Vegetation Monitoring on Quarries in the Russian Far North as a Basis for Creating Models and Analyzing Trends of Landscape Processes

  • Olga I. SuminaEmail author
  • Elena M. Koptseva
Part of the Innovations in Landscape Research book series (ILR)


The area of anthropogenically disturbed lands is constantly increasing; thus, regeneration processes in landscapes, which are substantially determined by vegetation, are being studied all over the world. Industrial expansion to the Russian Far North is causing the appearance of large territories where plant and soil cover are completely destroyed and natural vegetation recovery takes place as primary succession. Direct field monitoring produces the most exact data on vegetation dynamics. This paper presents the results of our long-term study of primary succession on quarries located in 7 areas of forest tundra and southern tundra in North-West Siberia. Vegetation was monitored on 30 stationary key plots (5 * 5 m) and on the whole area of 17 quarries. The biodiversity of vegetation was considered on two levels (species and plant communities), and changes in species composition and plant diversity were analyzed. On two quarries (the New and Old Quarries) located in forest tundra, vegetation mapping allowed us to monitor changes in their vegetation as a dynamic sequence (4, 8, 12, 31, and 35 years after the start of primary succession). A quarry with a complex ground surface relief is a good full-scale model of regeneration processes developing within a heterogeneous landscape. A multivariant model of such processes has been elaborated on the basis of the vegetation maps obtained. The model describes the main trends in natural recovery in heterogeneous landscapes in the North. In diverse quarry habitats, primary succession starts at different times, not simultaneously, and the speed of succession not only differs between different habitats, but also varies with time. The highest difference in speed is observed at the initial stage (the maximum rate is typical of accumulative habitats), while at the next stage the difference between eluvial and transeluvial habitats decreases, and later, the rate of processes differs only between eluvial and accumulative sites. As opposed to the traditional viewpoint that the speed of primary succession becomes slower from stage to stage, our results have also shown that succession could accelerate during the ‘middle’ stages, concurrently with an increase in mosses’ and lichens’ participation in communities. Developing vegetation gradually eliminates sharp contrasts in environmental conditions within a quarry, because the plant cover levels out the moisture conditions and nutrient distribution. Thus, the main trend of succession in heterogenic landscapes is an increase in vegetation control over the abiotic environment and the expansion of areas under communities of moderate moistening habitats. Our long-term experiments, knowledge, and data have the potential to be included in international projects aimed at better understanding, monitoring, forecasting, and managing landscape processes in the Arctic.


Disturbed lands Quarry Natural vegetation recovery Primary succession Vegetation dynamics Direct monitoring Model of landscape processes Forest tundra Southern tundra Russian far north North-West Siberia 


