Northwest Caucasus forest spreading evaluation by GIS modeling and historical and geographic data analysis

Nikolaj Evgen'evich Shevchenko, Anna Petrovna Geraskina



The article presents the results of the GIS modeling of the potential areas of the Northwest Caucasus coniferous and broad leaved forest stand dominants (Abies nordmanniana, Carpinus betulus, Fagus orientalis, Picea orientalis, Quercus species). The constructed models demonstrate the significantly wider potential areas of these species as compared with the real ones and the almost complete coincidence of the potential areas of dark coniferous tree species A. nordmanniana and P. orientalis. The precipitation parameter in the driest month of the year, altitude above the sea level and temperature seasonality make the greatest contribution to the construction of GIS models of the modern area of the dark coniferous and broad leaved tree species. The analysis of the materials on the natural resource management history demonstrated that it is not the climatic changes, but the anthropogenic changes, that has been the main cause of the reduction of the area of the coniferous-broad leaved forests of the Northwest Caucasus since the middle of the 19th century. The northern boundary of the forest belt has shifted significantly from the plains and foothills to the foothill and mountain areas as a result of the economic and military development of the area.


spatial modeling; maxent; potential area; natural resource management history; coniferous-broad leaved forests

Full Text:



Agroklimaticheskij spravochnik po Krasnodarskomu krayu, 1961 [Agroclimatic reference book to the Krasnodar Territory] Glav. upr. gidrometeorol. sluzhby pri Sovete Ministrov SSSR. Sev.-Kavkazskoe upr. gidrometsluzhby, Krasnodar: 1-466.

Akinfiev I.Ya., 1893, Severnyj Kavkaz. Botanicheskie issledovaniya [North Caucasus. Botanical research]. Tiflis: 1-56.

Bebiya S.M., 2002, Pihtovye lesa Kavkaza [Caucasus fir forests]. MGUL, Moscow: 1-237.

Belonovskaya E.A. & Korotkov K.O., 1981, Vliyanie cheloveka na rastitel'nyj pokrov verhovij reki Samur (Dagestanskaya ASSR) [Human influence on the vegetation cover of the upper reaches of the Samur River (Dagestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic)], News of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Geographical series 4: 93-101

Desilets P. & Houle G., 2005, Effects of resource availability and heterogeneity on the slope of the species-area curve along a floodplain-upland gradient, Journal of Vegetation Science 16: 487-496.

Elith J., Graham C.H., Anderson R.P., Dudik M., Ferrier S., Guisan A. & Li J., 2006, Novel methods improve prediction of species’ distributions from occurrence data. Ecogeography 29: 129-151.

Ellenberg H., 2009, Vegetation Ecology of Central Europe. Cambridge University Press, UK: 1-1028.

Fawcett T., 2006, An introduction to ROC analysis. Pattern Recognition Letters 27: 861-874.

Gigauri G.N., 1986, Tenevynoslivost' pihty kavkazskoj, eli vostochnoj i buka vostochnogo [Shade tolerance of Caucasian fir, Eastern spruce and Eastern beech]. Russian Journal of Forest Science 3: 50-56.

Gorchakovskij P.L. Nikonova N.I. & Famelis T.V., 2009, Ocenka urovnya antropogennoj transformacii rastitel'nogo pokrova gornyh territorij [Assessment of the level of anthropogenic transformation of plant cover of mountain areas]. Siberian Journal of Ecology 4: 579-589.

Gulisashvili V.Z., Mahadze L.B. & Prilipko L.I., 1975, Rastitel'nost' Kavkaza [Caucasus vegetation]. Nauka, Moscow: 1-233.

Gulisashvili V.Z., 1979, Osobennosti stroeniya gornyh lesov [Features of the structure of mountain forests] [in:]. Sinicyn S.G. (ed), Mountain forests. Lesnaya promyshlennost', Moscow: 29-40.

Gvozdetsky N.A., 1963, Kavkaz. Ocherk prirody. [Caucasus. Essay of Nature]. Geografgiz, Moscow: 1-264.

Hill W. & Pickering C.M., 2006, Vegetation associated with different walking track types in the Kosciuszko alpine area, Australia. Journal of Environmental Management 78(1): 24-34.

Ignesti S. & M. Paci, 1989, Natural regeneration of silver fir in the Vallombrosa forest. Annali-Accademia Italiana di Scienze Forestali 38: 541-584.

Kazankin A.P., 1984, Ocenka stepeni antropogennoj degradacii gornyh ehkosistem po izmeneniyu lesistosti bassejnov rek [Assessment of the degree of anthropogenic degradation of mountain ecosystems by changing the forest cover of river basins]. Russian Journal of Ecology 6: 12-17.

Klopov A.A., 1960, Lesorazvedenie na Stavropol'e. Kratkij istoricheskij ocherk [Forestry in the Stavropol region. A brief historical essay]. Materials on the study of the Stavropol Territory 10: 21-35.

