The map of actual vegetation along railway between stations Yandyki and Port Olya (the south-west part of the Volga river delta)

I. N. Safronova



The map of actual vegetation (S 1 : 2 500 000) has been compiled for the territory along rail-way between stations Yandyki and Port Olya in the south-west part of Volga R. delta. The territory is located within north subzone in Caspian subprovince of North Turan province of Iran — Turan subregion of Sakharo-Ghobi desert region. In economic management this region is refered to «semidesert» by mistake which led to incorrect agricultural activity: the vast areas were ploughed and irrigated. This resulted in salinification and arising of abandoned lands, occupied by weeds.

The map legend includes 36 numbers and represents the subordinate system of units. The highest ones are: «Northern deserts on brown soils and derived communities on their places» and «Meadow and wood-shrub communities on meadow soils». Subtitles of the lower rank show formation diversity. The lowest subdivisions of the legend mirror the typological content of vegetation. Types of communities (associations) or territorial units (complexes, combinations, ecological series) are used as the mapping units. At the first place in the names of complexes the prevailing communities are placed. Deserts are represented by formations of Artemisia lerchiana, A. taurica, A. santonica, A. arenaria.

The natural sagebrush communities are deteriorated by ploughing and by overgrazing, and their places were occupied by various secondary communities: Herba annua, Alhagi pseudoalhagi, Anabasis aphylla. On the soils with high salt content (solonets, solonchak) the halophyte-grass, annual and perennial saltwort deserts dominate, they are united in two subtitles: «Annual saltwort and halophyte-grass on solonets» and «Annual and perennial saltwort on solonchak».

The first one includes the communities of Climacoptera spp., Suaeda altissima, Salicornia perennans, Bassia sedoides, Eremopyron triticeum, Frankenia hirsuta, Atriplex tatarica, Aeluropus spp. The second ones usually form ecological series, including both coenoses enumerated above and those of the hyperhalophytic and halophytic plants (Halocnemum strobilaceum, Salsola dendroides, Anabasis aphylla, Limonium spp., Artemisia santonica, A. taurica) with participation of shrubs (Tamarix ramosissima, Elaeagnus spp.)

Mesophilous meadow vegetation restricted to special environments of flood plains. In connection with floods and sharp transition from over moistening to summer draught the small number species develope — Phragmites australis, Typha angustifolia, Calamagrostis epigeios, Cynodon dactylon, Elytrigia repens, Bolboschenus maritimus, Puccinellia spp., Juncus gerardii, Aeluropus pungens, Suaeda altissima. There are some trees and shrubs, mainly species of Tamarix and Elaeagnus (the last in planting).

In the last years the slow process of restoration of vegetation cover began, in which the essential role belongs to communities of Artemisia lerchiana.

Section: Articles

How to cite

Safronova I. N. 2007. The map of actual vegetation along railway between stations Yandyki and Port Olya (the south-west part of the Volga river delta) // Geobotanical mapping 2007. P. 57–70.