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w21.jpg (57595 bytes)The cluster type of the reserve, big biogeographical and landscape representation determines a wide spectrum of habitats in this territory. The whole complex of altitudinal zonality of the Ukrainian Carpathians is represented here - from elements of the foot-hill meadows and oak-groves to the alpine zone with meadow, rocky-lichen landscapes. The territory of the Carpathian biosphere reserve is covered, mainly, by forest vegetation, which occupies nearly 90% of its total area.The meadow coenosises occupy only 5% of the protected territory and are represented in the lowland flood-plains of the massif "Valley of Narcissi", in the upland area, and in the forest glades. The rest of the territory is occupied by the rocky outlets, stony placers and watercourses.

Forests are the prevailing type of vegetation in the reserve, a considerable part of which constitute the virgin forests. More than 25 tree species form the forest cover, 8 from which refer to the forest formation species. The oak, hornbeam-oak, oak-beech and beech-oak forests are spread in the flat, warmest part of Transcarpathia. They are represented in the reserve's territory in the botanical preserves "Chorna Hora" and "Yulivska Hora". The oak forests are formed by durmast oak (Quercus petraea), occasionally by Quercus polycarpa and Quercus dalachampii. The unique stunted oak phytocoenoses (Quercetum humile) are preserved here, which look, owing to their structure, like the south-European shibliaks (associations of Quercetum petraeae dalechampii phleosum phleoidis and Q. p. melicoso pictaepoosum). In outlets of the igneous rocks, the sole place in Ukraine, grow Fraxineto orni-Quercetum petraeae dalechampii phlooso-festucosum sulcatae and Fraxineto orni-Quercetum petraeae dalechampii melicosum pictae. The species of Quercetum petraeae ligustrosum, Quercetum petraeae cornosum and Quercetum petraeae asperulosum are also spread. The unique species for the Ukrainian Carpathians are also: Querceto petraeae-cerris ligustrosum and Tilieto argenteae-Quercetum petraeae staphylosum. Such species as Carpineto-Quercetum petraeae ligustrosum, Fageto-Quercetum petraeae asperulosum and Fagetum asperulosum are represented on the northern slope exposures. In general, the vegetation of this territory has a forest-steppe nature. The forests, formed by oak, are represented, besides the preserves, fragmentary in the warmest sites of the separate mountain protected massifs. The oak-beech and beech-oak forests grow in the Kuziyskiy massif on the lower hypsometric levels (360-630 m). The mostly distributed associations are: Fageto-Quercetum petraeae asperulosum and Quercetum petraeae-Fagetum luzulosum luzuloidae. The unique association of Fageto-Abieto-Quercetum petraeae dentariosum is also represented here. The most upland habitat in Ukraine of Quercus robus in the association of Querceto petraeae-Fagetum myrtillosum, is marked in the Kuziyskiy massif, at an altitude of 1090 m a.s.l. The small habitats of Qercus petraea are preserved, among the beech forests, in the southern part of the Uholsko-Shyrokoluzhanskiy massif, forming such associations as: Querceto-Fagetum asperulosum, Quercetum luzulosum luzuloidis and Fageto-Quercetum dentariosum.

While altitude is higher, the vitality of beech (Fagus sylvatica) increases. In optimal ecological conditions it formes the monodominant communities. The pure beech forests are widely represented in all mountain protected massifs. Practically, they form nearly the whole plant cover in the Uholsko-Shyrokoluzhanskiy massif; prevail in the Kuziyskiy massif and the landscape park "Stuzhytsa"; form a considerable part in the Maramoroskiy and Svydovetskiy massifs. They are found, fragmentally, only in the coldest and most upland Chornohirskiy massif. Their coenotic nucleus is formed by Fagetum dentariosum, F. symphitosum, F. caricosum pilosae, F. galiosum, F. asperulosum and F. athyriosum, occasionally by F. alliosum ursinea. The habitats of Acereto pseudoplatani-Fagetum, Fraxineto excelsioris-Fagetum, Fageto-Fraxineto-Aceretum pseudoplatanae mercurialidosum and others, are found in the rocky soils, where the vitality of beech reduces.

