Flora and vegetation of Kronotsky reserve

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Basic information on the flora of Kronotsky Nature Reserve

Flora of the Reserve is almost entirely Eastern Kamchatka flora, but also has several species common to Central Kamchatka (such as conifer and mixed forest flora types). The flora is well studied: 767 species of vascular plants have been identified, within 305 genera and 86 families. Of these, 51 species, 26 genera and 1 family are adventives (invasive species). The most diverse plant families include: Cyperaceae, Poaceae, and Rosaceae. There are 20 species of trees and shrubs.

Vegetation in the reserve is represented by 43 primary formations, seven types, and 70 associations. The main feature of the vegetation is the dominance of climatic zonal vegetation groups and the development of intra-zonal vegetation (flood-forests, bogs). The largest areas are occupied by nearly impassable dwarf forests of shrub-like Alder and Siberian dwarf pine. Sparse forests of Ermine birch and Japanese white birch cover a large area. A variety of tundra types (chamaephyten tundra, lichen tundra, and shrub tundra) are found here. Meadow areas (grassy meadow, mixed meadow tundra, tall meadow tundra, subalpine zone, swamp meadow, littoral meadow) cover a small area. The presence of some parcels of isolated conifer forests more typical for Central Kamchatka is interesting to note. They are represented in Kronotsky Reserve by different sized isolated woodlands (larch forests in the Kronotskoye Lake basin with single specimens of Jezo spruce; grace fir stand in the lower reaches of the Novy Semyachik River). The mountain relief defines the altitudinal zonation of vegetation; lowland vegetation is occupied by Ermine birch forests, followed by dwarf shrubs and tundra at higher elevations.

Kamchatka tall grass meadows, owing their height to ancient times, are known as grass thickets, and could conceal a horse and rider. The dominate species in these thickets is shelomaynik or Kamchatka dropwort (Filipendula camtschatica). Ragwort (Senecio cannabifolius), sweet hogweed (Heracleum dulce), and other species are also present in tall grass meadows. Tall grass meadow communities are widespread in the reserve, but are more common in moist habitats with rich soils.

Thirty seven species of rare plants are found on the territory of the reserve inhabit, and are protected on territory of Kamchatka Krai.

Alphabetical list of vascular plant species listed in the Red Data Book of Kamchatka Krai and the Russian Federation (Krasnaya Kniga Kamchatki, 2007). Category of risk noted according to the Red Data Book of the Kamchatka Krai: complete remission — CR; endangered — EN; vulnerable — VU.

1. Abies sachalinensis Fr. Schmidt — Sakhalin fir. (Abiees gracilis Kom.). CR
2. Acetosella aureostigmatica (Kom.) Tzvel. — sorrel. VU
3. Agrostis geminata Trin. — paired bent. EN
4. Agrostis pauzhetica Probat. — pauzhet bent. EN
5. Asplenium incisum Thunb. — spleenwort. EN
6. Asplenium viride Huds. — green spleenwort. EN
7. Astragalus sealei Lepage — Seale’s milkvetch. EN
8. Bidens kamtschatica Vass. — Kamchatka beggartick. EN
9. Bolboschoenus planiculmis (Fr. Schmidt) Egor — sedge bolboschoenus. VU
10. Carex viridula Michx. — greenish sedge. VU
11. Ceratophyllum demersum L. — coontail. EN
12. Chrysosplenium wrightii Franch. et Savat. — Wright's Golden Saxifrage. VU
13. Comastoma tenellum (Rottb.) Toyokuni — thin comastoma. VU
14. Cypripedium macranthon Sw. — Large-flowered Cypripedium. RED DATA BOOK OF RUSSIAN FEDERATION. VU
15. Cypripedium yatabeanum Makino — Cypripedium Yatabe. RED DATA BOOK OF RUSSIAN FEDERATION. VU
16. Draba alpina L. — alpine whitlow-grass. EN
17. Eleocharis quinqueflora (F.X. Hartm.) O. Schwartz — fewflower spikerush. VU
18. Epilobium fauriei Levl. — Faurie’s willowherb. EN
19. Eriocaulon atrum Nakai — dark pipewort. EN
20. Fimbristylis ochotensis (Meinsh.) Kom. — Okhotsk fimry. RED DATA BOOK OF RUSSIAN FEDERATION. VU
21. Hammarbya paludosa (L.) O. Kuntze — Bog orchid. EN
22. Juncus articulatus L. — Jointleaf rush. EN
23. Lilium pensylvanicum Ker-Gavl. — Siberian lily. VU
24. Lomatogonium carinthiacum (Wulf) Reichenb. — Carinthinian lomatogonium . VU
25. Lunathyrium pterorachis (Christ.) Kurata — winged lunathyrium. EN
26. Lycopus uniflorus Michx. — northern bugleweed. EN
27. Nymphaea tetragona Georgi — quadrangular waterlily. VU
28. Ophioglossum thermale Kom. — thermal adder's-tongue. RED DATA BOOK OF RUSSIAN FEDERATION. Syn: Ophioglossom vulgatum L. var. thermale (Kom.) C. Chr. ). VU
29. Ophioglossum vulgatum L. var. alascanum (E. Britt.) C. Chr. — Alaskan adder's-tongue. RED DATA BOOK OF RUSSIAN FEDERATION. Syn: Ophioglossom alascanum E. Britt.VU
30. Papaver anjuicum Tolm. — anyuan poppy. EN
31. Platanthera camtschatica (Cham. et Schlecht.) Makino — Kamchatka butterfly-orchid. RED DATA BOOK OF RUSSIAN FEDERATION. VU
32. Potamogeton pusillus L. — small pondweed. EN
33. Ranunculus sarmentosus Adams — buttercup. (Halerpestes salsuginosa auct., non (Pall. ex Georgi) Greene). EN
34. Rhodiola rosea L. — golden root. RED DATA BOOK OF RUSSIAN FEDERATION. EN
35. Spiranthes sinensis (Pers.) Ames — Chinese spiranthes. EN
36. Taraxacum gorodkovii Charkev. et Tzvel. — Gorodkov’s dandelion. EN
37. Taraxacum neokamtschaticum Worosch. — new Kamchatka’s dandelion . VU

List of vascular plants registered on the territory of the Kronotsky Reserve

Did You Know

A sea otter's fur is the most expensive in the world. Long ago, there were so many sea otters here that Kronotsky Bay was called «Beaver Sea», but in the mid-18th century they were wiped out.