Central Forest Nature Reserve, Russia


The Central Forest State Natural Biosphere Reserve is a specially protected natural area located in the southwestern part of the Valdai Upland, in the Tver region, in the upper reaches of the Mezha River north of the city of Nelidovo.

The State Central Forest Reserve was established on May 4, 1930 by decree of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR, and by Decree No. 1303 of December 31, 1931, its boundaries were established. In 1986, the reserve was assigned the status of a biosphere. Its total area is 24,447 hectares, the buffer zone is 46,061 hectares. The total area of ​​the protected area (including the protected area) is 705 km². The nature conservation role of the Central Forest Reserve is determined by the fact that it contains a significant array of indigenous landscapes. Located on the watershed of the Volga and the Western Dvina, it carries out important water protection functions.


Physical and geographical characteristics

The Central Forest State Biosphere Reserve (TsLGBZ) is located on the territory of the Nelidovsky, Andreapolsky and Selizharovsky districts of the Tver region. Its geographical coordinates are 56 ° 26´ ... 56 ° 31´ s. sh. 32 ° 29´… 33 ° 29´ E e. This is an area of ​​moderate continental climate. The average air temperature is 3.6 ° C. The average July temperature is + 15.2 ... + 17.5 ° С, the average January temperature is −5.1 ... −11.0 ° С. The growing season lasts 130 days. Annual precipitation averages 700 mm. The average value of Selyaninov's hydrothermal coefficient is 1.6. The sum of active soil temperatures at a depth of 20 cm ranges from 1600 to 2200 ° C. The total area of ​​the reserve changed: the original - 31,900 hectares, according to the decree of 1931 - 24,447 hectares, in 1989 - 21,348 hectares, in 2013, according to the website, - 24,415 hectares. The protected zone is 46,061 ha.

The largest rivers of the reserve: Tudovka, Zhukopa and Tyudma - flow into the Volga. The Mezha River belongs to the basin of the Western Dvina. The hydrological regime of the reserve is significantly influenced by raised bogs, especially the largest ones - Katin moss and Staroselsky moss.

The reserve includes a part of the ancient Okovsky forest, mentioned in the "Tale of Bygone Years" as the geographical center of Russia.


Flora and fauna

On the territory of the reserve, 240 species of birds are registered, about 546 species of higher vascular plants are found, there are 56 species of mammals, 5 species of reptiles, as well as 6 species of amphibians, 212 species of birds, 18 species of fish.

The natural complex of the reserve is typical for the southern taiga subzone and is the standard of the primary biogeocenotic cover of the vast area of ​​moraine relief in the central part of the Russian Plain. Here, the only complex of southern-taiga spruce forests in Europe, not affected by felling, has been preserved. In the structure of the vegetation cover, it occupies a dominant position (47% of the area). In complex spruce forests, spread out on well-drained hills and have never been logged, there are huge spruces reaching forty meters in height. The second tier contains linden, elm, ash, oak. The largest areas are occupied by green moss spruce forests, along river and stream valleys - by tamed spruce forests. About 40% of the forest area is occupied by birch and aspen forests, which have arisen as a result of falls and fires. Pine forests grow on 10% of the reserve and are represented by swampy communities with low-productive forest stands. Black alder forests (1–2%) are located in the valleys of rivers and streams. About a fifth of the reserve is occupied by sphagnum bogs, the largest of which, Katin moss, has an area of ​​almost three thousand hectares. Raised sphagnum bogs occupy about 4% of the reserve area. The forest area of ​​the reserve is characterized by large areas of windblown areas caused by hurricanes. The most severe tree falls were caused by the 1987 hurricane.

The vegetation cover of the territory changed depending on changes in natural conditions. After the retreat of the glacier, the phases of forest vegetation successively replaced each other. At the beginning of the interglacial period, polydominant broad-leaved forests enter the territory, which became widespread during the optimum. At the end of the interglacial and the beginning of the Valdai glaciation (80-10 thousand years ago), the following changes took place: birch-pine forests with the participation of spruce, birch forests and light forests, forest-tundra landscapes of the periglacial type. After the retreat of the Valdai glacier in the boreal period of the Holocene, pine and birch forests with the participation of spruce prevailed on the territory of the reserve. Herbaceous phytocenoses have arisen along the shores of post-glacial reservoirs. By the end of the period, broadleaf breeds had spread. In the Atlantic period deciduous forests became widespread. For the diagrams of the CLGBZ on spore-pollen analysis, a characteristic feature is the high role of spruce forests in the composition of vegetation.

