Natural and Anthropogenic Dynamics of Vegetation in the Aral Sea Coast
American Journal of Environmental Protection
Volume 4, Issue 3-1, May 2015, Pages: 136-142
Received: Feb. 26, 2015; Accepted: Mar. 1, 2015; Published: Jun. 25, 2015
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Author
Dimeyeva Liliya, Institute of Botany & Phytointroduction /Ministry of Education & Science, Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan
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Abstract
Natural dynamics (primary successions) is studied in the dry seabed of the Aral Sea. Long-term studies of vegetation have identified three types of primary successions: psammosere, halosere and potamosere (sere of shrubby riparian vegetation). They differ by soil texture and salinity, patterns of temporal dynamics, and stages, selected on a basis of ecological-physiognomic features of dominant plants. Late seral stages were identified for succession types: psammophytic shrub (Calligonum spp, Astragalus brachypus, etc.) for psammosere; haloxerophytic and xerophytic dwarf semishrubs (Anabasis salsa, Artemisia pauciflora, A. terrae-albae) for halosere. There is a change of a dominant plant and succession dynamics in late seral stages in potamosere (Tamarix spp. → Calligonum spp, Haloxylon aphyllum, Artemisia terrae-albae). Anthropogenic dynamics of vegetation (secondary successions) depends on factors of disturbance. There is a set of anthropogenic factors causing degradation of vegetation cover: (1) agricultural: overgrazing, haymaking, plowing, clearing trees and shrubs; (2) linear structures (paved and dirt roads); (3) water management: construction and operation of hydraulic structures, fluctuation in river runoff and the sea level, disturbance in the natural flooding regime; (4) fires; (5) recreations. The leading factors in the region are connected with water management and irrigation. To identify the dynamics of plant communities and potential degradation trends, there are series of shifts (successional series): hydro-, xero-, halo-, psammo- seres characterizing moisture content and edaphic environments. Changes in the hydrologic regime of the Syrdarya river, building of the hydraulic structures lead to reduction of hydromorphic vegetation and a change it into halophytic desert. The construction of the Kokaral dam and restoration of the Small Aral Sea has led to the rehabilitation of wetlands and plant diversity. Hydrogenous succession facilitated a gradual recovery of populations of rare species listed in the Red Data Book of Kazakhstan, IUCN, Europe (Scirpus kasachstanicus, Nymphoides peltatum, Salvinia natans, Typha minima).
Keywords
Aral Sea, Primary, Secondary Successions
To cite this article
Dimeyeva Liliya, Natural and Anthropogenic Dynamics of Vegetation in the Aral Sea Coast, American Journal of Environmental Protection. Special Issue:Applied Ecology: Problems, Innovations. Vol. 4, No. 3-1, 2015, pp. 136-142. doi: 10.11648/j.ajep.s.2015040301.31
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