Scientists continue inventory of intra-bog islands
Scientists from St. Petersburg and Kaluga continue to inventory the intra-bog islands of Polistovsky Reserve. During a five-day expedition, experts surveyed plant communities of 10 islands in the northern part of the protected area.
Large-scale inventory began in the summer of 2017 and will take a few years. Plant communities of the intra-bog islands are particularly interesting because they are modified along with the development of the bog system. Raised bog grows by about 1 mm per year, islets and islands become swampy, their area shrinks, and as a result they disappear.
For example, during the expedition it was found out that sphagnum-pine bog communities are formed in the places of some islands near abandoned villages Sloboda and Maloe Gorodische. The islands were marked on old topographic maps, in former times they were used by residents of the villages scattered around the raised bog system.
"Edge parts of the islands are actively waterlogged, the expansion of bog species of plants is observed here. In the central, higher parts, still slightly elevated above the surface of the bog, there are large old oaks. Many of them have withered tops and branches, trees are destroying, and large already dead trunks lie on the ground. Under the oaks there are species of deciduous forests: the woodland figwort, the mercuries, the wild ginger, the anemone and others. There is an undergrowth of hazel, linden and oak," - said Olga Galanina, the leader of the expedition, senior researcher of the Botanical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, describing the vegetation of the islands.
The group was based on Temnenky island and made radial trips to study vegetation cover of the intra-bog mineral islands. In total, 10 islands were surveyed in the northern part of the bog massif: Dolgiy, Brusnichny, Stepanova, Chernetsky, Glukhoy, Kobylak, Bukrina, Artyushin and two nameless islands.
The expedition was attended by associate professor of the Department of biogeography and conservation, (Institute of Earth Sciences of St. Petersburg State University), senior researcher of BIN RAS Olga Galanina, Deputy Director for Scientific Work of Ugra National Park Victoria Teleganova, 3rd year student of the Department of biogeography and conservation of the Institute of Earth Sciences (St. Petersburg State University) Darina Sadikova, as well as a volunteer Andrew Naumkin.
Photo by Andrew Naumkin.