Temnik, Republic of Buryatia, Russia
Situated about 170 km south-west of Ulan-Ude, Baikalskyi Biosphere Reserve comprises parts of the south shore and water bodies of the Lake Baikal as well as contiguous forests. The south of the reserve is cut off from he northern part by the flat-topped Khamar-Daban range running on an east-west axis, which slopes precipitously down to Lake Baikal from its highest point (2,323 meters) at Sokhor Mountain.
Given these changes in altitude, vegetation in the biosphere reserve varies a lot: Sphagnum bogs and forests of poplar (Populus spp.) and the monotypic willow-like Chosenia macrolepis occupy low-lying areas, while the river valleys contain bird cherry (Prunus padus), rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) and alder (Alnus glutinosa). The northern slopes of the mountains have taiga of Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis), spruce (Picea spp.), cedar (Pinus sibirica) and fir (Abies sibirica), while the southern slopes are covered with mixed larch (Larix sibirica) and pine (Pinus spp.) forests, which gives way to steppe vegetation on the foothills. At higher altitudes there is cedar elfin woodland and mountain tundra shrubs such as Rhododendron parvifolium. The high altitude meadows support thickets of dwarf Siberian pine (Pinus pumila) and birch (Betula middendorfii). 37 mammal species and 260 species of birds have been recorded.
Within the biosphere reserve, studies have been carried out on ecosystem changes of the terraces bordering southern Baikal and of the Khamar-Daban range. Long-term monitoring of climate, vegetation, animal populations and their harvesting has also been carried out. The former Lake Baikal Biosphere Reserve was split to Barguzinskyi and Baikalskyi Biosphere Reserves in year 2000. (Source: UNESCO)
Freshwater Ecoregion of the World : #606 Lake Baikal
Major Habitat Type: large lakes
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All Photographs Copyright 2015© Michel Roggo