Ladoga
Baltic Fund for Nature

Vegetation

The territory around Lake Ladoga is divided into several geobotanical districts and regions (Fig. 3.3.1.1 and 3.3.2.1).

I. The dominant type of vegetation to the north of Priozersk to the village of Impilahti is forests. The areas of pine and spruce forests are almost equal (45 and 35%). The lake shore is dominated by pine stands. They grow on rock outcrops and soils formed on coarse-grained deposits. Few spruce and mixed forests are associated with moraine deposits and talus of selka ridges and hills.

A typical feature of the territory is the wide distribution of lichen pine forests on cliffs. Up to 30% of the territory of these communities are exposed rocks with crustaceous lichens. Lichen pine stands on rocks are formed by Pinus sylvestris aged 100-160 years (Sambuk, 1986). Dwarf form of Juniper communis is characteristic of these forests. The herb layer is noted to have Calluna vulgaris, Vaccinium myrtillus, V. vitisidaea, Arctostaphylos uva-ursii, Empetrum nigrum, Festuca ovina, Lerchenfeldia flexuosa, Melampyrum pratense, Thymus serpillum. The lichen cover is dominated by Cladina stella- ris, to a lesser extent - C. arbuscula and C. rangiferina. Mosses are dominated by Pleurozium schreberi, Dicranum polysetum, Polytrichum juniperinum, P. piliferum.

Fragments of crowberry pine forests dominated by Empetrum nigrum occur on stony terraces along the Ladoga shore. Crowberry pine forests are also found further south on the Ladoga western shore. This plant community type cannot be seen anywhere else in the North-west.

Less common are reed grass pine forests located in valleys between selka ridges and on their slopes. Their herb layer typically contains Calamagrostis arundinacea, Vaccinium myrtillus, V. vitis-idaea, Pteridium aquilinum, Convallaria majalis, Melica nutans.

Wood sorrel spruce stands occur in forests growing by the lake, under terrace slopes and in depressions between selka ridges. The herb layer of the forests is inhabited by species typical of deciduous forests: Lathyrus vernus, Hepatica nobilis, Pulmonaria obscura. These forests are also found to contain maple. A forest strip of the south boreal nature stretches south along Ladoga western shore to Vladimirovka.

Another typical forest type on the north-western shore of Lake Ladoga is sphagnum pine forest (Sambuk, 1986). It grows in paludified depressions. They normally have the admixture of birch, and the herb layer contains Vaccinium uliginosum, Ledum palustre, Carex globularis, Vaccinium myrtillus. Abundant moss species are Polytrichum commune, Sphagnum russowii.

Small fragments of meadowsweet spruce forests grow along the shore. In addition to the dominant Filipendula ulmaria they host abundant hydrophilous species. A more rare type occurring in depressions between selka ridges is spagnum spruce forests, in enclosed depressions - haircap-moss spruce forests.

II. The north-eastern part of the Lake Ladoga area from Impilahti to Olonets belongs to the north-taiga subzone. The plant cover is basically formed by the combination of pine, pine-spruce, dwaft-shrub feathermoss spruce forests, predominantly bilberry spruce forests with raised and transitional bogs.

The hills and crystalline rock outcrops in the northern part of the shore are habitats of cowberry lichen pine forests, flat hill slopes - of bilberry pine forests. Plains between the hills are occupied by bilberry spruce and wood sorrel spruce forests.

A considerable part of the territory (which is typical also for the eastern and southern shores of the lake) is occupied by landscapes shaped as a series of beach ridges. The beach ridges are covered by pine forests, spaces between them - by fens. The fens are dominated by Carex lasiocarpa, C. rostrata, Menyanthes trifoliata, Eriophorum polystachion. The moss cover is absent or comprised of Sphagnum fallax, S. majus, S. cuspidatum. Sphagnum pine forests, lichen pine forests with Empetrum nigrum and feathermoss pine forests grow on the beach ridges.

Haircup moss spruce forests are found amid paludified pine forests, and bilberry birch forests occur among the hills occupied by pines.

III. The south-eastern, southern and south-western shores of Lake Ladoga include two regions - southern and western. The regions belong to the mid-taiga subzone.

