INVESTIGATION OF HETEROGENEITY OF THE GROUND COVER AND FOREST LITTER IN PINE FORESTS OF THE NORTHERN TAIGA (KOLA PENINSULA, RUSSIA)
Published: 2 Aug 2019
Abstract: The paper considers the specific features of spatial accumulation of organic matter by the ground cover and forest litter in middle-aged pine forests of different types on the territory of the central part of the Kola peninsula (Russia). The main characteristics and peculiarities of biomass accumulation by the components (dwarf-shrubs, mosses, lichens) of the ground cover have been revealed, as well as the specific features of plant waste and forest litter in pine ecosystems in terms of ecotope humidification extent. Upon transition from lichen pine woodlands, occupying the driest habitat, to green-moss type pine forests saturated with moisture to the greatest extent of all considered types of forests, the stock of aboveground and underground biomass of the ground cover increases, their biomass structure changes, along with increment in thickness and biomass of the forest litter. The biomass of mosses and lichens exceeds the stock of aboveground biomass of plants with the root strategy of mineral nutrition (dwarf-shrubs) in all explored types of pine forests. The estimation of the biomass stock of components of ground cover, plant waste and forest litter in different types of microsites (near-tree-trunk, under-tree-crown and between-tree-crowns) has made it possible to reveal heterogeneity of distribution of the organic matter over the area of biogeocoenoses. The maximum differences in the stock of biomass of the ground cover components are observed in the lichen pine woodland, which apparently is caused by the utmost-contrasting hydrothermal conditions of the habitats. The most levelled spatial distribution of the organic matter is registered in the green-moss type of pine forest where optimal ecotope conditions for green mosses and dwarf-shrubs are formed.
Keywords: kola peninsula, northern taiga, pine forests, aboveground cover, forest litter, biomass
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