SEMIARID INTERMONTANE DEPRESSONS OF THE NORTHERN CAUCASUS: LANDSCAPES AND LAND USE TRANSFORMATION
Petrushina M.N., Gunya A.N. SEMIARID INTERMONTANE DEPRESSONS OF THE NORTHERN CAUCASUS: LANDSCAPES AND LAND USE TRANSFORMATION // Arid ecosystems. 2021. V.27. № 4 (88). P. 32-40. | PDF
On the basis of long-term field studies in semiarid intermontane depressions of the North Caucasus, the features of their landscape structure and modern changes in landscapes associated with different levels of anthropogenic load have been revealed since the end of the 20th century. In the Itum-Kalinskaya depression, due to the termination of intensive economic use (mainly grazing) in the early 1990s, the pressure on landscapes decreased and the restoration of their biogenic components began. This led to the suspension of aridization, which was noted by many authors in the 1970s-1980s. In mountain meadow-steppe landscapes, the destruction of cultural and landscape elements (plow terraces, irrigation system, etc.) is taking place. In the Bylym Basin, with a general decrease in anthropogenic load in the 1990s, an extreme unevenness of its distribution was noted, which led to the degradation of some landscapes and an improvement in the state of others. The load on mountain-steppe landscapes has increased, which gradually transformed into anthropogenic modifications. The strongest anthropogenic disturbances are observed in landscapes on the slopes of the northern exposure, which are adjacent to the main residential and economic zone and are used almost all year round. The contrast between landscapes with different levels of use is increasing, mainly due to the greater pressure on them near settlements, while the landscapes distant from them may not be used at all.
Keywords: semi-arid depressions, North Caucasus, land use transformation, landscape change, landscape structure.
Financing. The work was carried out on the topic of the State Task of the Department of Physical Geography and Landscape Studies of Moscow State University «Factors and processes of spatio-temporal organization of natural and anthropogenic landscapes» (Contract no. 1.8, CITIS number — 121051300176-1), as well as on the topic of the State Task of the Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences (No. 0148-2019-0007) «Assessment of physical-geographical, hydrological and biotic environmental changes and their consequences for creating the foundations of sustainable nature management».