IIIa. The southern region of the Lake Ladoga area encircles the lake shore from Olonets to the Morje river mouth. Its flat surface enhances swamping, and vast territories are occupied by mires. Forests are mainly represented by low forests. The territory is occupied chiefly by pine forests, smaller areas - by secondary deciduous forests and spruce stands. The dominant pine forest type is sphagnum pine forests (Sphagnum angustifolium, S. magellanicum, S. russowii, S. nemoreumThe area of spruce forests is insignificant. The most interesting type is wood sorrel spruce forests in the Gumbaritsy area, not far from the Ladoga shore. Also present are small fragments of bilberry-sphagnum spruce forests.

Secondary deciduous forests are commonly birch stands, less often - aspen and speckled alder stands. Most birch forests formed in place of cowberry pine stands, and belong to the cowberry and hair-grass types. Bilberry-reed grass birch forests grow on richer soils of the areas where bilberry spruce forests had been clear-cut.

The areas that had belonged to spruce forests are occupied also by aspen forests. The most common types are bilberry-bracker, bilberry-horsetail, reed grass-lime grass, or less frequently - ground-elder (Aegopodium podagraria), aspen forests. Their woody layer normally contains lime, maple; oak is present in undergrowth.

Speckled alder forests are mainly found in the areas formerly occupied by bilberry spruce stands. They are quite uniform, with the herb layer normally dominated by Rubus idaeus. Another typical landscape in the area is the above-described alternation of beach ridges and pine forests with wetlands between them. In this area the landscape is best represented in the Nizhne-Svirsky reserve and on the Ladoga southern shore between Syass and Pasha river estuaries.

Mires occupy a considerable area. The dominant type is raised bog with hollow-hummock complexes, but fens and transitional mires are also abundant, especially between the rivers Volkhov and Nazija. Sedge-cotton grass-horsetail sphagnum bogs and rare aapa-mires.

III b. The western region of the Lake Ladoga area lies from the Morje river estuary to the Reznoj promontory. It is a region of pine forests, raised bogs and transitional mires. The dominant type is cowberry pine stands with poor species composition. They include a large portion of pyrogenic heather-dominated forests. Fires caused forests to develop an admixture of birch, but pure birch stands are few. This part of the shore area is noted for abundant Arctostaphylos uvaursii. Bilberry-cowberry and fragments of cowberry-crowberry (Empetrum nigrum) pine stands, typical for further northern areas, grow closer to the lake. The area under spruce forests is insignificant. They are mainly represented by bilberry spruce stands. Species typical for oak associations are hardly present at all. It is only along the Morje river that maples and herbaceous species (Strellaria holostea, Asarum europaeum, Pulmonaria obscura) can be encountered.

Mires in the region are of the same type as in the southern region. Frequent are transitional sedge fens with Carex lasiocarpa, C. rostrara, and dwarf-shrub sphagnum bogs with or without pine. Growing in depressions in the midst of pine forests are Menyanthes trifoliata, Calla palustris, Comarum palustre. In the southern part of the region one finds a large raised bog Sokolje with flarks and hummocks. The shores of lake Volojarvi in the north of the bog are surrounded by sedge-sphagnum communities with Menyanthes trifoliata and Comarum paluctre.

IV. Lake Ladoga shore from lake Sukhodolskoje to Priozersk is terraced. Ridges and terrace tops are covered by lichen and lichen-feathermoss pine stands. The herb layer is dominated by Vaccinium myrtillus and Empetrum nigrum. Lichens and mosses are distributed evenly, in small patches. Many pine forests have been cut down or damaged by transport. Therefore, combinations with ┴alluna vulgaris and Calamagrostis epigeios are quite frequent. Flatter areas and depression often have bilberry and haircup moss (Polytrichum commune) pine stands.

Dry pine forests show occurrences of species typical of southern pine forests, e.g., Pulsatilla vernalis. Alongside with pine forests terrace tops are occupied by birch forests formed by Betula pendula andBetula pubescens, and dominated by Rubus saxatilis, Convallaria majalis and some grasses. On the top of the first terrace in the south of the area one sees wood sorrel and bilberry spruce forests. Speckled alder forests are rare. These are mainly wood sorrel alder forests with Aegopodium podagraria and maple undergrowth. Birch forests and meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) speckled alder forests dominated by Calamagrostis canescens are common under the terrace slopes. The territory from the foot of the terraces to the water edge is forested. A common type is wood sorrel spruce forests. Fragments of maple forests are present. Their largest area is situated 8 km to the north of the village of Zaostrovje. Wide-spread in the area near the shore are speckled alder forests, predominantly of the ground-elder type with abundant maple undergrowth.

Small mire patches, mainly raised bogs, occur in the southern part of the area. Limited areas with Sphagnum fuscum and pine are also present here.

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