Mapping boreal vegetation inder conditions of a disturbance regime: a case from the southern boreal subzone in the Russian Far East

Pavel V. KRESTOV 1, 2
1 Botanical Garden-Institute FEB RAS, Vladivostok, Russia
2 Institute of Biology and Soil Science, Vladivostok, Russia

A prototype vegetation map of the eastern Asian sector of circumboreal zone was prepared to represent of a portion the middle and southern subzone of boreal zone that included a gradient of regional climates from subcontinental to suboceanic. The vegetation pattern of the area is complicated because it 1) occurs along a gradual transitional zone between typical temperate and boreal macrobioclimates; 2) has had a long historical period of fire and logging; and 3) is represented by two principal boreal vegetation types larch and spruce forests. Postfire succession in the areas of spruce forests results in the formation of spruce stands, but various factors may hinder succession from the standard sequence. The unstable climate in combination with marginal permafrost and soil freezing regime is greatly compounded by a diversity of substrates that make the pattern post-fire forest succession more complicated. In the spruce forested area with low temperatures, fires have not only a direct effect on forests, but also change the soil freezing regime and may result in different post-fire succession sequences toward the formation of long-term larch forests. Because such forests are relatively permanent and occupy extensive areas, it is important to show them in a map of potential vegetation in the scale 1 : 7 500 000. The present study was undertaken with the support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (grants no. 10-04-00985 and 11-04-92112).

2012 Organizing Committee