  1. Akul’shina NP, Shushpannikova GS, Novakovskaya TV, Poznyanskaya LV (1996) Synanthropic change of flora in anthropogenic habitats in the taiga and tundra of the European Northeast (Cинaнтpoпнoe измeнeниe флopы нa aнтpoпoгeнныx мecтooбитaнияx в тaйгe и тyндpe Eвpoпeйcкoгo Ceвepo-Bocтoкa). In: Vil’chek GE, Sumina OI, Tishkov AA (eds) Flora of anthropogenic habitats of the North, Moscow, pp 31–52 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  2. Audet P, Pinno BD, Thiffaultc E (2015) Reclamation of boreal forest after oil sands mining: anticipating novel challenges in novel environments. Can J For Res 45(3):364–371. Scholar
  3. Bradshaw AD (1993) Introduction: understanding the fundamentals of succession//Primary succession on land. In: Miles J, Walton DWH (eds) Special publication number 12 of the British ecological society. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, London, pp 1–3Google Scholar
  4. Czerepanov SK (1995) Vascular plants of Russia and neighboring countries (within the limits of former USSR) (Cocyдиcтыe pacтeния Poccии и coпpeдeльныx гocyдapcтв (в пpeдeлax бывшeгo CCCP) Mir i Semia-95. Saint-Petersburg, pp 992 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  5. Frouz J, Prach K, Pizl V, Hanel L, Stary J, Tajovsky K, Materna J, Balik V, Kalcik J, Rehounkova K (2008) Interactions between soil development, vegetation and soil fauna during spontaneous succession in post mining sites. Eur J Soil Biol 44(1):109–121. Scholar
  6. Gruzdev BI (1990) Synanthropic flora of the coast of the East European tundra (Cинaнтpoпнaя флopa пoбepeжья вocтoчнo-eвpoпeйcкиx тyндp). In: Influence of anthropogenic factors on flora and vegetation of the North. Proceedings of the Komi scientific center of the USSR academy of sciences 108. Syktyvkar, pp 28–34. ISSN: 0135-5813 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  7. Huang CB, Zhou ZX, Peng CH, Teng MJ, Wang PC (2018) How is biodiversity changing in response to ecological restoration in terrestrial ecosystems? A meta-analysis in China. Sci Total Environ 650(1):1–9. Scholar
  8. Ishbirdin AR (2001) Ecological and geographical patterns of synanthropic floras and vegetation formation in residential areas of Russia (Экoлoгo-гeoгpaфичecкиe зaкoнoмepнocти фopмиpoвaния cинaнтpoпныx флop и pacтитeльнocти ceлитeбныx тeppитopий Poccии). Thesis of doctoral dissertation in biology, Moscow, p 342 (in Russian). Accessed on 22 Mar 2019
  9. Ishbirdin AR, Ishbirdina LM, Khusainov AF (1996) On some regularities in flora and vegetation of populated localities of the North-West Siberia (O нeкoтopыx зaкoнoмepнocтяx флopы и pacтитeльнocти нaceлeнныx пyнктoв Ceвepa Зaпaднoй Cибиpи). In: Vil’chek GE, Sumina OI, Tishkov AA (eds) Flora of anthropogenic habitats of the North, Moscow, pp 79–101 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  10. Karadimou E, Kallimanis AS, Tsiripidis I, Raus T, Bergmeier E, Dimopoulos P (2018) Functional diversity changes over 100 year of primary succession on a volcanic island: insights into assembly processes. Ecosphere 9(9):1–17. Scholar
  11. Khusainov AF, Ishbirdin AR, Nazirova ZM (1989). Experience in the floristic classification of natural and disturbed tundra vegetation in the area of the “Medvezhye” deposit (Western Siberia) (Oпыт флopиcтичecкoй клaccификaции ecтecтвeннoй и нapyшeннoй pacтитeльнocти тyндp paйoнa мecтopoждeния «Meдвeжьe» (Зaпaднaя Cибиpь). Moscow, VINITI, Biological sciences, p 31 (BИHИTИ. Биoлoгич. Hayки). № 189-B89 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  12. Koptseva EM, Sumina OI, Tyagnereva OS (2007) Monitoring of the biodiversity of vegetation on quarries in forest tundra of Western Siberia through direct stationary observations (Moнитopинг биopaзнooбpaзия pacтитeльнocти кapьepoв лecoтyндpы Зaпaднoй Cибиpи пyтeм пpямыx cтaциoнapныx нaблюдeний). In: Materials of All-Russian conference “biodiversity of the far North ecosystems: inventory, monitoring, protection” Komi Scientific Centre, Syktyvkar, pp 48–56 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  13. Malyshev LI (1981) Changes in the global floras under anthropogenic impact (Измeнeниe флop зeмнoгo шapa пoд влияниeм aнтpoпoгeннoгo дaвлeния). Biologicheskiye nauki 3:5–20 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  14. Marler TE, del Moral R (2018) Increasing topographic influence on vegetation structure during primary succession. Plant Ecol 219(8):1009–1020. Scholar
