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