Vegetation structure of tundra and taiga on the map of the natural vegetation of Europe

T. K. Yurkovskaya



I have focused only on some features of structure in the taiga vegetation cover. In conclusion I would like to tell some words about the causes of complicated space structure of the taiga and tundra vegetation cover.

The causes of latitudinal differentiation are climatic undoubtedly, but heterogeneity of vegetation cover within the limits of tundra and taiga subzones is accounted for different factors. In tundra abiogenic factors prevail, first of all the permafrost processes. That is the reason why tundra vegetation cover is so sensible to any disturbances and so hard regenerates after various transformations.

In taiga the space structure is mostly the result of self-regulation and self- restoration of biota. The abiotic factors, certainly, play significant role, but they recede to the second plan. So we showed that in the north and middle taiga the structure of vegetation cover, during the Holocene up to present time, is determined in many respects by the increasing role of mires. Suffice it to look at the map of distribution of mires in order to estimate their role in vegetation cover of the easteuropean taiga (Yurkovskaya, 1980).

So, the increase of mire area on the Russian Plain in m2/year per 1000 ha varies between 200 and 700, the average increas is ca 300—400 m2/year (Elina et all., 2000). The mires favour peniplenization and unite the separate areas of forest communities into the whole by means of forming the buffer paludificated territories (various hydrophilous variants of forest communities). But if mires, at all their stability, after destroying practically don't restore, the forests even after continuous cuttings restore their structure and composition through the series of successional stages unless an ecotope is damaged completely.

Hence the space structure of taiga is the result, first of all, self development and self regulation of its vegetation cover. But, as it is known, at present time the process of destruction of natural biota has gone too far that the question arises not only about supporting its state and structure but also about the survival of the mankind itself.

In this regard the vegetation map of Europe is the invaluable basis, which gives the starting point for all conservational, ecological and economical measures.

But it is important to learn reading and using the map. And this is one of our actual goals.

Section: Articles

How to cite

Yurkovskaya T. K. 2007. Vegetation structure of tundra and taiga on the map of the natural vegetation of Europe // Geobotanical mapping 2007. P. 13–22.


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