Biomass structure of Pinus sylvestris and Betula pendula forest ecosystems in pollution gradient near copper plant on the Southern Ural

Vladimir А. Usoltsev, Walery Zukow, Viktor P. Chasovskikh



In the gradient of pollution from the Karabash copper smelter in the Southern Urals (55° 29’ N, 60° 13’ E) in predominantly pure Scots pine and white birch stands, 12 and 34 sample plots are established, respectively, on which 42 and 56 model trees are taken, respectively, by stem diameter. The pollution gradient is expressed by the toxicity index suggested with a relative index of the content in the litter of three "technogenic" metals Cu, Pb и Fe. Regression analysis of the dependence of biomass and NPP of trees and stands from toxicity index is performed. There is a log-log-linear pattern of reduction of biomass and annual NPP of spruce-fir forest stands with increasing toxicity index in the direction to the source of pollution, but for the biomass of trees in the same gradient no consistent pattern is detected. The dry matter content (DMC) in all biomass components depends on the toxicity index and species at a statistically significant level: due to the increase in the toxicity index, it decreases in wood and bark, and increases in foliage and branches. At the same toxicity index, DMC in the branches and stem wood more in birch, but in the bark and foliage – in pine. In the wood and bark of a stem, this index is also related to the position in a stem: in the wood it decreases, and in the bark it increases in the direction from the bottom up


Scots pine; white birch; air pollution; copper smelter; model trees; sample plots, toxicity index; regression analysis

Full Text:



Agikov I.N., 2012, The influence of non-ferrous smelt atmospheric emissions on Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forests (South Urals). Vestnik Udmurtskogo Universiteta 2: 24-30 [in Russian].

Armand A.D., Kaydakova V.V., Kushnareva G.V. & Dobrodeev V.G., 1991, Determination of the limits of geosystems' stability on the example of the vicinity of the Monchegorsk metallurgical works. Izv. Akad. Nauk SSSR, Ser. Geografich 1: 93-104 [in Russian].

Augustaitis A.A., 1989, Features of formation of aboveground phytomass of pine young forests in conditions of pollution of the environment, [in:] Problems of ecological monitoring and modeling of ecosystems. Vol. 12. Gidrometeoizdat, Leningrad: 32-51 [in Russian].

Brassel P. & Schwyzer A., 1992, Ergebnisse der Waldschadeninventur 1992, [in:] Sanasilva – Waldschadenbericht 1992. WSL, Bern und Birmensdorf: 7-18.

Chernenkova T.V., 2002, Reaction of forest vegetation to industrial pollution. “Nauka”, Moscow. 190 pp. [in Russian].

Chernenkova T.V., Stepanov A.M. & Gordeeva M..M., 1989, Changes in the organization of forest phytocenoses in technogenesis. Zhurnal Obshchei Biologii 3: 388-394 [in Russian].

Houghton R.A., Hall F. & Goetz S.J., 2009, Importance of biomass in the global carbon cycle Journal of Geophysical Research 114: 1-13 (G00E03, doi:10.1029/2009JG000935).

Koroteeva E.V., Veselkin D.V., Kuyantseva N.B., Mumber A.G. & Chashchina O.E., 2015, Accumulation of heavy metals in the different Betula pendula Roth organs near the Karabash Copper Smelter. Agrokhimiya (Agrochemie) 3: 88-96 [in Russian].

Koroteeva E.V., Veysberg Е.I. & Kuyantseva N.B., 2011, Assessment of forest cenoflora in the impact zone of the Karabash Copper Smelter (Southern Urals). Izv. Samar. Sci. Center of RAS. 13 (1): 1005–1011 [in Russian].

Kozhukhova L.I., 2001, Assimilative resource of Russia and its place among the priorities of national forest policy, [in:] National forest policy of Russia / Proc. of the intern. scient.-practical conf. Moscow, MGUL: 154-156 [in Russian].

Kozlov M.V., Zvereva E.L. & Zverev V.E., 2009, Impacts of point polluters on terrestrial biota: Comparative analysis of 18 contaminated areas. Springer, Dordrecht, 466 pp.

Kucherov S.E. & Muldashev A.A., 2003, Radial increment of Scotch pine in the vicinity of the Karabash Copper Smelter. Lesovedenie 2: 43-49 [in Russian].

Kuyantseva N.B., Mumber A.G., Potapkin A.B. & Gavrilkina S.V., 2011, Reaction of birch stands to acid emissions generated by the Karabash Copper Smelter (Southern Urals). Bulletin of the Orenburg State University 12(131): 98-100 [in Russian].

Liepa I.Ya., Nicodemus O.E., Raman K.K. & Skudra A.Ya., 1986, Time course of pine forests reaction in conditions of changeable air pollution, [in:] Temporal aspects of modeling and forecasting in ecology. Collection of scientific papers. Latvian State University, Riga: 114-127 [in Russian].

