Address: 17 Naberezhnaya Severnoy Dviny, Arkhangelsk 163002 Russian Federation. Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V.Lomonosov. Office 1425

Phone / Fax: (818-2) 21-61-18



Water-Retaining Capacity of Needles in Populations of the Main Forest-Forming Coniferous Species in the Forests of the Taiga Zone of Siberia

Версия для печати
Creative Commons License
These works are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

N.А. Tikhonova, I.V. Tikhonova

Complete text of the article:

Download article (pdf, 0.6MB )






The limits of individual variation of trees by the water-retaining capacity of needles in populations of forest-forming coniferous species (Scots pine, Siberian pine, Siberian spruce and Siberian fir) growing in the conditions of the mountainous, middle and northern taiga of Central and Eastern Siberia were studied. It is found that among the compared evergreen species, Scots pine and Siberian pine are characterized by the highest intrapopulation variation in the rate of needles dehydration; Siberian spruce and Siberian fir are characterized by greater variability in the ability of needles to water absorption. However, in samples of the last two species, the share of trees with a low rate of water loss is quite large, even in wet habitats. In more drought-resistant pine species there is a smaller part of trees, which quickly evaporate moisture and have a high water capacity of needles. While a smaller part of trees of Siberian spruce and Siberian fir are less resistant to dehydration and differ by low water capacity of needles. While in Siberian spruce and Siberian fir a smaller part are trees less resistant to dehydration with low water capacity of needles. We revealed the significant differences between species in mixed stands and between geographic populations of species by water-retaining capacity of needles. The highest values of this indicator were obtained for Scots pine and Siberian spruce from Yakutia, as well as for old-growth trees of Siberian pine from the Western Sayan. The necessity of preserving old-growth stands and trees, characterized by the greatest drought resistance of needles, especially hygrophilous dark coniferous species in a changing climate is emphasized.The obtained data and correlations between the used features allow us to estimate one of the components of drought resistance of taiga populations of coniferous species and their intrapopulation diversity.


N.A. Tikhonova1, Candidate of Biology; ResearcherID: R-4349-2019, ORCID: 0000-0003-3922-5031
I.V. Tikhonova2, Candidate of Biology; Researcher ID: V-3735-2017, ORCID: 0000-0001-6929-9491


1Sukachev Institute of Forest SB RAS, Akademgorodok, 50/28, Krasnoyarsk, 660036, Russian Federation; e-mail:
2West-Siberian Branch of Sukachev Institute of Forest SB RAS, Federal Research Center “Krasnoyarsk Science Center SB RAS”, ul. Zhukovskogo, 100/1, Novosibirsk, 630082, Russian Federation; e-mail:


forest-forming coniferous species, mixed forests, drought resistance, Siberia


The research is carried out within the framework of the budget project No. 0346-2016-0301 of the West-Siberian Branch of Sukachev Institute of Forest SB RAS and the Federal Research Center “Krasnoyarsk Science Center SB RAS” with the partial financial support from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, the Government of Krasnoyarsk Territory, and the Krasnoyarsk Regional Fund of Science in the framework of the research project No. 18-44-240002.

For citation

Tikhonova N.А., Tikhonova I.V. Water Retaining Capacity of Needles in Populations of the Main Forest-Forming Coniferous Species in the Forests of the Taiga Zone of Siberia. Lesnoy Zhurnal [Forestry Journal], 2019, no. 5, pp. 83–94. DOI: 10.17238/issn0536-1036.2019.5.83


  1. Baranchikov Y.N., Petko V.M., Astapenko S.A., Akulov E.N., Krivets S.A. Polygraphus proximus – A New Aggressive Invasive Pest of Firs in Siberia. Vestnik Moskovskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta lesa – Lesnoy vestnik [Forestry Bulletin], 2011, no. 4, pp. 78–81.

  2. Borovikov V.P. STATISTICA: The Art of Analyzing Data on a Computer. Saint Petersburg, Piter Publ., 2003. 688 p.

  3. Climate Change and Biodiversity in the Russian Part of the Altai-Sayan Ecoregion. Ed. by N.N. Mikhaylov. Krasnoyarsk, Gorod Publ., 2013. 328 p.

  4. Cedar Forests of Siberia. Ed. by A.S. Isayev. Novosibirsk, Nauka Pabl., 1985. 256 p.

  5. Kotov M.M., Lebedeva E.P., Prokhorova E.V. Water-Retention Ability of Needle as Diagnostic Indication for Assessment of Objects of Common Genetic-Selection Complex. Lesnoy Zhurnal [Forestry Journal], 2002, no. 4, pp. 59–65. URL:

  6. Man’ko Yu.I., Gladkova G.A. On the Factors of Fir and Spruce Forests Drying in the Far East. Lesovedenie [Russian Journal of Forest Science], 1995, no. 2, pp. 3–12.

