years and about 500 years old on the coast), and the age of large stems of Betula schmidtii in the Nature Reserve "Kedrovaya Pad", we calculated a reduction of fires about 1500 years ago on the islands, and about 800 and 400 years ago on the mainland. From the 18th century to 1860 forest cover in Primorsky region increased to 75 %, and conifer and conifer-broadleaf forests occupied 57.3 % of the territory versus, respectively, 62 % and 32 % in 2001. Reserves of timber in coniferous forests on average fell by not less than 1/3. Subclimax ecosystems of Abies holophylla, and Pinus koraiensis were preserved on not more than 15 % of the area occupied by these formations.

© 2012 Organizing Committee