ISSN 1067-4136, Russian Journal of Ecology, 2017, Vol. 48, No. 1, pp. 45–50. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2017.
Original Russian Text © S.V. Osipov, M.F. Biserov, 2017, published in Ekologiya, 2017, No. 1, pp. 28–34.
Population of Birds in the Boreal Mountain-Valley Landscape
Disturbed by Gold Mining
S. V. Osipov
* and M. F. Biserov
Pacific Institute of Geography Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok, 690041 Russia
Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok, 690950 Russia
Bureinsky State Nature Reserve, Chegdomyn, 682030 Russia
Received January 12, 2015
Abstract—The article characterizes the changes in the species composition and population of birds of the
boreal mountain-valley landscape in connection with disturbances caused by extraction of gold (based on
researched material in the Bureya Mountains, Far East). It displays the ratio of faunal assemblages and lay-
ered bird groupings in the technogenic habitats (lixiviation and open-pit dump sites of 1–5 years of age and
35–40 years of age) and undisturbed sites of river valleys. On the basis of coefficient of inclusion and similar-
ity, we compared the populations of birds of different habitats either on species composition or taking into
account the density of species.
Keywords: ornithofauna, avifauna, taiga, technogenic habitats, postcatastrophic successions, recovery
dynamics, disturbances and changes of ecosystems
The area of technogenic landscapes, created in
the process of development of mineral deposits in
northern Asia continues to increase. However, knowl-
edge of ecological successions in such areas is very
fragmented: more emphasis is placed on vegetation
successions, and successional changes of bird popula-
tion are less explored.
It is well known that the formation of the popula-
tion of birds in technogenic landscapes to a large
extent depends on the environmental characteristics of
technogenic “core” and the surrounding natural area.
Successional changes of population of birds in the
boreal mountain-forest landscapes disturbed by open-
pit mineral mining are very poorly studied. Even the
most fundamental works (Salovarov and Kuznetsova,
2005, 2006, 2007; Kuznetsova and Salovarov, 2006)
contain little information on this issue.
The objective of our work is to characterize the
changes in the population of birds of the boreal moun-
tain-valley landscape in connection with disturbances
caused by open-pit gold mining (based on researched
materials in the Bureya Mountains, Far East).
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The research was carried out in the upper reaches
of the Niman River, mainly in the height range 900 to
1100 m above sea level. The site of gold mining is
located in the mountain-boreal-forest belt. Nearest
watersheds have heights of 1200–1500 m above sea
level. The main dominants of vegetation cover of the
area—Cajander larch (Larix cajanderi), ayan spruce
(Picea ajanensis), dwarf pine (Pinus pumila), fragrant
poplar (Populus suaveolens), and Chosenia arbutifolia
(Chosenia arbutifolia). Current vegetation cover of
slopes is formed by larch forests, repeatedly passed by
logging and fires. These are mainly subalpine green
moss larch forests and sphagnum larch forests. Quite
common are subalpine green moss spruce forests,
green moss and sphagnum larch open woodlands. On
the watersheds above 1300 m, there are thickets of dwarf
pine and tundra. Undisturbed areas of the valley have a
well-defined floodplain and terrace above floodplain.
The floodplain is taken by willow-stands, chosenia for-
ests, poplar forests, and larch forests. The terrace above
the floodplain is dominated by larch forests and sphag-
num larch open woodlands (for detailed description of
the vegetation cover, see Osipov, 2012a, 2012b).
In the study of the dynamics of faunal composition
and bird population, we used the technique of route
surveys of Ravkin (1967). The surveys were conducted
in the second half of June in 1998 and 2010–2013.
Types of ornitofauna are given according to Shtegman
(1938). On the basis of the task set, a few representa-
tives of the Indo-Malayan fauna (sparrow hawk,