Structural levels of mire diversity in Karelia
// Biodiversity of Fennoscandia (diversity, human impact, nature conservation). Petrozavodsk: Karelian Research Centre of RAS, 1997.
"Mire" is a term used for a piece of specific swampy ground with an exuberant moistening regime, moisture-loving vegetation and peat accumulation. To assess mire vegetation diversity, mire massifs and their systems, mire sites (facies), phytocenoses, microcenoses, and synusias are studied. They characterise the structure of diversity which corresponds to certain levels in the systemic-structural organization of mires described by V.D.Lopatin and V.V.Mazing. The first level in mire diversity structure is formed by mire massifs and their systems. They are usually recognised in the course of data processing by interpretation of aerial photographs and satellite images. Mire massifs are classified, and their diversity is shown on medium-scale mire demarcation maps and schemes. The second level is formed by mire sites that characterise the ecological and morphological structure of mire massifs (margins, fens, ridge-hollow complexes ets). Sites are distinguished preliminary by airborne survey and are then studied by ground methods. The diversity of sites is classified and shown on middle - to large - scale maps. The phytocenotic level (phytocenoses, synusias, and microcenoses) shows the diversity of the vegetation cover of mire sites. Detailed ground studies are needed at this level. The vegetation cover units studied are classified. In some cases, their location is indicated on plans showing the spatial structure of mire sites. An independent and very important level in the study of mire diversity is the population level at which rare, disappearing and other populations of plant species are revealed. Mire vegetation diversity at the above levels is due to the factors already known to specialists. Therefore, its monitoring can be conducted.