Acta Biologica Sibirica 7: 505-513, doi: 10.3897/abs.7.e78448
Comparative analysis of phytolith spectra of steppe and forest phytocoenoses
expand article infoNatalia Y. Speranskaya, Tatyana A. Zhembrovskaya, Daria G. Bobkova
‡ Altai State University, Barnaul, Russia
Open Access
Abstract

The primary research goal is to identify differences and diagnostic features of the phytolith spectra of the steppe and forest phytocoenoses. The paper presents the research results of recent soils from various communities. The authors employ the phytolith analysis method. The isolation of phytoliths from recent soils has been carried out with the help of the maceration method and from plants – the dry ashing method. The authors counted the phytoliths using the Olympus BX-51 light microscope. Additionally, the authors have compiled the spectra using the 2C software. The paper compares the phytolith spectra of plain and mountain steppe phytocoenoses. The comparison reveals that the considered plain communities are more similar in phytolith composition than the mountain ones. The following morphotypes are common for all spectra: low conical rondel particles and psilate ribbed particles. These are the forms that characterize steppe communities. Analysis of phytolith spectra of the mountain forest communities demonstrates that the presence of ribbed particles of psilate is common for all spectra. The common feature of all forest spectra is the presence of psilate symmetrical particles, polylobate trapeziforms, lanceolates (trichomes) with a massive base, and trapeziform bilobate (“Stipa-type”) particles. In the spectra of all pine forests, there is a low content or complete absence of needle phytoliths. Diagnostic features of individual phytocoenoses have not been found. The most significant is the ratio of individual phytolith forms in the phytolith spectrum. The comparative analysis of phytolith spectra of the phytocoenoses in the south of western Siberia is carried out for the first time.

Keywords
Phytolith analysis, phytoliths, phytocoenoses, steppes, pine forests