The use of specialist species and indicator species for delineation of key natural areas in spruce-fir forests of the Far East

Vyacheslav A. SPIRIN1, Nadezhda S. LIKSAKOVA2 & Igor V. GLUSHKOV3
1 Botanical Museum of the University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
2 Komarov Botanical Institute RAS, Saint-Petersburg, Russia
3 Non-commercial partnership "Transparent World", Moscow, Russia

The delineation of key natural areas using specialist species and indicator species is well developed and widely used in Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Estonia and northwest Russia (Anderson et al. 2009) Key natural areas contain features not replicable in managed forest, and also contain rare forest communities or habitats. Such forests are inhabited by specialist species – species not adapted for survival in heavily disturbed forests, such as those experiencing industrial timber harvesting. The value of a forest tract for biodiversity conservation is also demonstrated by the presence of a complex of indicator species – species with relatively strict requirements toforest habitat conditions, but demonstrating somewhat greater ability to reproduce in forests disturbed by timber harvesting. In 2011 and 2012 we began work on the adaptation of this method to spruce-fir forests of the Far East. A number of large forest massifs in central Khabarovsky Krai were studied with the goal of developing a list of specialist and indicator species for that territory. The following main results were obtained: a preliminary list of specialist (23 species) and indicator species (40) of wood-destroying fungi was developed for the main spruce-fir forest types in a range of landscape positions. Some of these species were detected in Khabarovsky Krai for the first time, and on several occasions for the first time in the Russia. A number of these species were included in the “rare” category. The list of rare species comprises 13 species, although not one of them is included in the Red Books of the Russian Federation or Khabarovsky Krai. For other groups (vascular plants and lichens) a list of rare and protected species 12 species vascular plants and 14 lichen species) was established. Work on the development of the lists of specialist and indicators species continues. In the course of this research we delineated and described massifs of spruce-fir forests that, in our opinion, have heightened value for biodiversity conservation. The quantity of specialist and indicator species was compared between massifs.

© 2012 Organizing Committee