1067-4136/05/3605- © 2005 Pleiades Publishing, Inc.
Russian Journal of Ecology, Vol. 36, No. 5, 2005, pp. 358–360. Translated from Ekologiya, No. 5, 2005, pp. 394–396.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2005 by Govorov, Yamalov, Mirkin.
Studies on biodiversity occupy a major place in
modern ecology (Mirkin and Naumova, 1998; Mar-
tynenko and Mirkin, 2003), and an important aspect of
these studies concerns the inﬂuence of various human
activities on biodiversity (Gorchakovskii, 1999; Abra-
mova and Mirkin, 2000). Residential areas are consid-
ered to be the source of processes leading to the synan-
thropization of vegetation. However, although relevant
studies in cities have already become traditional
(Il’minskikh, 1994; Khmelev and Berezutskii, 2001;
, 2003), publications on the vegetation
of rural residential areas are almost entirely absent.
In this study, we addressed the problem concerning
the importance of the size of a populated area (village)
for revealing the diversity of vegetation at three levels:
alpha-diversity (species richness of communities),
beta-diversity (diversity of communities on the territory
of the village), and gamma-diversity (the total ﬂora of
the village). The synanthropic ﬂora was studied, i.e.,
the sum of species found in communities belonging to
the classes Chenopodietea
(communities of annual
plants characteristic of initial stages of progressive suc-
cessions and ﬁeld-weed communities in row crops),
Artemisietea vulgaris (ruderal communities of tall
biennial and perennial species), Galio-Urticetea (com-
munities of disturbed shaded habitats on nitrate-rich
soils), Agropyretea repentis (ruderal communities with
dominance of perennial grasses actively reproducing
by vegetative diaspores), Plantaginetea majoris (com-
munities of overgrazed pastures and trampled habitats),
and Bidentetea tripartiti (synanthropic communities of
Synanthropic vegetation was studied in three vil-
lages of the Duvanskii administrative region of Bashko-
rtostan: Absalyamovo, Karakulevo, and Arievo, with
the respective numbers of homesteads being 50, 150,
and 300. To estimate its beta-diversity, geobotanical
descriptions were made. As synanthropic vegetation
has a patchy pattern, most communities were described
The authorship of syntaxa is not indicated, because the study is
not devoted to syntaxonomy.
within their natural boundaries, with the area included
in the description being no less than 5 m
. The commu-
nities of vegetable gardens were described in 100-m
In the course of ﬁeld studies, a total of 320 descrip-
tions were made, 5–10 descriptions for each type of
synanthropic community (an association in terms of the
Braun-Blanquet systems or a rankless community).
The results were processed statistically using the TUR-
BOVEG (Hennekens, 1995), TWINSPAN (Hill, 1979),
and MEGATAB (Hennekens, 1995) programs.
Table 1 shows the list of syntaxa revealed in the
three villages, their representation in each village, and
the main characteristics of these communities: species
richness and the total number of species in all commu-
nities (i.e., the cenoﬂoras of associations and “commu-
nities”). The composition of synanthropic vegetation is
largely the same: 80% of syntaxa are common to all vil-
lages and the absence of some syntaxa is accidental.
Some communities could have been mowed down for
forage or in the course of landscaping, and the commu-
nities of Bidentetea tripartiti are conﬁned to speciﬁc
moist ecotopes, which are absent from Absalyamovo.
In general, we conclude that beta-diversity could be
revealed completely enough even in the smallest village
studied, because all speciﬁc synanthropic habitats
(trampled sites, pastures, vegetable garbage dumps,
periodically disturbed habitats along the fences and in
the yards, etc.) are always found in villages.
The volume of the cenoﬂora of associations and
“communities” ﬂuctuated on account of species with
low constancy, but species richness (i.e., the average
number of species per description) in the communities
of the same syntaxon varied slightly from village to vil-
lage. Thus, we conclude that the alpha-diversity of
synanthropic communities can be revealed irrespective
of village size.
Tables 2 and 3 show how stable is the species com-
position of similar syntaxa in the villages of different
sizes. For brevity, they include only the species repre-
sented with constancy III and higher in at least one
Effect of the Size of a Populated Area on the Parameters
of Synanthropic Vegetation Diversity
E. V. Govorov, S. M. Yamalov, and B. M. Mirkin
Bashkir State University, ul. Frunze 32, Ufa, 450074 Russia
Received December 16, 2003
: biodiversity, alpha-diversity, beta-diversity, gamma-diversity, synanthropic vegetation, villages,
area for revealing the regional ﬂora.