Kolakovskij A.A., 1961, Rastitel'nyj mir Kolhidy [Flora of Colchis]. MOIP, Moscow: 1-460.

Makunina A.A., 1986, Fizicheskaya geografiya gornyh regionov SSSR [Physical geography of the mountainous regions of the USSR]. MGU, Moscow: 1-166.

Mamedov T.M., 1960, Selevye potoki i lesovodstvennye mery bor'by s nimi [Mudflows and silvicultural control measures]. Goslesbumizdat, Moscow-Leningrad: 1-90.

Nakhutsrishvili G., 2013, The Vegetation of Georgia (South Caucasus). Springer, New York: 1-274.

Nishimura T.B., 2006, Successional replacement mediated by frequency and severity of wind and snow disturbances in a Picea-Abies forest. Journal of Vegetation Science 17: 57-64.

Nozhenko V.S., 1968, Tipy lesa vysokogornoj chasti Kislovodskogo leskhoza [Types of forest in the highland part of the Kislovodsk forestry]. Proceedings of the Kharkov Agricultural Institute. Lesotypological studies: 72(109): 269-274.

Orlov A.Yа., 1951, Temnohvojnye lesa Severnogo Kavkaza [Dark-coniferous Forests of the North Caucasus]. AN USSR, Moscow: 1-256.

Packham J.R., Thomas P.A., Atkinson M.D. & Degen T., 2012, Biological Flora of the British Isles: Fagus sylvatica. Journal of Ecology 100: 1557-1608.

Paridari I.C, Jalali S.G., Sonboli A., Zarafshar M. & Bruschi P., 2013, Leaf macro- and micro-morphological altitudinal variability of Carpinus betulus in the Hyrcanian forest (Iran). Journal of Forest Research 24: 301-307.

Phillips S.J., Anderson R.P. & Schapire R.E., 2006, Maximum entropy modeling of species geographic distributions. Ecological Modelling 190: 231-259.

Phillips S.J. & Dudik M., 2008, Modeling of species distributions with MAXENT: new extensions and a comprehensive evaluation. Ecography 31: 161-175.

Piotrovskij V.B. (ed.), 1988, Istoriya narodov Severnogo Kavkaza s drevnejshih vremen do konca XVIII v. [The history of the folks of the North Caucasus from ancient times to the end of the 18th century]. Nauka, Mockow: 1-554.

Potto V.A., 2006, Kavkazskaya vojna [Caucasian war], Vol. 1. Centrpoligraf, Moscow: 1-286.

Potto V.A., 2008, Kavkazskaya vojna. Yermolovskie vremena [Caucasian war. Times of Yermolov], Vol. 2. Centrpoligraf, Moscow: 1-312.

Safarov I.S., 1982, Ohrana gornyh ehkosistem i voprosy racional'nogo prirodopol'zovaniya v Azerbajdzhanskoj SSR [Protection of mountain ecosystems and environmental management in the Azerbaijan SSR]. Russian Journal of Ecology 6: 61-63.

Sahno-Ustimovich P.M., 1826, Opisaniya chechenskogo pohoda, 1826 [From the "Description of the Chechen campaign, 1826"], [in:] A.S. Fomichev (ed.), Griboedov A.S. in the memoirs of contemporaries. Hudozhestvennaya literatura, 1980, Мoscow: 122-123. (

Scheldeman X. & Zonneveld M., 2010, Training manual on spatrial analysis of plant diversity and distribution. Bioversity International, Rome: 1-179.

Sillero N. & Tarroso P., 2010, Free GIS for herpetologists: free data sources on Internet and comparison analysis of proprietary and free/open source software. Acta Herpetologica 5(1): 63-85.

Sokolov S.Yа., Svyazeva O.A. & Kubli V.A., 1977, Arealy derev'ev i kustarnikov SSSR [Areas of trees and shrubs of the USSR], Vol.1. Nauka, Leningrad: 1-164.

Tanfil'ev V.G., 1976, Nekotorye svedeniya ob izmenenii rastitel'nosti Stavropol'ya za poslednie stoletiya [Some information about the changes in the vegetation of Stavropol over the past century]. Materials on the study of the Stavropol Territory 14: 39-45.

Tumadzhanov I.I., 1959, K istorii rastitel'nyh landshaftov zapadnoj chasti Skalistogo hrebta [To the history of plant landscapes in the western part of the Rocky Ridge]. Proceedings of the Tbilisi Botanical Institute 20: 363-410.

Yermolov A.P., 1868, Zapiski Alekseya Petrovicha Yermolova. Vol. 2. St. Petersburg: 431-432.

Zaurbekov Sh.Sh., 2012, Sovremennye klimaticheskie izmeneniya i ih vliyanie na landshaftnuyu strukturu regiona (na primere Severnogo Kavkaza) [Current climate changes and their impact on the landscape structure of the region (on the example of the North Caucasus)]. Dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Geographical Sciences. Grozny State Oil Technical University, Grozny: 1-306.

Partnerzy platformy czasopism