Wetlands Ecology and Management

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 139–153 | Cite as

Above- and below-ground phytomass and net primary production in boreal mire ecosystems of Western Siberia

  • Natalia P. Kosykh
  • Natalia G. Koronatova
  • Natalia B. Naumova
  • Argenta A. Titlyanova
Original Paper


We measured phytomass stock and production in Western Siberian mire ecosystems (palsa, ridge, oligotrophic and mesotrophic hollows, fen). To determine the contribution of different phytomass fractions into total production, we developed a method to estimate below-ground production (BNP). Standing crop of living above-ground phytomass on treeless plots varied from 300 to 660 g m−2, reaching maximum on palsa, where 81% of phytomass consisted of Sphagnum mosses and lichens. In the hollows and the fen, Sphagnum percentage varied from 70 to 95%. Standing crop of living below-ground phytomass varied from 325 to 1,210 g m−2. It consisted of woody stems, stem bases, rhizomes and roots, with the latter contributing from 30 to 60%. Total production of mire ecosystems in northern taiga of Western Siberia ranged from 350 to 960 g m−2 year−1 and depended on microtopography of the ecosystem (the presence of permafrost and water table depth). Production of treeless plant communities located on the elevated sites depended on the presence of permafrost: in comparison with the ridge, palsa production was lower. Production on the low sites increased with increase pH and reached maximum (960 g m−2 year−1) in poor fens. Bryophytes were the major producers above ground. Their production varied from 100 to 272 g m−2 year−1 and reached maximum on ridges. BNP contributed 37–66%, increasing due to increased contribution of sedges.


Mire ecosystems Standing phytomass Sphagnum mosses Above-ground production Below-ground production Western Siberia 



We carried out this study with financial support from the Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences and INTAS projects 99-01718, 03-51-6294. We are deeply grateful to the late Dr. Sergey V. Vasiliev for his leadership and inspiration.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natalia P. Kosykh
    • 1
  • Natalia G. Koronatova
    • 1
  • Natalia B. Naumova
    • 1
  • Argenta A. Titlyanova
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Soil Science and Agrochemistry, SB RASNovosibirskRussia

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