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: / Kyrgyzstan / Biosphere / Forest Resources (2003)




Kyrgyzstan Review, 10 years ago




1.2. Forest Areas

Four groups of main species conifer, hard deciduous, soft deciduous and nuciferous present forests of the Kyrgyz Republic. Among conifers juniper is prevailing. They are followed by Tyan-Shan Spruce, Silver Fir of Semenov, recorded in the Red Book. Besides that, there are introduced Scotch pine and Siberian Larch. The total area of coniferous forest is 280,1 thousand ha. Ash-tree, maple, acacia, and elm present hard deciduous species. Hard deciduous species cover minor area only 34,4 thousand ha, and maple prevails at 28,3 ha.
 
Birch, aspen, poplar, and willow present soft deciduous species. Their total area is 14,1 thousand ha.
 
Circassian walnut (35,3 thousand ha) prevails at nuciferous forests. Pistachio-tree, apple-tree, almond-tree, apricot, mountain ash, plum tree (cherry plum), hawthorn-tree, and other small-fruited species follow it. It total there are 98,3 thousand ha of nuciferous forests.
 
The mentioned species are mainly concentrated at Jalal-Abad and Osh Oblasts. Shrubberies also play important role in protection of mountainsides at the Republic. These are: dog rose, meadowsweet, honeysuckle, aflatunia, osier, juniper decumbent (archa), hawthorn, ekzohorda and others. At the forests of the Republic shrubberies grow at 342,6 thousand ha.
 
Table 1. Trees and Shrubberies Species Monitored by Forestry Agencies
 
Wood Species
Area covered, ha
Forest forming species
769,5
1
Conifer
Scotch pine
Tyan-Shan Spruce
Silver Fir of Semenov
Larch
Juniper (Archa)
280,1
2,3
107,9
3,4
1,5
165
2

Hard deciduous

Ash-tree
Maple
Elm 
Acacia 
34,4
0,5
28,3
5,4
0,2 
3
Soft deciduous
Birch
Aspen
Poplar
Willow
14,1
5,2
0,9
6,6
1,4
4
Others
Circassian walnut

Pistachio-tree

Apple-tree
Almond-tree
Apricot
Other species
98,3
33,3
33
16,7
1,6
1
10

High Forests in Total

426,9
5
Shrubberies
Aflatunia
Hawthorn
Tamarisk
Ekzohorda
Osier
Cotoneaster
Oleaster
Juniper (Archa)
Sea-buckthorn
Dog-rose
Other shrubberies
342,6
0,9
2,5
0,4
2,1
13,1
0,1
0,6
99,3
3,6
38,5
181,5
 
Tyan-Shan Spruce Forests
 
The main forest forming specie Tyan-Shan Spruce (Picea Schrenkiana) presents Spruce Forests of Kyrgyz Republic. Spruce Shrenka covers 12,7% from all the Kyrgyz Republic forest area. Major spruce forest tracts are concentrated at the northern part of the Republic at mountain slopes, fringing the lake Issyk-Kul, and at Naryn River basin. Some Tyan-Shan Spruce forestlands are at Kyrgyzskyi and Talasskyi mountain ridge. At the South of the country, in its Osh and Jalal-Abad Oblasts there are only 13,2 thousand ha of spruce forests. The most Southern Tyan-Shan Spruce forest tracts are spruce forests of Zaalayskyi mountain range at Tar and Kara-kuldja riverheads.
 
The Silver Fir of Semenov (Abies Semenovi), recorded at the Red Book of the Kyrgyz Republic grows (3,4 thousand ha) at the area of the spruce forest spread. The introduced species: White Birch (Betula pendula), Scotch pine, Siberian Larch, and some other exotics grow at this area.
 
Table 2. Distribution of Wood Species at Fir Area by Oblasts and Species
 
Name of Oblasts
Name of Species (at the area in 000 ha)
Spruce
Fir
Pine
Larch
Birch
Total

Issyk-Kul

49,3
-
1,7
0,9
1
52,9
Naryn
32
-
-
-
0,4
32,4
Chui
11,9
-
0,6
0,6
0,5
13,6
Talas
1,5
-
-
-
0,4
1,9
Osh
5
-
-
-
0,6
5,6
Jalal-Abad
8
3,4
-
-
2
13,4
Batken
0,2
-
-
-
0,3
0,5
Total
107,9
3,4
2,3
1,5
5,2
120,3
 
Covering insufficient area, spruce forests are of tremendous economic and environmental importance. Located at steep slopes of mountain ranges, they weaken erosion, preventing soil from harmful influence of mudflow, regulate regime of mountain rivers, making it more even, and transfer surface run-off inside soil. Along with soil conservation and water regulation, spruce forests also an important source of timber.
Spruce forests are a habitation for wild animals. Here are wolf, roe deer, wild boar, bear, hare, caracal, badger, and many birds.
 