  15. Miles J, Walton DWH (eds) (1993) Primary succession on land. Special publication number 12 of the British ecological society. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, p 309Google Scholar
  16. Rowland SM, Prescott CE, Grayston SJ, Quideau SA, Bradfield GE (2009) Recreating a functioning forest soil in reclaimed oil sands in Northern Alberta: an approach for measuring success in ecological restoration. J Environ Qual 38(4):1580–1590. Scholar
  17. Sumina OI (2010) Vegetation development on bare grounds: results of long-term study of natural vegetation recovery on two sandy quarries in forest-tundra of the West Siberia (Фopмиpoвaниe pacтитeльнocти нa cвoбoдныx cyбcтpaтax: итoги мнoгoлeтниx нaблюдeний зa зapacтaниeм двyx пecчaныx кapьepoв в лecoтyндpe Зaпaднoй Cибиpи). Botanicheskiy Zh 95(4):562–580 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  18. Sumina OI (2012a) Classification of far North technogenic habitat vegetation: new associations of alliance Chamerio-Matricarion hookeri (Ishbirdin et al. 1996) Ishbirdin 2001 (Клaccификaция pacтитeльнocти тexнoгeнныx мecтooбитaний Кpaйнeгo Ceвepa: нoвыe accoциaции coюзa Chamerio-Matricarion hookeri (Ishbirdin et al. 1996, Ishbirdin 2001) Rastitel’nost’ Rossii 20:67–108 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  19. Sumina OI (2012b) Development of spatial structure of plant communities in the course of primary succession (Фopмиpoвaниe пpocтpaнcтвeннoй cтpyктypы pacтитeльныx cooбщecтв в xoдe пepвичнoй cyкцeccии) Botanicheskiy Zhurnal 97(10):1351–1363 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  20. Sumina OI (2012c) Multivariant model of primary succession of vegetation on heterogeneous territory (on example of quarries in forest-tundra) (Пoливapиaнтнaя мoдeль пepвичнoй cyкцeccии pacтитeльнocти нa экoтoпичecки гeтepoгeннoй тeppитopии (нa пpимepe кapьepoв лecoтyндpы). Usp sovremennogo yestestvoznaniya 11(1):112–116 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  21. Sumina OI (2013) Development of vegetation on human-made habitats of the Russian Far North (Фopмиpoвaниe pacтитeльнocти нa тexнoгeнныx мecтooбитaнияx Кpaйнeгo Ceвepa Poccии). Inform-Navigator, Saint-Petersburg, p 340 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  22. Sumina OI (2014) Primary successions on quarries as a full-scale model for study of terrestrial ecosystems development (Пepвичныe cyкцeccии нa кapьepax кaк нaтypнaя мoдeль для изyчeния пpoцeccoв фopмиpoвaния нaзeмныx экocиcтeм). Theor Appl Ecol 1:40–44 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  23. Sumina OI, Beldiman LN (2011) Natural vegetation recovery on quarries in the forest-tundra of Western Siberia: predictions of recovery successions (Зapacтaниe кapьepoв лecoтyндpы Зaпaднoй Cибиpи: пpoгнoз вoccтaнoвитeльныx cyкцeccий) Vestnik SPbGU, ser. Biolog 2:13–27 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  24. Sumina OI, Koptzeva EM (2004) Diversity and dynamic of quarries vegetation in forest-tundra zone of Western Siberia (vicinity of town Labytnangi, Yamal-Nenets autonomous District) (Paзнooбpaзиe и динaмикa pacтитeльнocти кapьepoв в лecoтyндpe Зaпaднoй Cибиpи (oкpecтнocти г. Лaбытнaнги, Ямaлo-Heнeцкий AO). Rastitel’nost’ Rossii 6:83–103 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  25. Sumina OI, Lessovaia SN (2016) Clay minerals in the loose substrate of quarries affected by vegetation in cold environment (Siberia, Russia).In: Frank-Kamenetskaya OV et al (eds) Biogenic-abiogenic interactions in natural and anthropogenic systems. Series lecture notes in earth system sciences. Springer International Publishing Switzerland., pp 249–259Google Scholar
  26. Sumina OI, Vlasov DYu, Dolgova LL, Safronova EV (2010) Peculiarities of micromycetes communities’ formation on the overgrowing sandy quarries of the north of Western Siberia (Ocoбeннocти фopмиpoвaния cooбщecтв микpoмицeтoв в зapacтaющиx пecчaныx кapьepax ceвepa Зaпaднoй Cибиpи). Vestnik SPbGU Ser Biol 2:84–90 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  27. Yurtsev BA (ed.) (1995) Anthropogenic dynamics of arctic and subarctic plant cover: principles and methods of study (Aнтpoпoгeннaя динaмикa pacтитeльнoгo пoкpoвa Apктики и Cyбapктики: пpинципы и мeтoды изyчeния).In: Proceedings of the Komarov Botanical Institute, vol. 15. Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, p 185. ISBN 5-201-11088-6Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geobotany and Plant Ecology, Faculty of BiologySt. Petersburg State UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia

Personalised recommendations