  7. Nakvasina E.N. Dehydration of Scots Pine Needles in Geographical Cultures of Arkhangelsk Region. Lesnoy Zhurnal [Forestry Journal], 2002, no. 6, pp. 16–21. URL:

  8. Pavlov I.N. Biosphere Role of Tree Devastating Mushrooms Heterobasidion annosum S.L. and Armillaria mellea S.L. (On the Example of Cedrine Forests of West Sayana). Vestnik Tambovskogo universiteta. Seriya Estestvennye i tekhnicheskie nauki [Tambov University Reports. Series: Natural and Technical Sciences], 2013, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 1270–1273.

  9. Protopopov V.V. The Habitat Forming Role of Dark Coniferous Forest. Novosibirsk, Nauka Publ., 1975. 327 p.

  10. Rakhmanov V.V. Hydroclimatic Role of Forests. Moscow, Lesnaya promyshlennost’ Publ., 1984. 240 p.

  11. Tikhonova N.A., Tikhonova I.V. Individual Variability of Scots Pine by the Drought Resistance Features in Forest-Steppe Pine Forests of South Siberia. Sibirskij Lesnoj Zurnal [Siberian Journal of Forest Science], 2016, no. 5, pp. 114–124. DOI: 10.15372/SJFS20160512

  12. Allen C.D., Macalady A.K., Chenchouni H., Bachelet D., McDowell N., Vennetier M., Kitzberger T., Rigling A., Breshears D.D., Hogg E.H., Gonzalez P., Fensham R., Zhang Z., Castro J., Demidova N., Lim J.-H., Allard G., Running S.W., Semerci A., Cobb N. A Global Overview of Drought and Heat-Induced Tree Mortality Reveals Emerging Climate Change Risks for Forests. Forest Ecology Management, 2010, vol. 259, iss. 4, pp. 660–684. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2009.09.001

  13. Davin E.L., de Noblet-Ducoudré N. Climatic Impact of Global-Scale Deforestation: Radiative Versus Nonradiative Processes. Journal of Climate, 2010, vol. 23, pp. 97–112. DOI: 10.1175/2009JCLI3102.1

  14. Forest Decline in the Atlantic and Pacific Region. Ed. by R.F. Huettl, D. Mueller-Dombois. Berlin, Springer, 1993. 366 p. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-76995-5

  15. Gitlin A.R., Sthultz C.M., Bowker M.A., Stumpf S., Paxton K.L., Kennedy K., Muñoz A., Bailey J.K., Whitham T.G. Mortality Gradients within and among Dominant Plant Populations as Barometers of Ecosystem Change during Extreme Drought. Conservation Biology, 2006, vol. 20, iss. 5, pp. 1477–1486. DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2006.00424.x

  16. Giuggiola A., Kuster T.M., Saha S. Drought-Induced Mortality of Scots Pines at the Southern Limits of Its Distribution in Europe: Causes and Consequences. iForest – Biogeosciences and Forestry, 2010, vol. 3, iss. 4, pp. 95–97. DOI: 10.3832/ifor0542-003

  17. Kozlowski T.T., Kramer P.J., Pallardy S.G. The Physiological Ecology of Woody Plants. London, Academic Press, 2012. 678 p.

  18. Lebourgeois F., Rathgeber C.B.K., Ulrich E. Sensitivity of French Temperate Coniferous Forests to Climate Variability and Extreme Events (Abies alba, Picea abies and Pinus sylvestris). Journal of Vegetation Science, 2009, vol. 21, pp. 364–376. DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2009.01148.x

  19. Park Williams A., Allen C.D., Macalady A.K., Griffin D., Woodhouse C.A., Meko D.M., Swetnam T.W., Rauscher S.A., Seager R., Grissino-Mayer H.D., Dean J.S., Cook E.R., Gangodagamage C., Cai M., McDowell N.G. Temperature as a Potent Driver of Regional Forest Drought Stress and Tree Mortality. Nature Climate Change, 2013, vol. 3, iss. 3, pp. 292–297. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1693

  20. Van Mantgem P.J., Stephenson N.L., Byrne J.C., Daniels L.D., Franklin J.F., Fulé P.Z., Harmon M.E., Larson A.J., Smith J.M., Taylor A.H., Veblen T.T. Widespread Increase of Tree Mortality Rates in the Western United States. Science, 2009, vol. 323, iss. 5913, pp. 521–524. DOI: 10.1126/science.1165000

Received on March 26, 2019

Water-Retaining Capacity of Needles in Populations of the Main Forest-Forming Coniferous Species in the Forests of the Taiga Zone of Siberia


Make a Submission


Lesnoy Zhurnal (Russian Forestry Journal) was awarded the "Seal of Recognition for Active Data Provider of the Year 2024"