Vol 13, No 2 (2022)

Cover Page

Full Issue

Theoretical works

Water use and ecosystem services: A case of Russia

Moiseev T.D., Garipova S.T.


The article is focused on the possibility of implementing ecosystem services (ES) in water management system of Russia. Examples of international practice ES-oriented water use policy are reviewed. Modern structure of water use system in Russia is presented. The main environmental problems of Russia in connection with ES according to Common international classification of ecosystem services (CICES) are summarized. As a result, the authors propose a roadmap for reforming water use based on ES in order to improve water management. Key positions of possibility way of development Russia's water use system are highlighted and recommendations are given due to sustainable development goals.

Environmental Dynamics and Global Climate Change. 2022;13(2):60-69
pages 60-69 views

Experimental works

Twenty-one year dynamics of vegetation from long-term plots in East European tundra

Lavrinenko O.V., Lavrinenko I.A.


The results of vegetation monitoring from 1999 to 2020 on 12 plots laid out in different types of communities on Cape Bolvansky Nos in the northwest of the Bolshezemelskaya tundra are presented (Fig. 1). The area is located on the border between the southern and typical tundra subzones.

On five long-term plots with clay-loam patches of bare ground sparse shrubby willowsedge-dwarf shrub-moss tundra were formed. They belong to zonal vegetation – ass. Dryado octopetalae–Hylocomietum splendentis Andreev 1932 subass.caricetosum capillaris Lavrinenko et Lavrinenko 2018 (Table 1) in the class Carici arctisibiricaeHylocomietea alaskani Matveyeva et Lavrinenko 2021 prov., in the order Caricetalia arctisibiricae-lugentis Matveyeva et Lavrinenko 2021 prov. and in the alliance Dryado octopetalaeCaricion arctisibiricae Koroleva et Kulyugina in Chytrý et al. 2015. Plot M6 has a 2-element horizontal structure: large loam patches (3.0–4.5 m long, 1.0–1.5 cm wide) elongated along the slope alternate with flat areas of turf between them, dominated by dwarf shrubs Dryas octopetala subsp. subincisa and Salix reticulata and mosses Aulacomnium turgidum, Hylocomium splendens, Tomentypnum nitens; rims are absent. Salix lanata grows in groups in shallow depressions with mosses. Plots M5, M9, M11 and M12 occupy the lower parts of the hill slopes and deluvial plumes; 3-element horizontal structure – rounded or oval patches of loam (1.5-3.0 (up to 5.0) m in diameter) are surrounded by rims, and such ring structures are separated by troughswith hygrophilous mosses (Aulacomnium palustre, Ptilidium ciliare, Sphagnum spp.), where shrub willows (mainly Salix glauca) grow. The rims are well formed and usually covered with dwarf shrubs (Arctous alpina, Dryas octopetala subsp. subincisa, Empetrum hermaphroditum, Salix reticulata), sedge Carex bigelowii subsp. arctisibirica and mosses (Aulacomnium turgidum, Dicranum elongatum, Hylocomium splendens, Rhytidium rugosum).

Three long-term plots are occupied by dwarf shrub-lichen tundra with a rare layer of elfin Betula nana, which is affiliated with the class Loiseleurio procumbentisVaccinietea Eggler ex Schubert 1960, the order Deschampsio flexuosae–Vaccinietalia myrtilli Dahl 1957, and the alliance Loiseleurio-Arctostaphylion Kalliola ex Nordhagen 1943 (Table 2). On plots M3 and M4, located on light loamy soils on slightly convex tops of hills in conditions of good drainage, elfin birch dwarf shrub-lichen communities belonging to ass.Loiseleurio-Diapensietum (Fries 1913) Nordhagen 1943 subass. salicetosum nummulariae Koroleva 2006 were formed. On plot M2, located in the lower part of the gentle slope of the hill under conditions of good snow cover in winter, a community with an almost continuous lichen cover of chionophilic Сladonia was formed – ass. Cladonietum rangiferino-arbusculae Lavrinenko et Lavrinenko 2020.

