Scientific publications

K. Arnold.
The ecological significance of old growth forest fragments in the North Karelian Biosphere Reserve under a landscape ecological view
// Biodiversity of Fennoscandia (diversity, human impact, nature conservation). Petrozavodsk: Karelian Research Centre of RAS, 1997.
To get an idea about the ecological significance of old growth forests fragments in the North Karelian biosphere reserve studies on different spatial / ecological scales and different organisms were carried out in three main areas during summer 1997.

(1) Landuse inventories between the fragments were made to figure out the present situation of the forested landscape. (2) Within the main areas 11 old growth forest sites were selected for a more detailed study of their ecological characteristics compared to the surrounding areas. 25 x 25m plots were randomly layed along north/south and east/west transect lines with the only requirement to cover all characteristic aspects of the studied forest as well as its edge and the surrounding area. In all plots a detailed inventory about the stand structure and amount of dead and decaying wood was carried out. In addition ground vegetation of the plots was mapped. (3) In some selected sites primary inventories of insects and polypores were made. Already after a very rough analyse of the data the evident difference between the fragments and their surrounding areas can be clearly seen. The structural composition of the studied old growth forests and especially their amount of dead and rotting wood seems to be fairly high compared to their relatively young age of about 150-200 years. They resemble the natural succession of a secondary boreal forest considerably good eventhough some signs of forestry practice could be found in all sites. Almost all the fragments are surrounded by clear-cut areas or very young stands. As can be seen from the landuse inventory this picture dominates the landscape between the fragments. In which respect the isolation reduces the ecological value and biodiversity of the old growth fragments due to edge effects and distribution of organisms needs to be studied in the future on the level of different organism groups and microclimatic parameters. It is assumed that these fragments got their huge species diversity from the close virgin Russian forests. This years study provides background information about the outlook and linkage of the fragments and can therefore be used for further studies.
Last modified: November 20, 2006