Through less favourable climatic conditions, beech forms the mixed stands of trees, represented, to a certain degree, in all mountain protected massifs. The largest areas in the reserve occupy such phytocoenoses as: Piceeto-Abieto-Fagetum asperulosum, Abieto-Piceeto-Fagetum, Fageto-Abieto-Piceetum oxalidosum. The fir-beech forests with Abies alba, represented by Abieto-Fagetum oxalidosum and A.-F. athyriosum, are found rarely.

The formation of natural spruce forests (Piceetea abietae) occupies the highest altitude of the forest cover. The pure climax spruce groves form, within the reserve's territory, the upper forest line in Chornohora, Svydovets and Maramoroshi. They are mainly represented by Piceetum oxalidosum, P. polytrichosum, P. myrtillosum.

Amongst the azonal forest communities, the greatest attention should be paid to Alnetum incanum and Piceeto-Alnetum incanae, which form a narrow line along the mountain streams; Betuletum pendulae in the stony placers; Taxeto-Fagetum and Juniperetum sabinae, preserved in the limestone denudations.

The subalpine and alpine meadows with the fragments of elfin woodland thickets are found above the forest zone. The climax communities of Mugheta, Duschekieta and Junipereta sibiricae are spread in the subalpine vegetation zone of Chornohora and Maramorosh. Typical are rare communities with the prevailing Rhododendron kotschyi, Salix herbacea, S.retusa, and tall herbage species of Adenostyles alleariae and Cirsium waldschteinii. The considerable areas here occupy the grassy communities of Deschampsia caespitosa, Calamagrostis villosa; and smaller areas - Nardus stricta. The main part of these grass stands is formed by Anthoxanthum alpinum, Agrostis tenuis, Festuca rubra, and species of the genera Poa, especially P. alpina and P. pratensis. The elfin woodland, formed by Dushekia viridis and Juniperus sibirica, is spread in Svydovets, above the forest zone. Pinus mugo, and Rhododendron kotschyi are not found here, though a number of species, growing in the Ukrainian Carpathians are found only here: Drabba aizoides, Euphrasia salisbur-gensis, Saxifraga androsacea and others.

In the regional landscape park "Stuzhytsa" the upper forest line lies at an altitude of about 1200 m. It is formed by the elfin woodland of Fagus sylvatica, Acer pseudoplatanus and Sorbus aucuparia. In hollows, it changes into the fragments of Duschekia viridis thickets. The separate plants of Adenostyles alliariae, Cicerbita alpina, Poa chaixii, Veratrum album are found in its biogroups. The subalpine meadows with the shrub and meadow communities of Nardus stricta and Vaccinium myrtillus are found in the upper part of the watershed ridge ( higher than 1200 m). Small areas occupy the communities of Festuca rubra, F. picta, Deschamosia caespitosa, Poa chaixii etc.

The flat meadow phytocoenoses, represented by rich in herbs and grass-herbaceous communities, with the prevailing Festucetae rubrae, Deschampsieta caespitosae, Alopecurieta pratensii, Bromopsideta mollis are also conservated in the protected massif "Valley of Narcissi". The habitat of narcissus angustifoliate (Narcissus angustifolius), the population of which in this locality is preserved from the postglacial period and has a relict character, is protected here. There are several communities of this species, growing in the massif’s territory: Narcissus angustifolius + Sanguisorba officinalis + Anthoxanthum odoratum, N. angustifolius + Festuca pratensis + Holcus lanatus, Juncus conglomeratus + Filipendula vulgaris + N. angustifolius.

The water habitats of the reserve are represented mainly by numerous watercourses of the mountain character. The flat river is found only in the massif "Valley of Narcissi". The slight number of small stagnant ponds is found in the upland part of the Carpathian reserve.

Among the other habitats, one should note the subsurface barrens, both of artificial and natural character, located in the territory of several protected massifs.

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