1067-4136/05/3603- © 2005 Pleiades Publishing, Inc.
Russian Journal of Ecology, Vol. 36, No. 3, 2005, pp. 209–211. Translated from Ekologiya, No. 3, 2005, pp. 231–234.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2005 by Khusainov.
Open-cut mining has entailed serious disturbances
in natural ecosystems all over the world. Technogenic
landscapes have completely replaced natural ecosys-
tems in some regions (Sampat, 2003). Tailing dumps
are the object of intense geobotanical study (Gorchak-
ovskii, 1984; Isaev and Protopopov, 1987; Kulagin,
1998; Konysbaeva, 2003; etc.).
Centers of the mining industry providing for the
needs of nonferrous metallurgy in the southern Urals
are located in the southern Transural Region (Bashkor-
tostan, eastern part of Orenburg oblast), and large areas
are under tailing dumps of chalcopyrite ﬁelds. The tail-
ings consist of small and large fragments of igneous
and metamorphic acid rocks and have been dumped for
more than 60 years. The pioneer communities on this
substrate cannot develop into climax communities and
continue to exist as chronically serial communities
without obvious changes in their composition. This is
due to substrate mobility, its periodic overlaying with
fresh portions of overburden rocks, toxicity, weather-
ing, and erosion.
Studies on the state of these ecosystems and, prima-
rily, on the processes of self-overgrowing of disturbed
lands, are of great importance. The chalcopyrite tailing
dumps were studied in the zonal series from the forest–
steppe to southern steppe. These were the dumps of
open-cut mines of the Uchalinskii Mining and Ore-Pro-
cessing Works (UMOW, Uchaly city), Bashkir Copper–
Sulfur Works (BCSW, Sibai city), and Gaiskii Mining
and Ore-Processing Works (GMOW, Gai city). The
characteristics of natural complexes on these dumps are
presented in Table 1.
In order to survey the ﬂora and vegetation on tail-
ings, 300 geobotanical descriptions were made
between 1999 and 2002, in which 330 species of higher
vascular plants from 49 families were recorded. Analy-
sis of the lists and taxonomic spectra of the ﬂoras
showed that the number of species changes in a north–
south direction in the series 113–250–122. The high
ﬂoristic richness of the BCSW dump is explained by its
location within city limits, where the probability of
accidental species introduction is higher.
Hemicryptophytes, a species of natural (steppe and
meadow) plant communities, are the dominant life
form on the dumps (about 60%) (Table 2). Therophytes
(20–30%) are second in abundance, which is indicative
of the disturbance of vegetation and mobility of sub-
strates. Some increase in the proportion of therophytes
in the south is connected with the adaptation of most
annual plants to the dry climate of the steppe zone.
The relatively large proportions of phanerophytes in
the ﬂoras of UMOW (10.5%) and BCSW (13.6%)
Composition of the Flora on Tailing Dumps
of Chalcopyrite Fields in the Southern Transural Region
A. F. Khusainov
Bashkir State Pedagogical University,
ul. Oktyabr’skoi Revolyutsii 3a, Ufa, 450000 Russia
Received March 5, 2004
: climate, tailings, self-overgrowing, life forms, activity of species, phytosociological spectrum.
Characteristics of natural complexes on tailing dumps
UMOW BCSW GMOW
Average annual precipitation, mm 425 350 306
Precipitation over growing period, mm 220 185 230
Average annual temperature,
C 0.9 1.8 3
Sum of active temperatures,
C 1900 2010 2300
Hydrothermal coefﬁcient 1.5 1.0 0.8
Dominant zonal soil type Dark gray forest soils,
Ordinary chernozems Southern chernozems
Zonal location Forest-steppe Steppe Southern steppe