ISSN 10674136, Russian Journal of Ecology, 2009, Vol. 40, No. 6, pp. 448–451. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2009.
Original Russian Text © E.A. Rakov, T.S. Chibrik, 2009, published in Ekologiya, 2009, No. 6, pp. 473–476.
A major part of the global population already lives
amid socalled technogenic landscapes, in which
industrial waste dumps and other types of disturbed
land areas have a special place with regard to deleteri
ous effects on the natural environment and human
health. In Sverdlovsk oblast, they concentrate in the
vicinities of all large cities and most other populated
areas, covering more than 63300 ha of land (Chaikina
and Ob’edkova, 2003). Such territories are initially
devoid of the soil and plant cover, and their ecologi
cally specific substrate lacks the pool of seeds and
other viable diaspores. Hence, the establishment of
plants in them starts from point zero.
Studies on specific features of flora formation in
such areas are of theoretical and practical significance
for their biological recultivation and restoration of
biological diversity. Problems concerning specific fea
tures and patterns of these processes in industrial waste
dumps have been considered in recent decades in
many countries (Burda, 1991; Rostanski and
Wozniak, 2000; Tokhtar’ et al., 2003; Tokhtar’ and
Kharkhota, 2004). Intensive studies on bioecological
characteristics of corresponding floras are performed
in Ukraine (Bashuts’ka, 2002; Zhukov et al.; 2004,
Yaroshchuk et al., 2007).
The purpose of this study was to reveal consistent
trends in the restoration of floristic diversity in indus
trially disturbed lands using the example of such areas
in the taiga zone.
The objects studies in Sverdlovsk oblast were as fol
lows: spoil banks of opencut bauxite mines near the
city of Severouralsk (below, designated L1); the
southern spoil bank of the Veselovskoe lignite mine
near the city of Karpinsk (L2); refuse dumps of the
foundry sand pit in the village of Basyanovskii (L3);
ash dumps of district power plant (DPP) in the city of
Verkhnii Tagil (L4); spoil banks of the Estyuninskii
opencut iron ore mine near the city of Nizhnii Tagil
(L5); spoil banks of coal mines near the village of
Bulanash (L6); spoil and tailing dumps of dressing
plants at the Bazhenovskoe serpentine asbestos mine,
the city of Asbest (L7); spoil and tailing dumps of the
Pervouralsk titanomagnetite ore mine, the city of Per
vouralsk (L8); and spoil banks of Bilimbaevskoe flux
ing limestone mine, the village of Bilimbai (L9).
In Chelyabinsk oblast, studies were performed on
spoil banks of Cheremshanskoe nickel ore mine near
the city of Verkhnii Ufalei (L10). The rock composi
tion of the above dumps was briefly described previ
ously (Chibrik, 2007).
The flora of these sites was characterized on the
basis of geobotanical releves compiled for plots with
differentaged phytocenoses by conventional methods
(Korchagin, 1964) and the results of additional route
surveys. The age of sites was estimated from minesur
veying data. On the whole, 15–30 releves were made
for each site. The initial floristic lists were published
previously (Chibrik and El’kin, 1991).
Substrates of the sites are poor in nutrients, stony,
and contain no soil (therefore, no plant diaspores).
Therefore, the formation of their vegetation in the
course of spontaneous overgrowing follows the pattern
of primary succession as determined by Shennikov
(1964). The age of the sites is young to medium, with
the vegetation including serial phytocenoses up to 25–
30 years of age.
The species richness of individual local floras
ranges from 57 to 149 in dependence on ecotope diver
sity, which is minimum on the Estyuninskii spoil bank
(L5) and maximum on the ash dump of Verkhnii Tagil
DPP (L4), where herbaceous communities develop
along with forest communities. The lowest fluctua
tions of species composition (from 75 to 88 species)
are characteristic of five sites with typical forest com
Data on the bioecological structure of floras in
industrially disturbed sites of the forest zone are shown
in the table. Mesophytes dominate in all plant com
munities, with their proportion ranging from 59.7%
on spoil banks of coal mines in Bulanash (L6) to 84%
on those of the Pervouralsk titanomagnetite ore mine
(L8). The total proportion of mesophytes and xer
On the Problem of Flora Formation
in Industrially Disturbed Land Areas
E. A. Rakov and T. S. Chibrik
Ural State University, pr. Lenina 51, Yekaterinburg, 620083 Russia;
Received February 3, 2009
: flora, industrially disturbed lands, taiga zone.