Natural forest colonisation and soil formation on ash dump in southern taiga

Ash dumps occupy significant areas around the world and make a negative influence on the environment. This effect is decreased by their natural colonisation determined by the bioclimatic conditions of the area. The purpose of the current study was to identify the structure of the forest communities and the initial stages of soil formation on the ash dump in southern taiga. This study was carried out on three sites in the forest phytocoenosis formed in the process of revegetation of the Verkhniy Tagil Power Station ash dump over 50 years, as well as on two background forest sites in the Middle Urals. Complex geobotanical and soil studies were carried out. The results of the study show that forest phytocoenoses with a predominance of hardwood species (Betula pendula Roth and Populus tremula L.) and a small admixture of coniferous species can form on the non-recultivated ash dump within 50 years in a boreal zone. In total, the studied mixed forest phytocoenoses are similar in composition to zonal secondary forests, but differ by having lower height and diameter of the stand, as well as herb–shrub layer coverage. Their species density and floristic richness are also lesser. The study proved that the process of soil formation is also proceeding according to the zonal type in the ash substrate under forest communities. The results of the study can be applied to justifying the forecasts of ecosystem restoration on the technogenic substrate, as well as for the species selecting for their recultivation in the studied area and similar to it.
© 2020 Olga Nekrasova et al., published by Sciendo. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License - . The Version of Scholarly Record of this Article is published in Folia Forestalia Polonica, Series A – Forestry, 2020, Vol. 62 (4), 306–316, available online at: . Keywords: ash dump; ash substrate; forest community; natural colonisation; southern taiga; Technosols; Russia; ecosystem restoration; boreal zone.
Nekrasova, O., Radchenko, T., Filimonova, E., Lukina, N., Glazyrina, M., Dergacheva, M., Uchaev, A. & Betekhtina, A. (2020). Natural forest colonisation and soil formation on ash dump in southern taiga. Folia Forestalia Polonica, 62(4) 306-316.