The vegetation of plots M1 and M7, located in relief depressions on peat-gley soil, belongs to the class Oxycocco-Sphagnetea Br.-Bl. et Tx. ex Westhoff et al. 1946 and the alliance Oxycocco microcarpi–Empetrion hermaphroditi Nordhagen ex Du Rietz 1954. They are cotton grass tussocks (Eriophorum vaginatum) with dwarf shrub-cloudberry-lichen-moss cover belonging to ass. Pleurozio schreberi–Eriophoretum vaginati subass.sphagnetosum lenenses Lavrinenko et Lavrinenko in Lavrinenko et al. 2022 (Table 3).

The vegetation of plots M8 and M10 is represented by community complexes on polygonal peatlands. On the polygons of both plots, a dwarf shrub-cloudberry-lichen community ass.Rubo chamaemori–Dicranetum elongati Dedov ex Lavrinenko et Lavrinenko 2015 assigned to the alliance Rubo chamaemori–Dicranion elongati Lavrinenko et Lavrinenko 2015 in the class Oxycocco-Sphagnetea was formed.

The results of the 21-year monitoring period made it possible to set some trends in changing the composition and structure of plant communities of different syntaxa.

The main part of plant species was found on the plots in all survey years (1999, 2014, 2017 and 2020). On five plots with the most floristically rich zonal tundra communitis, a total of 160 species were identified, of which 22 (14%) were found once. On three plots with dwarf shrub-lichen communities and on four plots with boggy communities, 7 (8%) out of 90 species and 10 (11%) out of 95 species, respectively, were also identified once. Within each plot, the change in the total number of species over the years was in the range of 7–24%. It is important to understand that such variability in composition is due to identifying (appearance) / missing (disappearance) of rare and single species, mainly mosses and lichens (including crustaceous ones).

On many plots there was a general increase in herbaceousness (due to sedge, grasses, cotton grass, cloudberries) and a particularly noticeable increase in activity in Equisetum arvense, which began to create a green aspect.

The greatest structural transformations took place in the communities ass. Dryado octopetalae–Hylocomietum splendentis subass.caricetosum capillaris with 2- or 3-element horizontal structure. The main finding is the disappearance of the “spongy” nanorelief (due to the result of “frost boiling”) on patches of bare ground and their gradual overgrowth with cryptogamic crusts, small flowering plants, mosses and dwarf shrubs. In the zonal tundras, the clear module structure “patch–rim–trough” began to disappearas a result of overgrowing of loam patches and partial subsidence of rims (in some places rims merged with patches overgrown with dwarf shrub-lichen cover and began to look like a flat turf). In dwarf shrub-lichen communities ass.Loiseleurio-Diapensietum subass.salicetosum nummulariae, the patches began almost completely covered with lichens, mosses, and dwarf shrubs, and the surface was leveled due to the disappearance of the difference in height between the surface of overgrown patches and the turf. New formation of patches has not been found anywhere, but single small (up to 20 cm in diameter) fresh outpourings of loam were detected within the old spots on plot M4 at the top of the hill.

The height of the willows Salix glauca and S. lanata, which in 1999 was predominantly 10–15 cm, has increased 1.5–2.5 times over the years of monitoring at all plots.

A gradual decrease in lichen cover in boggy cottongrass tussock communities of ass.Pleurozio schreberi–Eriophoretum vaginati subass.sphagnetosum lenenses and their further replacing with dwarf shrubs and green (and later – sphagnum) mosses was revealed.

Our results generally agree with the trends in vegetation transformation under the influence of climatic factors, established at long-term plots in the American sector of the Arctic [Gould et al., 2009; Elmendorf et al., 2012; Jorgenson et al., 2015; Harris et al., 2021]. Noting the heterogeneity of vegetation responses to climate change, the authors report on an increase in the total projective cover and a decrease in the coverage of bare ground patches in tundra ecosystems, as well as an increase in the abundance and height of evergreen and deciduous shrubs and dwarf shrubs, grasses, when reducing of lichens.

Environmental Dynamics and Global Climate Change. 2022;13(2):70-103
pages 70-103 views

Dynamics of the aboveground phytomass of the Ob floodplain meadows in the area of the Tomsk carbon polygon (Kaibasovo)

Shepeleva L.F., Kolesnichenko .G., Pudova M.S.


At the Kaibasovo site (Tomsk carbon polygon), during 2017-2021, studies of multi-year changes in the vegetation of the floodplain meadows of the Ob river were carried out on 4 permanent sample plots to determine the effect of weather conditions and floods on the formation of aboveground phytomass.

The research area is located within the southern taiga subzone of the forest zone and belongs to the northern part of the Shegarsky section of the floodplain. Permanent sample plots were laid out on relief elements of different flooding conditions - high ridges, their slopes, and depressions. Grass, forb and sedge phytocenoses were studied. In the phase of maximum development of the herbage, geobotanical descriptions and sampling of aboveground phytomass (including litter and rags) were carried out. Descriptions were made on an area of 100 m2, the herbage was mowed from squares of 0.25 m2 four times. Under field conditions, the mowing was sorted by types, dried and weighed. The productivity of the herbage was determined by summing up the masses of particular types. Further, the average indicators of phytocenosis such as the composition of dominant species, the total number of species, the composition and ratio of various fractions (agrobiological and ecological groups) were determined in terms of 1 m2 of aboveground mass.

Weather conditions and meadow flooding regime for the growing seasons of 2017-2021 were characterized on the basis of data from the Molchanovo meteorological station and the Nikolskoe gauging station. We took into account the average ten-day and monthly values of temperature and precipitation as well as HTC for the entire growing season. This provided the possibility to select wet and dry, warm and relatively cold seasons as a basis for analyzing the phytomass dynamics. Based on the results of a general evaluation of hydroclimatic conditions, 2017-2018 have been assessed as warm, humid, mid-water, 2019 - extremely dry and hot, when the floodplain was not flooded, 2020 - slightly dry mid-water, 2021 - cold and dry with a relatively high flood.

It was found that the dynamics of the meadow vegetation of the Kaibasovskiy section of the Ob floodplain is determined by the influence of the weather conditions of the current and previous years, the nature of the flood, and characterized by changes in the above-ground mass, the ratio of dominant species, the composition of ecological and biological groups of species in the herbage.

The change in the state of the cereal community, developed on a high ridge, was due to the dynamics of weather conditions. The range of productivity changes over the years was the smallest. This was due to the good adaptability of the phytocenosis provided by a variety of vegetatively mobile long-rhizome grasses from the ecological groups of xeromesophytes, mesophytes and eumesophytes. The state of the other three communities studied was determined not only by weather conditions, but also by a more important factor such as flooding of meadows during seasonal floods. Their productivity turned out to be generally higher and the range of fluctuations in the amount of aboveground phytomass over the years was wider (on average, twice).

The study of the relationship between the productivity of the herbage and the destruction of the aboveground part of the mortmass and hydroclimatic conditions showed that at all altitudinal levels of the floodplain in arid conditions, there is a decrease in the mass of the herbage of meadows and the accumulation of dead plant residues. The aboveground phytomass of the communities of the upper and middle altitude levels increases with the increase in environmental humidity, while the total aboveground mass increases, but the proportion of dead plant matter decreases.

The increase of aboveground phytomass of sedge phytocenoses of medium-low and low levels occurs in humid, warm, mid-water years, while an increase in the abundance of moisture-loving grasses and sedges in the herbage is observed. The accumulation of the amount of dead plant matter is also observed in years with prolonged stagnation of water. The decomposition of litter and rags is most active in humid and warm spring.

Environmental Dynamics and Global Climate Change. 2022;13(2):104-119
pages 104-119 views


Has Humanity Lost its mind: Is it Time for Planet B?

Jheeta S., Kotsyurbenko O., Smith D.


The question which is being asked is, “Is it Time for Planet B?” (Video: https://vimeo.com/763421741 and https://vimeo.com/763152017); it seems that the quest is in the air, and on everyone’s lips; this is primarily due to the sense of an impending imminent doomsday—the demise of human race. This doomsday scenario has already been put forward by the Late Professor Stephen Hawking; in fact, he pointed out: “humanity might have as little as 100 years before needing to leave Earth.” In other scenarios eco-scientists point out that the situation does not have to be so dire, they declare that we should proactively take care of this world’s ecosystems, so as to sustain the environment.

Environmental Dynamics and Global Climate Change. 2022;13(2):120-121
pages 120-121 views

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies