ISSN 1067-4136, Russian Journal of Ecology, 2008, Vol. 39, No. 5, pp. 366–370. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2008.
Original Russian Text © N.M. Saifullina, S.M. Yamalov, E.F. Shaikhislamova, B.M. Mirkin, 2008, published in Ekologiya, 2008, No. 5, pp. 385–389.
Between 1918 and 1988, many villages in the
mountain forest zone of Bashkortostan were abandoned
for various reasons, including famine, postwar devasta-
tion, and the campaign to “liquidate unpromising vil-
lages,” which had the most severe consequences: the
number of populated localities decreased by 43%
(Asfandiyarov, 1990; Yagudi, 2000). The sites of these
villages were then either used for livestock grazing and
hay harvesting or abandoned completely. These small
areas (0.04–2 km
) were chosen as the object of this
Although the history of research on the ﬂora and
vegetation of populated localities is more than
400 years old (Gorchakovskii, 1973), we are unaware
of publications dealing with successions in the vegeta-
tion of abandoned villages. The purpose of this study
was to analyze speciﬁc features of vegetation restora-
tion processes in the abandoned village sites. Accord-
ing to Mirkin and Naumova (1998), such processes are
classiﬁed as autogenic progressive successions.
Studies were performed in the broadleaf forest zone
on the western macroslope of the Southern Urals
(Burzyanskii, Ishimbaiskii, Zilairskii, Kugarchinskii,
and Meleuzovskii districts of Bashkortostan). The study
region has a moderately cold climate: the sum of active
temperatures over the growing season (106–110 days)
ranges from 1500 to 1800
C, the average annual tem-
perature is 1.2
C, and the maximum and minimum
annual temperatures are 31
C and –41.5
, 1996). Annual average precip-
itation reaches 600–650 mm. The period with a steady
snow cover is 160–170 days. The region has rolling,
ridge topography and a well-developed hydrographic
network. The soil cover has a patchy pattern with prev-
alence of mountain-forest gray soils. (Martynenko
et al., 2005).
From 2000 to 2002, the sites of 33 abandoned vil-
lages were surveyed to make 584 geobotanical releves
according to the Braun-Blanquet approach (1964).
Communities occupying small areas were described
within their natural boundaries. When their areas were
sufﬁciently large, 100-m
test plots were established.
The material was processed by the following methods:
(1) Two-factor ANOVA (Plokhinskii, 1970) with
respect to qualitative characters (species pres-
ence/absence) for the main cenosis-forming species
occurring in the sample more than 30 times. A total of
100 species were analyzed. The ﬁrst factor was land-
use type, which had three gradations: hayﬁeld, pasture,
and wasteland. The second factor was the succession
stage, with three gradations corresponding to plant
communities aged less than 30 years, 30–45 years, and
more than 45 years.
(2) Two-factor ANOVA for quantitative parameters
characterizing species richness of plant communities
(with the same factors and gradations as above).
(3) An analysis of the phytosociological spectrum of
main cenosis-forming species, including the proportion
of species belonging to the better represented vegeta-
tion classes of the Braun-Blanquet system (Yamalov
et al., 2005): Molinio-Arrhenatheretea, Festuco-Bro-
metea, Trifolio-Geranietea sanguinei, Querco-Fagetea,
Galio-Urticetea, Artemisietea vulgaris, Chenopodietea,
Plantaginetea zatin, and Agropyretea repentis.
Statistical Analysis of Progressive Succession in the Vegetation
of Abandoned Villages in the Mountain Forest Zone
N. M. Saifullina
, S. M. Yamalov
, E. F. Shaikhislamova
, and B. M. Mirkin
Shul’gan-Tash State Nature Reserve, Zapovednaya ul. 14, Irgizly, Burzyanskii raion, 453585 Bashkortostan, Russia;
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Bashkir State University, ul. Frunze 32, Ufa, 450074 Bashkortostan, Russia;
Received March 7, 2006
: abandoned villages, succession, ANOVA, inhibition model.