Conservation of Relictual Rich Fens in the Middle Russia (Kostroma Oblast)

23 Aug 2016 Kostroma Oblast, Russia, Europe Communities | Plants

Artyom V. Leostrin

The investigation expects field assessment of primary vegetation and inventorying of indigenous species of the relictual rich fens recently found in Kostroma Oblast. Our main goal is to provide the scientifically based actions for organization of the nature protected areas to conserve these unique rich fens.


We started a study of the poorly investigated flora of Kostroma Oblast in 2011. The inventory of vascular plant diversity of mire ecosystems was the one of the main goals of our study. During field trips in the year 2013 we found two mires which appeared as the unique landscape features to the Middle Russia and extremely rare ecosystems in southern boreal zone of Europe concerning to their plant diversity.Presently the vascular flora of relictual fens in the Kostroma Oblast includes over 250 plant species according to our current original data. Among them 31 species are regionally protected and four species of the Bern Convention.The ecosystems of rich fens are substantially vulnerable to human interference. Several large minerotrophic mires in the Kostroma Oblast were completely destroyed during last decades.

In 2016-2017 we are planning study of two largest relictual rich fens with highest diversity of vascular plant species located in Chuhloma, Soligalich and Sudislavl’ districts of Kostroma Oblast. The aim of the study is to make the full inventory of plant species of these fens and to describe the pristine intact communities of unique ecosystems (probably related with carbonate substrate and highly mineralized ground water).

One of the goals of this project is mapping of all localities of rare and protected vascular plant species for straight conservational purposes. The assessment of the plant species richness of rich fens in Kostroma Oblast is second important goal of expected project.

Our special aim is to describe the rare plant communities of the studied relictual fens. Field expeditions are expected during spring-autumn (May to September) 2017 in Chuhloma, Soligalich and Sudislavl’ districts of the Kostroma Oblast. Other potential areas of interest will be considered during the initial stage of the work on the project. Exploration routs will be organized by using satellite images and map materials beforehand. Field works will include total revelation of vascular plant species on the basis of our previous studies and new herbaria collections. All populations of rare and protected species will be georepherenced by GPS-navigators. Description of fens vegetation will be conducted by adopted geobotany methods.

Main results of the project will issue following items:

• establishment of new protected areas;

• monitoring of rare plant communities and plant species populations;

• preparation of the second edition of the Red Book of Kostroma Oblast (2019).

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