Above-ground phytomass and chemical composition dynamics of Stipeta Zalesskii phytocenosis in Ural-Ilek interfluves


plant communities
above-ground phytomass
forb-fescue-feather grass stepp

How to Cite

Dusaeva, N. V., Kalmykova, O. G., & Dusaeva, G. K. (2022). Above-ground phytomass and chemical composition dynamics of Stipeta Zalesskii phytocenosis in Ural-Ilek interfluves. Acta Biologica Sibirica, 8, 857–870. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7749918


We carried our investigationsin one of the typical phytocenosesof the Trans-Volga-Kazakhstan herb bunchgrass steppes underprotected regime conditions. Forb-fescue-feather grass steppe community (Stipa zalesskii, S. lessingiana, Herbae stepposae) with Helictotrichon desertorum (Less.) Nevski and petrophytous elementswere considered as a model. The dynamics of the above-ground phytomass stocks of this community was on the “Burtinskaya steppe” site in the Orenburg State Nature Reserve using thesquare sample cut method. The content of the main macroelements N, K, Na, Ca, P, and Mg is determined. The Federal State Budgetary Institution and the State Agrochemical Service Center “Orenburgsky” conducted the analysis of the plant samples.The resultsobtained were compared with the available literary data. Statistical analysis using the nonparametric Mann-Whitney U-test (α=0.05) in Statistica 6.1 revealed significant differences in the content of some macroelements between the drought year 2015 and the wet year 2016. The share of cereals (dominant community Stipa zalesskii Wilensky, codominant S. lessingiana Trin. & Rupr.), both in living above-ground phytomass and in dead grass, have been prevailing. The following series of accumulation of elements: N>K>Na>Ca>P>Mg was common for both fractures in most reference periods. The above-ground phytomass stocks in the examined community ranged from 335 g/m² to 404 g/m² in 2015 and from 525 g/m² to 678 g/m² in 2016. The findings obtained complement the available data for grasslands and pastures, present the opportunity to assess them comparatively with reference to standard and steppe zones, and serve as the foundation for further monitoring.



Abaturov BD (2005) Food resources, food supply and viability of herbivorous mammal populations. Zoological Journal 84 (10): 1251–1271. [In Russian]

Abaturov BD, Kulakova NYu (2010) Role of animal pasture and steppe fires in the nitrogen and ash elements cycling in the pasture ecosystems. Arid Ecosystems 2 (42): 54–64. [In Russian]

Bakiev AG, Balkin AS, Barbazyuk EV, Galaktionova LV, Gorelov RA, Dusaeva GKh, Kalmykova OG, Kin NO, Klyonina AA, Maksutova NV, Nemkov VA, Pavleychik VM, Plotnikov AO, Polyakov DG, Soroka OV, Khlopko YuA, Khramova YuA, Shiryaeva OS, Shumyatskaya OA (2017) Experience in organizing monitoring studies of changes in steppe ecosystems after a fire: Approaches and methods. "Yuzhny Ural", Orenburg, 108 pp. [In Russian]

Bazilevich NI (1962) Exchange of mineral elements in various types of steppes and meadows on chernozem, chestnut soils, and saline soils. In: Zonn SV (Ed.) Problems of Soil Science. Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Moscow, 148–206 p. [In Russian]

Bazilevich NI (1993) Biological productivity of ecosystems of Northern Eurasia. Nauka, Moscow, 293 pp. [In Russian]

Bazilevich NI, Titlyanova AA, Smitnov VV, Rodin LE, Nechaeva NE, Levin FI (1978) Methods of studying the biological cycle in various natural zones. Mysl, Moscow, 181 pp. [In Russian]

Belnap J (2011) Biological phosphorus cycling in dryland regions. In: Bünemann E, Oberson A, Frossard E (Eds) Phosphorus in Action. Soil Biology 26: 371–406. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-15271-9_15

Bolyshev NN, Vorobyova LE (1958) On the issue of the role of vegetation in the formation of salt lakes. Bulletin of the Moscow State University 2: 97–108. [In Russian]

Bulatov AP, Lushnikov NA, Uskov GE (2016) Chemical composition and energy value of green feed n vegetation phases and discharging cycles. Bulletin of the Kurgan State Agricultural Academy 4: 27–32. [In Russian]

Dell C, Williams M, Rice Ch (2005) Partitioning of nitrogen over five growing seasons in tallgrass prairie. Ecology 86: 1280–1287. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/03-0790

Dusaeva GKh, Kalmykova OG, Dusaeva NV (2019) Fire influence on dynamics of aboveground phytomass in steppe plant communities in the Burtinskaya Steppe (Orenburg State Nature Reserve, Russia). Nature Conservation Research 4 (1): 78–92. https://dx.doi.org/10.24189/ncr.2019.050

Evseev VI (1954) Pastures of the Southeast. Chkalov Publishing House, Chkalov, 339 pp. [In Russian]

Grishina LA, Samoilova EM (1971) Accounting of biomass and chemical analysis of plants. Moscow University Press, Moscow, 99 pp. [In Russian]

Ilyin VB (1985) The elemental chemical composition of plants. Nauka, Novosibirsk, 129 pp. [In Russian]

Kalmykova OG (2010) Patterns of distribution of steppe vegetation in the "Burtinskaya Steppe" (State Reserve "Orenburgsky"). Problems of geoecology and steppe science. Development of a scientific school at the Institute of the Steppe of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences 2: 235–245. [In Russian]

Kalmykova OG (2012) Plant communities of the Stipeta zalesskii formation in the "Burtinskaya Steppe" (State Reserve "Orenburgsky"): distribution, ecology, classification. Bulletin of the Orenburg Scientific Center of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences 4: 1–16. [In Russian]

