Vegetation map of Kamchatka

Valentina Yu. NESHATAEVA
Komarov Botanical Institute RAS, Saint-Petersburg, Russia

The Kamchatka Peninsula (North of the Russian Far East) belongs to the Boreal taiga zone. Zonal natural vegetation of central Kamchatka is represented by Ajan spruce (Picea ajanensis) forests, Cajander larch (Larix cajanderi) forests as well as Japan birch (Betula platyphylla) and aspen (Populus tremula) woods. On the coastal plains and slopes, stone-birch (Betula ermanii) forests predominate. Vast territories of mountain slopes are covered by Siberian dwarf-pine (Pinus pumila) woodlands and dwarf-alder (Alnus fruticosa var. kamtschatica) thickets. The mountain tops and ridges are occupied by dwarf-shrub-rich mountain tundra communities. The Kamchatka Isthmus and the Koryak region belong to the Beringian forest-tundra zone. They are characterized by the predominance of dwarf-pine and dwarf-shrub tundra communities that are associated with watersheds. The goal of the present investigation is to prepare a small-scale vegetation map of the Kamchatka Peninsula and the adjacent territories of northern Koryakia and the Koryak upland. Our map was developed using a MODIS space image, digitized topography map, digitized Geobotanical map of the USSR, forest map of the USSR and original field data of about 3000 relevés. This information was combined with field data which helped update the size, shape and contents of the contours. The minimal contour size accepted depending on vegetation cover structure was about 0.04 cm2 (at scale 1 : 7 500 000 it will equal 225 km2). The following mapping principles were used to show restored vegetation; zonal vegetation types for the plains; and altitudinal belts for the mountain regions. These belts are: conifer forests, deciduous forests, subalpine dwarf-woodlands (krummholtz), and mountain tundra.

2012 Organizing Committee