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Farber S. K., Koshkarova V. L., Kuzmik N. S. Mapping the Holocene Forest Formations with the Use of Key Climate Indicators – Heat and Moisture

Holocene periods, forest types, relief, climate, patterns of heat and moisture distribution, mapping of forest formations


How to cite: Farber S. K., Koshkarova V. L., Kuzmik N. S. Mapping the Holocene forest formations with the use of key climate indicators – heat and moisture // Sibirskij Lesnoj Zurnal (Sib. J. For. Sci.). 2017. N. 6: 26–40 (in Russian with English abstract).

DOI: 10.15372/SJFS20170602

© Farber S. K., Koshkarova V. L., Kuzmik N. S., 2017

The article deals with the methodology of mapping the Holocene forest formations on the basis of the DEM and the key indicators of the climate – heat and moisture. The work is carried out by means of GIS. The test site is located within the boundaries of the axial West Sayan district of mountain taiga forests, which ensures homogeneity of natural and climatic conditions. Stages of the method: creation of rasters on groups of absolute heights, exposures and inclinations with their subsequent combination into a single Combine raster; obtaining the regularities of spatial distribution of heat and moisture and their representation in the form of rasters (digital models); and interactive mapping of the Holocene forests with various combinations of heat and moisture. The use of Combine raster makes it possible to refuse to use any other contours as – landscape, geomorphological, forest inventory. To determine parameters of climatic boundaries of forest formations, the types of forests are linked to the heat and moisture indicators. As a result of linking, a graphic image is produced, where forest formations and their productivity are located in a certain order. The mapping technique involves creating a dBASE table with a field containing information about forest formations. The row-wise change in the records of forest formations as they move to other values ​​of heat and moisture is performed interactively. Each next combination of heat and moisture on maps corresponds to a certain distribution of forest formations and site productivity (bonitet) classes. 1900 ± 65 years ago the river valleys were treeless, flat meadows occupied meadows, and the slopes were steppes. As the hypsometric level increases, larch stands, spruce-Siberian stone pine with an admixture of larch, Siberian stone pine-larch with an admixture of fir, and the Siberian stone pine formations appear. 2200 ± 100 years ago the tundra prevailed. Larch forests of V–Va classes of bonitet were located in river valleys. 2640 ± 70 years ago, landscapes were similar to modern ones. The differences (nowdays) – the river valleys are treeless, there are no pine forests, the larch belt is higher, the productivity of tree stands is generally higher, distribution of the Siberian stone pine and the Siberian stone pine-larch woodlands is less.

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