Juniper Forests
 
For protection of environment tree-juniper and its smaller forms have the most important meaning Juniper forests, including its elfin wood forms, cover 264,3 thousand ha, or 31,1% of forests in the country. These are evergreen light-coniferous low-yield rarefied forests, where the main forest forming specie is a Juniper Turkestan (Juniperus turkestanica). Archa is a local name for tree and shrubby forms of junipers, growing at Central Asia. Juniper forests grow across all the country regions. Archa is not particular to soil and climatic conditions. Archa spreads from rich brown soils to stony placers, from ardent semi-deserts to alpine meadows rising up to 3600 meter above sea level. The largest Archa forest lands are concentrated at Osh and Batken Oblasts at slopes of Turkestanskyi and Alayiskyi mountain ridges, located at the interface between the two world greatest mountain systems Pamiro-Alay and Tyan-Shan. At Jalal-Abad Oblast, Archa Arborescent grows in Chatkal, Alabuka, and Aksy Raions. There is a small area of these forests at Chui and Talas Oblasts.
 
There are four types of Archa growing at the territory of Kyrgyz Republic. The most wide spread are its tree forms Arch Zeravshanskaya (Kara-Archa, J. Zeravschanica), Archa of semi-sphere type (Saur-Archa, J. Semiglobosa) and Archa Turkestanskaya (Uryk-Archa, J. Turkestanica).
 
Decumbent forms of Archa are mostly located at subalpine and alpine zones of mountains at inefficient soils of steep slopes and rocks, where an increased solar radiation and high dryness of soils are observed.
 
Archa forests, growing at steep mountain slopes, carry out big water regulating and water protecting role, preventing soil from erosion and counteract formation of mudflows, bringing huge calamities, and destruction. Archa forests convert surface water run-off into internal soil, form numerous small streams and large rivers, feeding two most important waterways of Central Asia rivers Sir-Daria and Amu-Daria. Archa is a long-standing tree (some reach age of about 1000 years). The State Natural National Park Kyrgyz-Ata was organized at the area of 111172 ha at Nookatskyi Raion in consideration of high aesthetic importance of Archa forests and for the purpose of their recreational usage.
 
Nuciferous Forests
 
Among forestlands of our Republic one of the most precious are nuciferous forests located at Djalal-Abad and Osh Oblasts at western and south-western slopes of Fergana and Chat-Kal mountain ranges of the Tyan-Shan mountain system. Out of 182 species of trees and shrubbery growing here, the most valuable are Circassian walnut, Pistachio, Almond, Pear, Apple, different forms of wild plum (Cherry-plum), Hawthorn, Barberry, Bird Cherry Tree, and different types of Dogrose. Spruce forests of Fir Shrenka, Archa-tree are introduced into the Red Book of Kyrgyz Republic. Silver Fir of Semenov grows at the altitude more then 1800 metres in elevation.
 
Nuciferous forests of Djalal-Abad and Osh Oblasts are the only one in the world according the size of territory, value beauty and originality. Nuciferous reserve includes 13 forestries. Its total area is 630,9 thousand ha, including an area covered by forest 254,4 thousand ha.
 
Flora of nuciferous forests from the foot of slope to the peak of ranges have pronounced zonular spaces and includes five plant zones: zone of deserted pistachio sparse growth of trees within 700-900 meters above sea level; zone of steppe pistachio sparse growth of trees within 900-1100 meters above sea level; forest-steppe zone at the height within 1100-1300 and within 2000-2200 meters above sea level (P.A.Gan, 1970). Here grow nuciferous and apple forests. Alpestrine zone is located at the 2000-2500 meters above sea level, sometimes up to 3000 meters above sea level. The main components of forest flora are maple, spruce-fir and Archa plantations. Alpine zone is located at 2500 meters above sea level, sometimes higher then 3000 meters above sea level. Arboreous plants are practically absent, beside decumbent form of Archa Turkestanskaya.
Numerous fauna species live at the zone of nuciferous forests: roe deer, bear, wold boar, snow leopard, wild goat, lynx, porcupine, wolf, fox, hare, marmot, and many hunting, game and song birds. Scaly Osman and Marinka are inhabiting deep-water lakes Sary-Chelek, Kyla-Kel and rivers Kara-Ungur, Naryn.
 
At nuciferous forests there are animals recorded in the Kyrgyz Republic Red Book. They are: Tyan-Shan Brown Bear, Snow Leopard, Manul, Tyan-Shan Argali, Marmot Menzbira, Red Wolf, Central Asian Otter. There are following birds here: Darter, Bearded Bird, Gyps Himalayensis, Falco Cherrug, White-Chest pigeon.
 
Flood-Plain Forest 
 
At mountain area flood-plain forests are situated along flood-lands and shores of large rivers: Naryn, Chu, Tyup, Talas, Soo-Samir, Jergalan, Yassi and along many small rivers. Such Forests usually play water-protecting functions. Type content of flood-plain forests depends on extent of adaptability to environment conditions and competitive relationship of tree and shrubbery species. At mountains, shores, flood-lands and delta of rivers tree and shrubbery plants grow in kind of broken forest stripes, generating often Tugai Forests from black poplar (Populus nigra) and turanga (Populus diversifolia), white willow (Salix alba), grey willow (Salix cinerea), Narrow-leafed Oleaster (Eleagnus angustifolia), tamarix (Tamarix laxa), sea-buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides), and along shores of Talas river, in its flood-lands elm and poplar forests grow.
 
In general, at flood-plain forests prevail mixed content of wood-stand, often due to mans impact turned into low and medium completion plantations. This is mainly because of intensive unauthorised felling and, especially last years, due to complicated material status of the population. At intensive grazing of cattle also takes place at these areas, along with insect-pests and diseases caused by parasitic fungi damaging wood stand.