"Seven Larches" in Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug

Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug
2395 Ha
Test area operator
Arctic Research Center of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug
Krayev Gleb Nikolaevitch, leading researcher
+7 (34922) 4-41-32


  • Tyumen State University;
  • Institute of Geography, RAS
  • V.N.Sukachev Institute of Forest SB RAS

Carbon measurements test area "Seven Larches" – 2395,6 Ha

The site is located on the top and slopes of a hill composed of glacial deposits, around a tower 200 m high on the lands of the forest fund on the southern border of the forest tundra. The climate is subarctic with dry winters (average January temperature is -23.1C) and cool summers (average July temperature is +15C). Permafrost has an insular distribution, the temperature, the depth of seasonal thawing/freezing varies from 0.8 to 2.5 m. Snow lies from September to May. Shrubs, shrubs groups and larch sparse forests predominate. Wetlands are found in erosion depressions and along the shores of small lakes. Part of the ecosystems is under human influence - deer are pastured and off-road vehicles are passing through. The landfill is available for research all year round.

Vegetation of the area

The forest-tundra is dominated by foothill terrain with a lake content of 5-10%.

The area is dominated by a hilly microrelief with a height of hillocks 0.4 m, a diameter of 0.5-1.5 m. Shrubs grow on the hillocks: dwarf birch (Betula nana), wild rosemary (Ledum palustre) . On the slopes of the mounds and in the depressions between them grow black cockchafer (Empetrum nigrum), common lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea), common blueberry (Vaccinium uliginosum >), Podbel (Andromeda polifolia), Spicy scallop (Luzula spicata), Large serpentine (Bistorta major), Cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus), sedges: round sedge (Carex rotundata), globular sedge (C. globularis), arctosiberian sedge (C. arctosibirica), cotton grass (Eriophorum sheuchzeri), mosses and lichens. In more humid hummocky habitats grow wild rosemary (L. decumbens), E. nigrum, V. vitis-idaea, less abundant vaginal cottongrass (E. Vaginatum), R. chamaemorus, common blueberry (Vaccinium uliginosum), rare gray willow (Salix glauca).

In the northern taiga, hilly-rolly terrain is widespread with a lake content of less than 5%, with peat bogs in the depressions between the hills. A sparse stand is formed by Siberian larch (Larix sibirica, with an average height of 6-8 m and a maximum height of 10 m, with an average trunk diameter of 8-10 cm. Shrubs dominate in the undergrowth: B. nana i>, V. uliginosum 0.8-1.0 m high and with a projective cover of 30-70%.

The herbaceous-shrub layer with an average height of 0.2 m with a projective cover of up to 80% is represented by heathers (E. nigrum, Loiseleuria procumbens, V. vitis-idaea , A. polifolia, Arctous alpine, L. palustre), cereals (Festuca ovina), and in wet habitats C. rotundata, Calamagrostis lapponica and Equisetum arvense. The lichen-moss layer up to 0.04 m high with a projective cover of 20-70% is well developed.

Soils of the test area

The soil cover is represented mainly by gleyzems and tundra gley peaty and peaty soils and stain soils. Peat bog soils are common in wet habitats. Podzols predominate in larch woodlands. Oligotrophic peat and peat bog soils with a peat layer up to 35 cm thick are also common.

Research tasks

The main research task is inventory of stocks and flows of carbon in the ecosystems of the landfill is necessary to determine the sources and sinks of greenhouse gases, planning measures to manage the carbon balance (2022 – 2023). The following activities will be carried out:

  • continuous monitoring of greenhouse gas fluxes by the gradient method at the tower;
  • detailed mapping of soil, vegetation cover and frozen soils;
  • forest inventory;
  • field and laboratory studies of carbon stocks and greenhouse gas fluxes

Secondary research program is focused on carbon footprint of urban territories in flux tower footprint area (2022-2023).

The separation of greenhouse gas emissions into anthropogenic and natural is necessary for the correct determination of the coverage area of the tower. Observations of gas concentrations, including CO, at the tower will be supplemented by isotope studies and analysis of emissions from emission sources: at MSW landfills and aeration fields, during fuel combustion in transport and at stationary heat and power plants, both by direct measurements and collection and analysis of information about issuers.

Education and training

The polygon is developing into a base for conducting field studies of the components of the carbon balance of the Arctic ecosystems, accessible daily and all year round from the largest scientific and transport centers of Russia. The proximity of the city of Labytnangi makes it possible to provide food and accommodation for scientific and educational teams for conducting student practices of the geographical and geological faculties of Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov, biological faculty of St. Petersburg State University, field scientific schools.

International integration

In 2022, work on the study of the composition and age of peatlands of the carboniferous range will be carried out by the University of Aberdeen (UK).

An International Workshop is planned for Q3. 2022, devoted to observations of the carbon balance in the Arctic with the invitation of leading experts from scientific and educational institutions: the Free University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), the University of Utrecht (Netherlands), the University of Northern Arizona (USA), the University of Hannover (Germany), the University of Helsinki ( Finland), Institute of Biogeochemistry of the M. Planck Society (Germany), International Urban Climate Association, b.geos Gmbh. (Austria).

Until the 4th quarter of 2023, activities to develop carbon balance management experiments are planned to be carried out with the involvement of experts from the Permafrost Carbon Feedback Action Group (Canada), and experts in the implementation of international bioeconomy climate projects (Singapore).

Other test areas