Vegetation Change on Bolshoi Iremel Peak (Southern Urals, Russia) 1929 / 1999

Moiseev PA & Shiyatov SG

, 2003

This pair was taken in 1929 (L.N. Tyulina) and 1999 (P.A. Moiseev and S.G. Shiyatov) from above the upper limit of low open forest (1490 m) on the abrupt north-west-facing slope of Bolshoi Iremel Peak, South Urals. We estimate that the closed forest on the saddle in the middle of the photos, behind the bouldery slope in the foreground, has advanced upslope from 1260-1270 m to 1320-1330 m since 1929. Over the 70 years, elfin and low open spruce forests became closed (from 10-30% to 50-80%). Trees grew 4-6 times higher (from 1-2 m to 6-8 m) and their stem forms changed from contorted to shrubby and upright (data obtained from other photo points). In 1999, many new spruce were apparent on previously open ground at 1380-1410 m. There was also an increase in the area occupied by closed spruce forests (from 1220-1230 to 1280-1310 m asl) on the south-facing slope of the western spur of Maly Iremel, the mountain in the extreme left of the photos.

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Category: Paired pictures