Starodubtseva E.A.

RJEE Vol. 1 (4). 2016 | DOI: 10.21685/2500-0578-2016-4-4
Annotation | PDF (Rus) | Additional files

Receipt date 6.09.2016 | Publication date 27.12.2016


E. A. Starodubtseva
Voronezh State Nature Biosphere Reserve, Central manor, State reserve, Voronezh, 394080, Russia


Abstract. Background. The study of long-term dynamics of reserves vegetation indicates the presence of the problems with biological diversity conservation in the protected areas. It emerged in the territories violated by the previous economic activity. The losses in the flora of vascular plants of the Voronezh State Reserve for the protected period were estimated, the reasons for the disappearance of species were identified. The aim of the work was to determine the necessity and the possibility of changing management strategies for conserving floristic diversity of the reserve. Materials and methods. The list of flora, created at the stage of nature reserve creation , included 922 species. 13 eco-cenotic groups are identified in the autochthonous flora Voronezh Reserve, all alien species are combined into a group of adventitious plants. To evaluate the floristic losses we made analysis of all floristic and geobotanical materials published and stored in the nature reserve, as well as the article author’s data obtained during the area survey in 1985–2016. To identify the factors and processes determining the dynamics of the flora, we used materials on the history of people activity before the reserve and during the protected period, as well as published research on the reserve vegetation dynamics. Results. The disappearance of 55 vascular plants species is established as a result of long-term monitoring of Voronezh State Reserve flora. 23 adventive species and 32 autochthonous species disappeared from the flora composition over 80 years of the Reserve existence. The most vulnerable from a position of floral diversity loss are light-loving species groups associated with waterlogging ecotopes (sphagnum-oligotrophic, swamp-grass and boreal groups), as well as dry pine forests and open habitats (pine forest group, psammophilous, dry-meadow-steppe and wet meadow groups). The reasons of floristic losses are: 1) autogenic succession, leading to the replacement of grass habitats by forest communities, to the increase of the nemoral species abundance and mesophytisation in all vegetation types, to soil fertility increase and to light decrease; 2) cyclic changes in the hydrological regime of the territory, accompanied by droughts; 3) naturalization of adventive plants in the Reserve plant communities. Conclusions. Analysis of the dynamics of Voronezh Reserve vegetation showed that the currently high floristic and cenotic diversity is kept on the landscape units of territory where autogenous succession was interrupted by exogenous influences. It was proposed to carry out grass cutting on the reserve meadows to save the open habitats. Fires and massive windfalls create a mosaic of habitats and favorable conditions for the existence of different types of plant communities, including meadow-pine forest communities with light-loving flora, but fires do not contribute to the conservation of rare species. A serious threat to the autochthonous flora and vegetation are alien species, this problem requires the development of a strategy and a set of measures to prevent the naturalization of alien species in protected areas. In the course of discussion there was made a proposal to modify the category of protected area for the Voronezh Reserve from I to IV (according to the IUCN classification). It will allow us to actively manage the protected forest area to conserve habitats and species.


Key words: flora, floristic losses, reserve, protected areas, ecological-phytocoenotic groups, autogenic succession, nemoralisation, droughts, biodiversity conservation.


For citation: Starodubtseva E.A. Species extinction in protected areas (Voronezh reserve, 1935–2015). Russian Journal of Ecosystem Ecology. 2016;1(4). (In Russ.). Available from: