Polistovsky Reserve territory includes western part of the Polistovo-Lovatskaya raised bog system, the biggest Europe raised bog system, consists of 15 merged bog arrays. More than 20 large lakes and a lot of bog system rivers are part of Polist and Lovat watersheds. They are a central piece in regulating the hydrological regime in the Northwest region of Russian Federation.
Polistovsky Reserve raised bog system is a unique and the biggest natural filter of clean water in Europe. There is a constant organic matter accumulation in raised bogs. Different pollutants (radionuclides, heavy metals, organic chlorine) are sealed by raised bog organic substances and stay in ground with peat. So there is water of almost distilled quality (not to mention humic acids) coming from Polistovsky reserve bog array. This water then enters Northwest region watersheds: Ilmen lake; the Neva river; and the Gulf of Finland.
Massive amounts of carbon dioxide releases into the atmosphere daily as the result of burning carbon containing materials. This leads to carbon dioxide accumulation in the atmosphere. The greenhouse effect and global climate change of the planet result from this accumulation. Carbon dioxide absorption and its deposition in the form of peat is Polistovsky Reserve's raised bog plant communities uniqueness. Only natural systems of raised bogs counteract carbon dioxide accumulation into the atmosphere.
Maintenance of biological diversity is provided in Polistovsky Reserve unique bog ecosystems through cenoses. Ecosystems maintain populations of several species of rare plants and animals described in the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation. The largest known population of curlew in the forest area of Europe lives here. South golden plover, whimbrel and butcher-bird are commonly nest in the Polistovsky Reserve territory. This bog system is the biggest natural reserve for some endangered bird species in the Russian Federation Northwest. They include: the European black-throated diver; the golden eagle; and the Central Russian ptarmigan. Polistovsky reserve raised bog system is an extremely vulnerable ecosystem. Changes in the hydrological regime, peat extraction or even tracked vehicles usage can lead to irreversible changes in the biogeocoenose. This is the reason for the most stringent protection regime - any activity or location within the territory of unauthorized persons is prohibited.
Polistovsky Кeserve has common border in the east with Rdeysky National Nature Reserve of the same environmental significance. They both are parts of Polistovo-Lovatskaya raised bog system.
You can use the appropriate link below to get more information about the Reserve's flora and fauna, its climate, ponds and geological structure.