Vitality structure of populations of vegetative motile plants in forest ecosystems

I. N. Kovalenko

Abstract


Introduction. Population studies include many ways with the help of which one can evaluate the status of populations. One of the most promising and generally accepted ways is vitality analysis. Vitality analysis is undertaken to assess the viability of plant species on the basis of morphogenetic characteristics with the subsequent setting up of the ratio in the number of individuals of different vitality in a population. The basis of vitality analysis is the idea that a production process, growth and morphological structure of species defined in quantitative assessments provide a summary evaluation of its vital state.


Purpose. The goal of our study is to make vitality analysis of populations of three species of vegetative motile plants that grow in different phytocenoses: Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull. (I. Betuleto-Pinetum callunoso-myrtillosum, II. Pinetum callunoso-hylocomiosum, III. Querceto-Pinetum callunoso-hylocomiosum); Vaccinium myrtillus L. (I. Pinetum myrtilloso-hylocomiosum, II. Pinetum moliniosum-myrtillosum, III. Querceto-Pinetum myrtillosum, IV. Betuletum molinioso-myrtillosum, V. Betuleto-Pinetum franguloso-myrtillosum); Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. (I. Pinetum vaccinioso-myrtillosum, II. Betuleto-Pinetum vaccinioso-myrtillosum, III. Querceto-Pinetum vaccinioso-myrtillosum, IV. Pinetum vaccinioso-hylocomiosum).


Methods. The full-scale vitality analysis is conducted. The three key characteristics are identified for each species. Depending on the ratio in the population of individuals of different vitality, populations have been evaluated as prosperous, equilibrium or depressive. Integral evaluation of the population quality is index Q (Q = ½ (a+b)), the value of which is in the range of 0 to 0.5


Results. The resulting estimates of the vitality structure of populations of clone formative plants of subshrub layer of forests of the North-East of Ukraine can be considered quite reliable because they are based, in general, on the complete analysis of the morphological structure of 500 individuals of the species studied. The statistical reliability of the estimates of vitality structure of populations is primarily in the amplitude of  70-99%, and only in some cases - below 70%. The populations of heather belong to the category of depressive ones with the quality index of 0,167 and 0,088 in the two associations of Betuleto-Pinetum callunoso-myrtillosum and Pinetum callunoso-hylocomiosum. The population of C. vulgaris in the association of Querceto-Pinetum callunoso-hylocomiosum belongs to the category of prosperous one with the highest quality index of 0,500. Two populations (of the associations of Pinetum moliniosо-myrtillosum and Betuletum molinioso-myrtillosum) from the five studied populations of bilberry are prosperous, two populations (of the associations of Pinetum myrtilloso-hylocomiosum and Querceto-Pinetum myrtillosum) are depressive and one (of the association of Betuleto-Pinetum franguloso-myrtillosum) is equilibrium. Equilibrium populations of the four populations of V. vitis-idaea are registered in the associations of Pinetum vaccinioso-myrtillosum and Querceto-Pinetum vaccinioso-myrtillosum, whereas depressive populations are in the associations of Betuleto-Pinetum vaccinioso-myrtillosum and Pinetum vaccinioso-hylocomiosum.


Originality. The comprehensive vitality analysis of 11 populations of the three species of subshrub layer plants of forest ecosystems in Desnyansko-Starogutsky National Nature Park has been made.


 


Conclusion. The vitality level of populations turned out to be statistically significantly associated with such coenotic factors as age and density of forest stand. Population vitality increases with the stand age and density, reaching a maximum in forest associations, where age of forest forming woody species is 75-85 years, and density of leaf canopy is 0,75-0,85. The obtained estimate of the population structure of the studied species can be benchmarks for the organization of monitoring in Desnyansko-Starogutsky National Nature Park and to compare the status of populations prior to the introduction of the reservation conditions and afterwards.


Keywords


vitality structure; populations; vegetative motile species; forest ecosystems

References


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