ISSN 10674136, Russian Journal of Ecology, 2014, Vol. 45, No. 1, pp. 33–37. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2014.
Original Russian Text © G.S. Shushpannikova, 2014, published in Ekologiya, 2014, No. 1, pp. 40–44.
Problems concerning evaluation of the effect of
land use type on meadow communities are considered
in a number of publications (Shennikov, 1941; Gor
chakovskii and Abramchuk, 1983, 1993; Mirkin,
1984; Rabotnov, 1984; Gorchakovskii, 1999; Abram
ova, 2002; etc.). In recent years, the BraunBlanquet
method has been used to characterize anthropogenic
succession in the meadow vegetation (
Hejny, 1974; Moravec et al. 1983; Raabe and Brandes,
1988; Mirkin et al., 1988; Mirkin and Solomeshch,
1989; Solomeshch et al., 1989;
, 2008; etc.). Some data on the impact of
grazing on meadow vegetation in the northeast of
European Russia are also provided in the previous
study by this author (Shushpannikova, 2001). Never
theless, specific features of pasture degradation of
meadows at the regional level (in particular, in differ
ent zones of floodplains) have not been studied suffi
This study deals with floodplain meadows affected
to different extents by livestock grazing and hay har
vesting in the Vychegda and Pechora river basins.
Comparisons are made between wet, moist, and true
meadows used in different ways (as pastures or hay
fields, or lying fallow). Trends in the formation and
degradation of meadows at different levels of the
floodplain (in the riverside, middle, and inland zones)
Analysis was based on 2000 original releves made
by the author in accordance with principles of the
BraunBlanquet approach. Ecofloristic classification
was performed by syntaxonomic methods (Westhoff
and Maarel, 1978; Mirkin and Naumova, 1998).
Meadows described in the study do not differ from
their Central European analogs and fit into the estab
lished syntaxonomic hierarchy.
The majority of floodplain meadow phytocenoses
(1256 releves) belong to two classes, Phragmito–Mag
nocaricetea and Molinio–Arrhenetaretea.
plain communities of wet meadows are included in the
order Magnocaricetalia. The class Molinio–Arrhene
taretea is represented by three orders. The order
Molinietalia comprises communities of moist mead
ows and includes two unions, Deschampsion cespito
sae and Alopecurion pratensis. The order Arrhen
atheretalia comprises mesophytic meadow communi
ties of unions Festucion pratensis and Cynosurion.
Communities formed on well moistened, rich soils
and containing forest and forestedge species are
attributed to the order Carici macrourae–Crepidetalia
In the course of anthropogenic succession,
meadow phytocenoses are invaded by synanthropic
species of classes Galio–Urticetea (
Plantaginetea majoris (
), Artemisietea vulgaris (
(Bromopsis inermis, Calamagrostis
epigeios, Elytrigia repens).
The authorship of syntaxa is not indicated, because the study is
not devoted to syntaxonomy.
Latin names of vascular plants are given according to
Formation and Degradation of Meadows under the Impact of Hay
Harvesting and Grazing in the Vychegda and Pechora Floodplains
G. S. Shushpannikova
Syktyvkar State University, ul. Petrozavodskaya 120, Syktyvkar, 167005 Russia
Received July 6, 2012
—Transformation of meadow communities under the impact of hay harvesting and livestock grazing
has been studied in the floodplains of the Vychegda and Pechora rivers. Changes in the floristic composition,
structure, and productivity of meadows have been evaluated using synanthropization and adventization indi
ces. On this basis, meadow phytocenoses at three different stages of pasture digression have been distin
: floodplain meadows, pasture digression, synanthropization index, adventization index