Included here is the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian far east. It lies between the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Sea of Okhotsk to the west.

Kamchatkan Salix udensis Riparian Woodland

Most rivers in southern Kamchatka are flanked by broad open woodlands typically dominated by the near endemic Salix udensis (Salicaceae). In places these trees can grow to heights of 30 m or so. The soils are enriched by the washed up remains of dead salmon which die in their thousands, and give these forests a rich lushness that would not normally be possible. The few other associated trees include Chosenia macrolepis, Populus suaveolens and Sambucus racemosa. At ground level there are often dense thickets of the near endemic Filipendula kamtschatica (Rosaceae), which can reach heights of 2.5 m. Their fallen stems create a dark-brown peat and in some cases the Filipendula outlives the trees forming treeless thickets that can shade out most other species. Other tall growing herbs include Senecio cannabifolius and Urtica platyphylla, while smaller ground layer plants include Anemone amurensis, Angelica refractum, Anthriscus aemula, Corydalis ambigua, Equisetum hiemale, Geum macrophyllum and the endemic Chrysosplenium kamtschaticum (Saxifragaceae), Fritillaria camschatcensis and Trillium kamtschaticum (Liliaceae).

Kamchatkan Alnus hirsutum Wet Woodlands

Representing the counterpart of European alder (Alnus incana) woodlands, these are confined to wetter areas often replacing Salix udense woodland usually along rivulets. The undergrowth is somewhat similar, but tends to have less dense thickets of Filipendula kamtschatica. Consequently they usually have a more diverse ground layer flora. Some of the more typical of these include Allium victoriale subsp. platyphyllum, Calamagrostis langsdorffii, Heracleum lanatum, Majanthemum dilitatum, Struthiopteris filicastrum, Veratum album subsp. oxysepalum, Viola selkirkii and the two endemic species Cirsium kamtschaticum (Asteraceae) and Galium kamtschaticum (Rubiaceae).

Kamchatkan Alluvial Lowland Meadows

On many of the large flat river flood valleys, like those of the Bolshaja, Karymchina and Plotnikovaja in southern Kamchatka, extensive areas of alluvial soils have been created supporting diverse stands of vegetation. These usually form in a zone outside the Salix udense woodlands and represent some of the richest plant communities of this BioProvince. This is no doubt partly related to fact that these meadows are thought to be of great antiquity dating back to the late Tertiary Period. Common plants of the upper field layer include several endemic or geographically restricted species such as Artemisia unalaskensis, Cirsium kamtschaticum (Asteraceae), Geranium erianthum (Geraniaceae), and Sanguisorba tenuifolium (Rosaceae). The lower layers typically include Carex longirostrata, Moehringia laterifolia, Majanthemum dilatatum and Trientalis europaea subsp. artica, while other less common plants are Agrostis trinii, Botrychium multifidum, Rumex arifolius, Trollius riederianus and the endemic Viola kamtschatica (Violaceae). On the west coast the giant, near endemic umbellifer Angelophyllum ursinum (Apiaceae) gives these meadows an eerie atmosphere. It occurs as scattered plants emerging from the other herbaceous plant layer to a height of up to 3.5 m. Shrubs and trees tend to be few and far between but may include Crataegus chlorosarca and the endemic Daphne kamtschatica (Thymelaeaceae).


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