Yusupova O. V. , Yamalov S. M. , Lebedeva M. V.

Petrophytic steppes of the Northern Kraka Massif (The Southern Urals)

Abstract:

Mountain steppes of the southern Urals are an extrazonal type of relict plant communities of relict origin with a unique floristic composition. This study is the first to describe the communities of the Northern Kraka petrophytous steppes. In the system of ecological and floristic classification these communities are referred to the Koelerio sclerophyllae-Festucetum valesiacae association. They occupy upper slopes and are adjoint to the forest communities of pine and larch. The communities grow on the steep slopes of South exposures with the inclination of up to 400, where lichens of the genus Cladonia are not rare. Various species of petrophytous steppes form the core of coenflora, e.g. xero-mesophytes of Zavolzhsko-Kazakhstan type xerophyte steppes. In the communities of North Kraka are less represented species of herbaceous layer in light-coniferous forests Brachypodio pinnati-Betuletea pendulae. The absence of such species as Elytrigia repens, Fallopia convolvulus may indicate a lesser degree of anthropogenic impact on the communities of Northern Kraka, due to its inaccessibility. Comparison with similar petrophytous steppe communities of Southern Kraka revealed high degree of their similarity. On the basis of ordination analysis it was found that the communities of North Kraka form a separate cluster associated with lower species diversity. The coenflora of the studied steppes contains a large group of rare species which need/require protection and sustainable use.

About the autors:

Oxana Vasljamovna Yusupova (1), Research Fellow, postgraduate at the Laboratory of wild-growing flora and introduction of grassy plants; Sergey Maratovich Yamalov (2), Doctor of Biological Sciences, Leading Researcher at the Laboratory of wild-growing flora and introduction of grassy plants; Mariya Vladimirovna Lebedeva (3), Candidate of Biological Sciences, Senior Researcher at the Laboratory of wild-growing flora and introduction of grassy plants

Place of employment:

South Ural State Nature Reserve (1), «Zuratkul» National Park (2), South Ural Botanical Garden-Institute (3)

Contacts:

e-mail: yusupova_ov@mail.ru (1); e-mail; yamalovsm@mail.ru (2); е-mail: lebedevamv@mail.ru (3)

Key words:

petrophytous steppe; Southern Urals; Northern Krakа massif