Scientific journal
European Journal of Natural History
ISSN 2073-4972

THE ROLE OF FOREST ECOSYSTEMS IN THE DEGRADATION STABILTY OF LANDSCAPES

Pasternak A.K.

Forest degradation has long ago been considered one of the main global ecological problems. Forests determine natural and ecological potential of landscapes, which the degradation stability depends on. The reduction of forests causes the breach of the stability and to the processes of rapid erosion. The stability criteria to the man-caused effect are difficult to find. But the equilibrium of the functions of landscapes always depends on the biological productivity and the ability for renewing of forests. The main criterion of the stable functioning of forest landscapes is their high productivity which is determined by a normal natural renewability of the forests.

The problem о landscape stability depends on their natural and ecological potentials what is determined by the optimal correlation of warmth and moisture. This is typical of forest-steppe, deciduous and taiga landscapes of Russia. These landscapes are characterized by the highest natural and ecological potential, restrain the processes of rapid erosion, that means the degradation of geosystems. The biggest mass of flora and fauna communities to the square unit or habitat volume. To the north of the above mentioned types of landscapes i.e. in sylva-tundra and tundra regions a disproportion in the product amount of gas and moistening. That is why the species composition of flora and fauna is poor here, their biomass is extremely insignificant. To the south of the region of the optimal correlation of warmth and moisture, i.e. in steppe, half-desert and desert types of landscapes, under the conditions of the excess of warmth and lack of moisture the existence and correlation of the living organisms caused depletion of the species composition of flora and fauna, to the insignificant biological productivity.

Besides, it is hard for biota and ecosystems to survive here because of such man-caused factors as rapid water erosion, secondary salting and progressive desertification. It carries along degradation of the biota of landscapes, first of all. fauna what causes reduction or the complete loss of their biological productivity. Speed of the destruction of landscapes depends on it. In tundra, forest-tundra, half-deserted and deserted landscapes the danger of total degradation of landscapes is rapidly growing, because of the absence of forests. In forest ecosystems the destruction of landscapes is going on. connected with irrational land tenure, which causes the processes of rapid erosion, developing arable lands from barren slopes and slopes subject to erosion, non-fulfillment of assistance measures lor the natural renewance of the forests, which is also caused by fires, unsystematic and uncontrolled felling an the л alloy .slopes and in the mountains.

All that caused deforestation in many regions and rapid degradation of landscapes i.e. to the abrupt reduction of the species diversity in forest ecosystems.

Landscape researches of the territory and analyses of the used fund and cartographic materials let us come to the following conclusion: in each natural territorial complex (NTC) the potential possibilities and abilities for use are based. To take into account means not only to learn how to run the economy but also to control landscapes, i.e. to stimulate their fulfilment of the functions that most fully satisfy the requirements of nature users without destroying the dynamic stability of landscapes. To foresee the reaction of the landscapes and their constituent pails to the changes, it is necessary to estimate each concrete NTC from the point of view of the degree of appropriateness to this or that kind of economy use.

  1. Up to the present times the distribution of the forest, meadow and plough lands is solved without the necessary scientific grounds. As a result of the rapid processes of plane washing away and linear erosion, non-fulfilment of anti-erosion measures many places in most of landscapes have turned into erosion and are spotted by the dense ravine -joist network. The scientist seems tS be not in the non-chernozem region but somewhere on the territory of an upland forest and steppe zones of Russia.
  2. The stated actual state of use of the main renewable natural resources caused other pernicious consequences among them the deterioration of the outflow regime (its greater nonuniformity in different seasons, the increase in the surficial component of the outflow) and in general to the deterioration of the condition of small rivers and rivulets. In boundary periods small rivers and rivulets in our zones characterized by superfluous humidity have not only grown shallow, but on the enduring areas they have turned into temporal streams, parch. Shallowing of the permanent outflows, drop in their level caused the reinforcement of the erosion processes, what carried along drying up of the agricultural lands especially in the valleys and in the valley-side.
  3. The amount of the outflow during the spring flood and abimdant rains has also changed. In these periods the recurrence of the biggest expenses and summary layer of the outflow. That is why the solid outflow has increased. As a result the strong siltation of the springs, watercourse-beds, closed water bodies including ponds their overgrowing.
  4. The anti-erosion stability of the slopes and rates of plane, linear and rapid erosion depend on the man-caused factors (especially on the degree of ploughing up) as well as on the lithology of the rocks, resistance to the washing away, on the slope steepness and length.
  5. Uneven distribution of forests within individual landscapes and in the river basin is on the whole unacceptable. Slope surfaces need to be transferred from arable lands into other kinds of lands (meadow, forest) as the humic horizon as well as podzolic and iiluvial horizons have been washed off.
  6. In the places with temporal or permanent abundant humidity the most optimal conditions of habitat of the arboreal vegetation have been formed. It would be at least unsensible to cultivate these places as agricultural lands.
  7. For the significant improvement of the actual complex use of land, water and plant resources in all the landscapes it is necessary to solve questions of the prohibition of felling in the forests of water-protective zones, to increase the age of felling of the main forest-forming species, to widen the water-protective stripes along water valleys including small rivers and rivulets, carry out the measures on more even afforestation of the river basins. It is necessary to prohibit the felling of bushes of anti-erosion and nature-protective meaning, especially in bottomlands, on the slopes, in places of the forming of the outflow of small rivers, annually carry out measures of forestation of ravines, sands and shrub areas, creation of protective forests on the coasts of lakes, ponds and storage reservoirs.
  8. These principal measures of the improvement of use of the renwable natural resources would allow to slow down the degradation processes of landscapes significantly.

References:

1. Pasternak A.K. Rol lesnykh ekosistem v ustojchivosti landshaftov к degradatsii// Materialy nauchno-prakticheskoy konferentsii. 2004. P.49-54.