The Arkhangelsk (Ustiayanskaya) research and educational ecological station is located in Ustiayanskyi district of the Arkhangelsk Region in the interfluve area of Vaga and Northern Dvina rivers. Ustiayanskaya is a derivative from name of river Ustiye. Hence the derived words - Ustiayanskyi district, Ustiayany. For better referencing one should look out for a large town of Kotlas - station is located 200 km westwards from this town.
This is a central sector of a middle taiga of European Russia. Here the interfluvial plains are dominated by spruce forests. Areas affected by large-scale clear-cutting of a forest (and deforestation affected а great spaces), are covered by spruce-pine and birch forests. The flattened interfluve areas are occupied by huge surfaces of upland peat moss bogs with cranberry. The terrains of ancient agriculture present a landscape of forest-field look. Here the parcels of meadows and fields alternate with fields and "islands" of forest. There are a lot of visual traces of Quarternary glaciations - one could often see tillstones of huge size.
The department of biogeography studies flora and fauna at two key-sites. First one - near Zayacheritskaya village - represents the area that is placed under agricultural cultivation. The area covered by forest amounts to less that 40 per cent. Meadows and fields, small villages abound here. The second key-site near Chadroma village is located at the taiga territory where such areas occupy more than 80 per cent. Here the solid spruce forests are interlaced with peat moss bogs.
General idea about the studied territory could be obtained form photos accompanying this text.
The main lines of our research - structure and dynamics of vegetation and populations of mammals and birds. We work mainly in July with additional short-term (5-7 days) visits in February, May and September. In February we perform the winter route counting of mammals and birds. At the areas adjacent to station ecological routes are laid out. We collected and systematized information on geomorphology, soils features, flora and fauna.
We are interested n contacts with colleagues - biologists, biogeographers, ecologists, geographers.
The Chair of Biogeography carries out the assessment of the vegetation and animal world and their state for development of different scientific and technical projects and other environmental works.
Main publications about natural features of the terrain, flora and fauna of the station:
- Emelianova L.G., Goriayinova I.N., Miaylo E.G. The Life of Taiga. M., Arkhangelsk. 200
- Flora and fauna of Middle Taiga of Arkhangelsk Region (interfluve area of Ustie and Kokshenga). Moscow, 2003, 85 pp.
- Goriayinova I.N., Emelianova L.G., Rodman L.S. The virtuous and ornamental plants of Arkhangelsk Taiga. Moscow: Lomonosov Moscow State University, 2007. 189 pp.
- Emelianova L.G., Khoroshev A.B., Gavrilova I. P. Ustiayanskaya (Arkhangelsk) station // Research and educational geological stations of Russian higher educational institutions. Moscow, 2001, pp 257-283.
- Emelianova L.G. Rear and protected bird species of southern part of Arkhangelsk Region // Actual problems of study and protection of birds of Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. Kazan, 2001, p. 229.
- Emelianova L.G. The influence of economic use of middle taiga landscapes on changes in compositions of natural communities of rodents // The ecology of taiga forests. Syktyvkar, 1998.
- Levik L. Y., Emelianova L.G., Siniaykov E.V. The mammalian population of the central sector of the middle taiga of European Russia //Modern problems of zoo- and phylogeography of mammals. Scientific Press KMK. 2009. P. 45.
Fig. 1: Kokshenga is one of the most beautiful and clear rivers of the North of European Russia. The narrow band along the river is occupied by meadow vegetation, which is superseded by pine and birch forests.
The valley is dominated by lichen pine forests, practically unaffected by anthropogenic influences (fig. 2).
Bank swallows, making nests in diggings at the steep banks, nestle at slopes of Kokshenga shore (fig. 3).
Sand flats are populated by oyster catcher Haematopus ostralegus (oyster catcher), little ringer plover Charadrius dubius, common tern Sterna hirundo, common gull Larus canus. European curlew (Numenius arquata) is common, and in some places numerous on valley meadows alternating with forest islands (fig. 4).
Undulating land with gentle hills is typical for the area directly adjacent to station (fig. 5).
Small rivers and springs are flanked by dense heavy going thickets of trees and bushes. Interfluve areas are covered by meadows, forest islands and fields.
The second key-site near Chadroma village is dominated by spruce, pine and birch forests (fig. 6).
The prevalent coniferous species of the terrain are spruce (Picea excelsa, Picea obovata) and pine (Pinus silvestris). Unparalleled are forests of spruce and fir. In the Ustiansky district near Mitinskaya village the "most western" piece of such a forest with a good regeneration of fir is situated (fig. 7).