Under the state contract of the Institute of Forest Science Russian Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Tula region, the work on studying the distribution of lichen species included in the Red Book of the Tula region, and preparation of materials for the section “Lichens” for the second edition of the regional Red Book. During May and June of the current year, we conducted surveys in specially protected natural areas in Aleksin, Belevsky, Efremovsky, Zaoksky, Leninsky, Odoyevsky, Suvorovsky and Sheki districts and within the borders of Tula municipality. All zonal divisions of Tula oblast are covered: the southern border of coniferous-broadleaved forests (nature monuments Klyukva and Bolshoe Mokhovoe bogs), intrazonal pine forests on sandy terraces of the Oka River. Oka (nature monuments Varushitskiy Bor, Alexinskiy Bor), broad-leaved forest belt (forests of the Uda dacha, Krapiven reserve, green zone of the Velegozh tourist camp, etc.), forest-steppe part (nature monuments Krasnaya Gora, Kon-Kamen, Kamennaya doroga).

While the first edition of the regional Red Data Book usually gives an indication of which species are most rare, the second and subsequent editions should already be the result of the Red Data Book process. They should show the dynamics of the number of these species in the habitats already identified earlier and newly discovered, identify the leading limiting factors of distribution, change the status categories of certain species, and propose the most effective protection measures. It is possible that in the course of monitoring studies, other rare species in need of protection in the oblast will also be identified. Such species can be recommended for inclusion in the next edition of the regional Red Data Book.

Dr. Sci. in Biology, V.S. of the Laboratory of Ecology of Broad-leaved Forests at IFS RAS Muchnik, Evgeniya E.

We managed to identify about fifty locations of 23 species (out of 34) of lichen species protected in the Tula region, several more species are waiting for confirmation of correct identification. Generally, the integrity of communities in the surveyed natural areas is high enough to ensure the survival conditions of protected species. However, for example, monitoring of the state of populations of rare lichen species in the natural monument “Red Mountain” (Efremovsky District) showed that over the past decade and a half, increased recreational pressure and unauthorized removal of large boulders of sandstone have led to the extinction of at least three protected lichen species.

In the next two months, further work will be done to identify the collected materials and write an updated section “Lichens” for the second edition of the Red Book of the Tula region.

On the photo: Dr. E.E. Muchnik

Photo by E.V. Smirnova