Since the middle of the Sub-Atlantic period, the role of birch in the composition of vegetation has increased. In the Subatlantic period, secondary birch forests are widespread.

In the scheme of botanical-geographical zoning of Russia, the territory of the reserve belongs to the zone of coniferous-deciduous forests. But the nature of the relief, with a weak permeability of the parent rocks and periodically excessive atmospheric moisture, along with other factors, contribute to the fact that the territory of the reserve is dominated not by zonal coniferous-deciduous forests, but by spruce forests of the southern taiga type in combination with coniferous-deciduous forests and fragments broadleaf forests. Sphagnum and shrub pine forests (rosemary, blueberry, lingonberry) grow on the raised bogs. The valleys of rivers and streams, as well as the hollows of temporary streams, are occupied by forests of the herb-swamp group of associations (spruce, horsetail-fern, fern-meadow, black alder-meadow and etc).


The reserve is studying the structure, dynamics and productivity of spruce and spruce-deciduous forests.

Shrews, mole, gray and forest bank voles are common among small mammals; there are yellow-throated and field mice, baby mouse. Of the larger rodents, the common squirrel and the flying squirrel should be mentioned. The water rat and two introduced species - muskrat and beaver - live in reservoirs. Hare is common. Predators are numerous: pine marten, dark polecat, otter, weasel, ermine, fox. The European mink, apparently, remained clean in the reservoirs of the reserve, which makes it a reserve for the settlement of this species, replaced by the American mink. The Central Forest Reserve successfully “takes care of” the brown bear and lynx, maintaining a high level of their numbers, while they have disappeared or become very rare in its vicinity. The talented gamekeeper and zoologist V.S.Pazhetnov conducted in the reserve a cycle of brown bears, interesting in terms of ecology and behavior. Perhaps he was the first to track the tamed young bears right up to their lodging in dens and, having met them after coming out of a long winter sleep, to restore full contact with them. There are many elk among ungulates, a wild boar comes in, sometimes a roe deer flashes.

The forests of the reserve are densely populated with birds. The wood grouse, hazel grouse, black grouse are numerous, in the swamps - the ptarmigan. The gray crane nests. The forest birds of the passerine detachment are teeming; there are daytime predators - golden eagle, peregrine falcon, gyrfalcon, various owls live.

Soil cover
The structure of the soil cover of the reserve is characterized by a variety of soil combinations, confined to certain types of forests and differing in the composition of their components. The soil cover of the TsLGBZ is complex.

The complexity of the reserve's soil cover is determined by the variegation and heterogeneity of Quaternary sediments in terms of particle size distribution, the presence of fragments of carbonate rocks, polynomiality, a variety of mesorelief elements and, accordingly, a wide range of forest types with a complex parcel structure. The structure of the soil cover is significantly influenced by the wind-blowing phenomenon, which leads to mixing of the upper soil horizons, their enrichment with organic matter and the formation of a specific microrelief.

In accordance with the Classification and Diagnostics of Soils of the USSR in 1977, soils belonging to six soil types are found on the territory of the TsLGBZ: bog-podzolic, podzolic (including sod-podzolic), burozems, sod-gley, alluvial and bog soils. In the western part of the reserve, there are bog and peat soils of various thicknesses (mainly high), peaty-gray-weak and medium-podzolic surface and ground gley, peaty gray podzolic flowing humus ground gley, humus and peat-ground gley.

Sod-gley and alluvial soils are confined to the elements of the hydrographic network, occupying a generally small area. Swamp-podzolic and podzolic soils on the territory of the reserve occupy 22.2 and 28.5%, respectively, sod-podzolic soils occupy 32.1%, bog soils occupy about 13.1%, sod-gley soils, burozems and alluvial soils occupy the amount of 3.2%.

The relief in this area is one of the main factors in the differentiation of the soil cover. White-podzolic soils are formed on flat watershed surfaces under conditions of difficult drainage under boreal spruce forests (sphagnum-bilberry, blueberry-sphagnum and sphagnum spruce forests ).These soils experience periodic waterlogging, which leads to the formation of a thick horizon of peat litter and the development of recovery processes. The profile formula is as follows: T-H-Eih-E-Ecn-IIBD. Under conditions of greater moisture and local swamping, under sphagnum, horsetail-sphagnum and bilberry-sphagnum spruce forests, bog-podzolic soils are formed (peaty, peat-podzol-gley).