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The Vegetation of the Subnival Belt of the Caucasus Mountains
George Sh. Nakhutsrishvili
Arctic and Alpine Research
Vol. 30, No. 3 (Aug., 1998), pp. 222-226
Published by: INSTAAR, University of Colorado
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1551969
Page Count: 5
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Almost all the altitudinal belts common to the western part of Eurasia are represented in the Caucasus Mountains. The subnival belt is especially well represented in the Central Caucasus. It lies between the alpine meadows and nival glaciers (from 2900-3000 m a.s.l. to 3600-3700 m a.s.l.). The floristic composition of the subnival belt of the Caucasus is distinguished by a high number of endemic species and some genera. The subnival belt vegetation may be classified into four groups: (1) Separate populations of one or more types are found in a particular habitat. They do not interact with each other; they only have a common habitat. (2) A few populations from several vegetation types grow in groups and form nanocoenoses (small patches). (3) Separate small patches which are fragments of the alpine meadows and "carpets" that find a favorable (snowy and slightly windy slopes) habitat in the subnival belt. (4) Vegetation of certain elements reflecting microhabitats and characterized by nonhomogeneous distributions of species and nanocoenoses.