Lukina N.V. & Nikonov V.V., 1991, Changes in the primary productivity of spruce stands under the influence of man-made pollution in the Kola North. Lesovedenie 4: 37-45 [in Russian].

Makhnev A.K., Trubina M.R. & Paramonov S.A., 1990, Forest vegetation in the vicinity of non-ferrous metallurgy, [in:] Natural vegetation of industrial and urbanized territories of the Urals. Ural Branch of Academy of Sci. USSR, Sverdlovsk: 3-41 [in Russian].

Martinyuk A.A., 2011, Peculiarities of formation of surface phytomass in young pine stands affected by industrial pollution. Lisoviy Zhurnal 2: 13-18 [in Russian].

Mikhailova I.N. & Vorobeichik E.L., 1995, Epiphytic lichenosynusia under conditions of chemical pollution: dose-effect dependencies. Russian Journal of Ecology 26(6): 425-431.

Nizametdinov N.F., 2009, Assessment of the state of pine stands in the conditions of agro-industrial pollution of the atmosphere by digital photographs of tree crowns and satellite photographs. Abstract PhD. USFEU, Yekaterinburg. 19 pp. [in Russian].

Pavlov I.N., 2006, Woody plants in conditions of technogenic pollution. Buryatia Publishing House, Ulan-Ude. 360 pp. [in Russian].

Savva Y. & Berlinger F., 2010, Sulphur deposition causes a large-scale growth decline in boreal forests in Eurasia. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 24 (GB3002, doi:10.1029/2009GB003749).

Sidaravicius I.M., 1987, Analysis of phytomass and morphological structure of crowns of a pine forest under atmospheric pollution, [in:] Research and simulation of growth of forests growing in the polluted natural environment. Collect. of scientific. papers. Lituanian Agrarian Academy, Kaunas: 45-55 [in Russian].

Stepanov A. M., 1988, Methodology of. bioindication and background monitoring of terrestrial ecosystems, [in:] Ecotoxicology and Environmental Protection. Moscow: 28-108 [in Russian].

Stepanov A.M., Kabirov R.R., Chernenkova T.V., Sadykov O.F., Khanislamov G.M., Nekrasova L.S., Butusov O.B. & Balcewicz L.A., 1992, Integrated environmental assessment of anthropogenic impact on ecosystems of southern taiga / A. M. Stepanov (ed.). Promekologia, Moscow. 246 pp. [in Russian].

Usoltsev V.A., Vorobeichik E.L. & Bergman I.E., 2012, Biological productivity of Ural forests under conditions of air pollutions: studying a system of regularities. Ural State Forest Engineering University, Yekaterinburg. 366 pp. [in Russian]. (

Usoltsev V.A., Vorobeichik E.L., Bornikov A.V. & Zhanabayeva A.S., 2011, Biological productivity of forests near the Ural copper smelters // Boreal Forests in a Changing World: Challenges and Needs for Actions. Proceedings of 15th IBFRA International Science Conference. August 15-21 2011. V.N. Sukachev Institute of Forest SB RAS, Krasnoyarsk: 193-197. (

Vlasenko V.E., Menshchikov S.L. & Andreev G.V., 2001, To the question of studying the productivity of pine forests in the conditions of regional industrial pollution. Forest Taxation and Forest Management 1: 145-147 [in Russian].

Vorobeichik E.L. & Khantemirova E.V., 1994, Reaction of forest phytocenoses to technogenic pollution: Dose-effect dependencies. Russian Journal of Ecology 25 (3): 171-180.

Xing Z., Bourque C.P.-A., Swift D.E., Clowater C.W., Krasowski M. & Meng F.-R., 2005, Carbon and biomass partitioning in balsam fir (Abies balsamea). Tree Physiology 25: 1207–1217.

Yarmishko V.T., 1990, State of pine assimilation apparatus, [in:] Influence of industrial atmospheric pollution on pine forests of the Kola Peninsula. V.L. Komarov Botanical Institute, Leningrad: 55-64 [in Russian].

Yarmishko V.T., 1997 Scots pine and atmospheric pollution in the European North. Research Institute of Chemistry, St-Peterburg. 210 pp. [in Russian].

Yusupov I.A., Zalesov S.V. & Luganskiy N.A., 1997, Aboveground phytomass of artificial young pine forests in the conditions of air emissions in the Middle Urals, [in:] Biological reclamation of disturbed lands. Institute of forest, Ural branch of RAS, Yekaterinburg: 266-278 [in Russian].

Zarubina I.A., 2011, Assessment of the state of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) plantations under conditions of air pollution (Ust-Ilim district, Irkutsk region). PhD Abstract. SibGTU, Krasnoyarsk. 17 pp. [in Russian].

Zvereva E.L. & Kozlov M.V., 2012, Changes in the abundance of vascular plants under the impact of industrial air pollution: A meta-analysis. Water Air and Soil Pollution 223 (5): 2589–2599. (DOI: 10.1007/s11270-011-1050-z).

Partnerzy platformy czasopism