Kidin VV (2016) Agrochemistry. Prospect, Moscow, 603 pp. [In Russian]

Kin NO, Kalmykova OG, Maksutova NV, Dusaeva GKh (2015) Approaches to monitoring studies of the impact of fires on the vegetation cover of steppe specially protected natural territories (SPNA) (on the example of the section “Burtinskaya steppe” of the State Reserve “Orenburgsky”). Vestnik OSU 13: 123–126. [In Russian]

Kosolapov VM, Chuikov VA, Khudyakova KhK, Kosolapova VG (2019) Mineral Elements in feed and methods of their analysis. Ugreshskaya Tipografiya, Moscow, 272 pp. [In Russian]

Kovács M, Turcsányi G, Engloner A (2000) Chemical composition of the plants of loess steppes in Hungary. Acta Botanica Croatica 59 (1): 145–156.

Kurkin KA (1986) System specifics of programming the productivity of the above-ground mass of meadow phytocenosis. In: Productivity of hayfields and pastures, Novosibirsk, 29–34 p. [In Russian]

Kuznetsov VV, Dmitrieva GA (2019) Plant physiology in two volumes. 4th edition. Textbook for baccalaureate. Volume 2. Yurait Publishing House, Moscow, 459 pp. [In Russian]

Lambers H, Chapin FS, Pons TL (2008) Plant physiological ecology. Springer, New York, 255–320 p. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-78341-3

Larin IV, Aghababyan ShM, Larina VK, Rabotnov TA, Kasimenko MA, Lubskaya AF (1956) Fodder Plants of Hayfields and Pastures of the USSR. Volume 3. Moscow University Press, Moscow, 880 pp.

Luo W, Zuo X, Ma W, Xu C, Li A, Yu Q, Knapp A, Tognetti R, Dijkstra F, Li M, Han G, Wang Z, Han X (2018) Differential responses of canopy nutrients to experimental drought along a natural aridity gradient. Ecology 99 (10): 2230–2239.

Mathews BW, Miyasaka SC, Tritschler JP (2016) Mineral nutrition of C4 forage grasses. In: Moser LE, Burson BL, Sollenberger LE (Eds) Warm-season (C4) grasses. Agron. Monogr. 45. ASA, CSSA, and SSSA, Madison, WI, 217–265 p.

McDonnell RP, Staines MvH, Bolland MDA (2018) Determining the critical plant test potassium concentration for annual and Italian ryegrass on dairy pastures in south-western Australia. Grass and Forage Science 73: 112–122. https://doi.org/10.1111/gfs.12286

Miroshnichenko NV (1976) The ash composition of the dominant species. In: Complex characteristics of the main plant communities of the desert steppes of Central Kazakhstan. Nauka, Leningrad, 81–84 p. [In Russian]

Miroshnikov SA, Kudasheva AV, Rodionova AG, Sidorov, YuN (2017) Natural pastures of the Orenburg region and their use. Vestnik Myasnogo Skotovodstva 1 (75): 100–106. [In Russian]

Miroshnikov SA, Sidorov YuN, Malysheva AV, Rodionova AG, Kornejchenko VI, Dokina NN (2011) The fodder value of a natural pasture, depending on the time of its main use in conditions of abnormal drought. Vestnik Myasnogo Skotovodstva 1 (64): 96–99. [In Russian]

Morozova LM (1990) Reserves and structure of above-ground phytomass of steppe communities of the Southern Urals due to their pasture degradation. In: Structure, productivity, and dynamics of vegetation cover. Ural Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Sverdlovsk, 3–17 p. [In Russian]

Ogureeva GN (Ed.) (1999) Zones and types of vegetation zones in Russia and adjacent territories. Map for higher educational institutions (scale 1: 8,000000). Ekor, Moscow, 2 pages of map and 64 pages of text. [In Russian]

Pavleychik VM (2015) The spatial and temporal structure of fires in the protected area “Burtinskaya steppe.” Bulletin of the Orenburg Scientific Center of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences 4 (1): 1–11. [In Russian]

Perelman AI (1975) Geochemistry of the Landscape. Vysshaya Shkola, Moscow, 341 pp. [In Russian]

Rodin LE, Remezov NP, Bazilevich NI (1968) Methodological Guidelines for the Study of the Dynamics and Biological Cycle in Phytocenoses. Nauka, Leningrad, 145 pp. [In Russian]

Safronova IN, Kalmykova OG (2012) Zoning issues and the role of nature reserves in their solution. Izvestia of Samara Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences 1 (6): 1638–1641. [In Russian]

Sechin VA (2017) Composition, nutritional value and digestibility of feed: a reference guide. OGAU Publishing Center, Orenburg, 92 pp. [In Russian]

Sukachev VN, Lavrenko EM (1952) A Brief Guide for Geobotanical Research Due to Protective Afforestation and the Creation of a Stable Forage Base in the South of the European Part of the USSR. USSR Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 192 pp. [In Russian]

Walter G, Alyokhin VV (1936) Fundamentals of Botanical Geography. Biomedgiz, Leningrad, 715 pp. [In Russian]

Yaroshenko PD (1969) Geobotany. Prosveshchenie, Moscow, 200 pp. [In Russian]

Acta Biologica Sibirica is a golden publisher, as we allow self-archiving, but most importantly we are fully transparent about your rights.

Authors may present and discuss their findings ahead of publication: at biological or scientific conferences, on preprint servers, in public databases, and in blogs, wikis, tweets, and other informal communication channels.

ABS allows authors to deposit manuscripts (currently under review or those for intended submission to ABS) in non-commercial, pre-print servers such as ArXiv.

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:


    1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
    2. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
    3. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...