Identifying rare communities and forests with heightened vegetative diversity in the Russian Far East

WWF Russia, Amur Branch, Vladivostok, Russia

The Far Eastern region supports the highest levels of biodiversity in the Russian Federation. Widespread transformation and degradation of native ecosystems in this region necessitates the delineation and protection of ecosystems supporting rare species or exceptional biodiversity. But the large scale of the region and its incomplete scientific description it necessary to identify tendencies in the distribution of these communities that would expedite their delineation. One approach is the delineation of “intact forest landscapes”. Large, unaltered blocks of primary forests that include communities in various topographic positions can protect a broad range of native biodiversity. But this approach has some weaknesses – biodiversity- rich ecosystems that are fragmented or partially disturbed are excluded. Including other indicators besides “intactness” is necessary. In the Far East indicators such as the correlation between canopy tree diversity and understory diversity and the heightened value of the forest-alpine ecotone are being experimented with. Further study of tendencies in the distribution of rare plant species, rare plant communities and forests with heighted vegetative diversity is necessary.

© 2012 Organizing Committee