Ministry of natural resources of the Russian federation

       Polistovsky National Nature Reserve

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Currently, the major part of the forest of the mineral coast of Polistovsky Reserve is represented by relatively young even-aged forests. Despite this, the area has a significant value because the young and middle-aged forests have a natural origin and are developed with virtually no human impact (some areas remote from settlements and roads and surrounded by strips of windfall have not been visited by people for many years at all). The composition of forests of Polistovsky Reserve reflects the initial distribution of tree species: the eastern part of forests is well represented by deciduous trees (oak, linden, maple; rarely - ash and elm), the southern and western parts are covered mostly by spruce-leaved and fir forests; forests with a significant number of broadleaf species occupy a small area. The northern part of coastal bogs of Polistovsky Reserve is closer by its character to taiga forests: broad-leaved species make up a very small fraction of the composition of trees; the grass cover is almost everywhere represented by species of the taiga short grasses. 
        Older forests occupy a small part of Polistovsky Reserve. This is mainly small fragments of spruce forests in southern and southwestern parts of coast marshes; the age of the main generation spruce is 200 years or more. Some ofthese sites are located well away from roads and settlements and developed almost entirely without human influence. 
Forests mineral islands. On the territory of Polistovskoye bog one can face two main groups of mineral islands: high - up to 9 meters above bogs - the hills of a small area - and relatively low, with gentle slopes but often occupying a large area of the island. These groups are, however, quite conditional, and one can draw no clear boundary between them. 
         On first group islands, the growing stock is formed under the influence of periodically occurring storms and strong winds; the height of trees does not usually exceed 15 meters, the trees can hardly reach a greater age. Due to the small area of the islands, the growing stock is very susceptible to various accidents. On the vast majority of the islands of this type, the growing stock is represented in Polistovsky Reserve by pubescent birch, sometimes with an admixture of aspen, pine and spruce. However, there are islands in this group (mainly located near mineral lands or large islands) in the growing stock of which one can observe deciduous trees - oak, maple and linden. 
        The richest studied flora of Polistovsky Reserve (Reshetnikov, Korolkova, Novikov 2006) belongs to islands Dubovets, Gorodok, Berezovikov, Medvezhye, and Osinovik (eastern). The surface cover of these islands is also largely accidental, and generally quite poor in species. Usually the herb-shrub cover is represented by bushgrass and reed grass. A lot of these islands, especially those located in southern bogs, have clear signs of relatively recent (before the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945) logging; but it is often difficult to determine how big was the role of human activity in shaping the forest structure of certain islands.
Among the islands of Polistovsky Reserve belonging to the second group, one can point out islands that had previously been occupied by people; though nowadays there are no inhabited islands, many of them still have winter road linking these islands and villages on the mineral coast and until quite recently non-forested sites on these islands were regularly mowed. Many of the islands were deforested in the prewar years, as well as neighboring areas of the mineral coast.

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