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ASSESSMENT OF ECOLOGICAL STATUS OF LANDSCAPES ACCORDING TO THE PRODUCTIVITY OF VEGETATION


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Abstract

Mining and processing of mineral resources causes the technological environmental impact, including the vegetation. Using field findings, the productivity of plant communities was estimated according to NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) - index of the amount of photosynthetically active biomass. Zones are outlined by the degree of damaged vegetation, characterizing the impact of Pechenganikel Mining and Metallurgical Combine (Murmansk Oblast). For the area of 380 km2, located in the vicinity of combine, the map of the damaged vegetation in the environs of urban-type settlement Nikel (1:100 000) was created in the program MapInfo Professional 11.5. Analysis of the map have shown the greatest pollution to be appeared in the north-eastern, eastern and south-eastern directions from the Pechenganikel combine due to the prevalence of the south and south-west winds as well as the uplands with an average height of 300-400m in the northern, eastern and southern adjacencies of Nikel. For zones with the considerable deterioration of vegetation the existence conditions for local areas with fewer disturbances than the surrounding area is determined. Plants growing in the zone of intensive technogenic impact, accumulate heavy metals in significant quantities that should be considered in a detailed researching of pollutants’ content in plants, especially for those used as food. Moreover, NDVI reveals pollutants to spread over a far larger area than can be visually find out only due to field studies, as the outward signs of vegetation response to pollution do not always give the100% certainty.


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