This dataset is the long-term outcome of PhD study conducted by Polina Dayneko throughout Kherson State University (KSU), as well the international Ukrainian-Polish field expedition (2017) led by professor Ivan Moysiyenko (KSU). In total, 18 ancient settlements within Lower Dnipro (Kherson and Mykolaiv region) were studied. The study of each site was conducted at least 3 times according to the season: spring, summer and autumn during 2015-2020 period. The sites of ancient settlements (also known as earthworks) are characterized by a rather high level of floristic richness of vascular plants despite their relatively small size. The total list of vascular plants of 18 ancient settlements of the Lower Dnipro includes 525 species of vascular plants belonging to 281 genera, 74 families, 3 classes and 2 divisions. The total number occurrences is 3,210. The floristic richness in some settlements varies from 124 to 290 species (the average number is 178 species). Moreover, within studied ancient settlements, we recorded a significant number of native (396 species, 75.6%), steppe (240 species, 45.8%) and non-synanthropic plants (224 species, 42.7%), which indicated a good state of preservation of the steppe on these objects. Studies have also shown the high sozological value of the studied settlements. Thus, a rare element of the settlements of the Lower Dnipro is represented by 33 species (6.3% of the total number of species) is included in the Bern Convention (1 species), Red Book of Ukraine (10 species), Red Lists of Kherson (21 species) and Mykolaiv (5 species) regions. This structure of the flora indicates that the ancient settlements perform well the function of preserving the natural steppe diversity and can potentially be considered as nature conservation sites.
The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 3,209 records.
This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.
The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.
How to cite
Researchers should cite this work as follows:
Dayneko P, Moysiyenko I, Sudnik-Wójcikowska B, Dembicz I, Zachwatowicz M (2023): Flora of the ancient settlements within Lower Dnipro – natural heritage with cultural background. v1.10. Kherson State University. Dataset/Occurrence. https://ukraine.ipt.gbif.no/resource?r=ancient_settlements&v=1.10
Researchers should respect the following rights statement:
The publisher and rights holder of this work is Kherson State University. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY 4.0) License.
This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 89292560-7a4c-4a05-a0b7-7c839f1c252d. Kherson State University publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Participant Node Managers Committee.
Occurrence; Ancient settlements; flora; the Lower Dnipro; nature conservation; steppe; vascular plants; Observation
- Metadata Provider ●
- Metadata Provider ●
- Metadata Provider ●
Lower Dnipro region (i.e. the territory of the lower reaches basin of the Dnipro River (including Ingulets River) from Zaporizhzhia to its estuary), Kherson and Mykolaiv region, Ukraine
|Bounding Coordinates||South West [46.423, 31.564], North East [47.591, 34.541]|
Vascular plants (Magnoliophyta and Pinophyta). Dataset is included 525 vascular plants species belonging to 283 genera, 74 families, 3 classes and 2 divisions
|Start Date / End Date||2015-04-01 / 2020-09-30|
In collaboration with the Finnish Biodiversity Information Facility (FinBIF) and Pensoft Publishers, GBIF has announced a new call for authors to submit and publish data papers on Northern Eurasia in a special collection of Biodiversity Data Journal (BDJ). The fieldwork for data collection was organised and funded by the Project: 1.“How the East was won: Towards an environmental history of the Eurasian steppe N 2012-06112”. The work of I.I. (data processing and publication) was supported by the Project: 2. “Impact of war on cultural heritage sites as refugia of biological diversity D596”. The work of P.M. (data processing and publication) were supported by the Government Office of the Slovak Republik (Štipendiá pre excelentných výskumníkov ohrozených vojnovým konfliktom na Ukrajine 09I03-03-V01-00018) within Institute of botany Slovak Academy of Sciences. Project: 1. There is a lot of research that follows and maps bio-diversity and land-use changes using large data-sets and satellite data. In contrast, we evolved an approach, as a part of this multidisciplinary project, where we examined a smaller area, but over a longer time period, using historical maps, historical statistics and reports, and material that is available today, including satellite data. Importantly, we conducted focus groups and interviews with people in the area today to get an oral history of changes to the landscape. Also, we walked the landscape to find signs of bio-diversity and land-use change. In this regard, we benefited from a multidisciplinary approach encompassing botany, historical geography, and physical geography. In other words, while our approach is only applicable to a smaller area, we produced rich material for telling a story on how land-use and bio-diversity have changed, and what the impacts have been, not least for the people living in this area. This approach was discussed in workshops, but it was mostly developed in the field, during two productive field work trips to Ukraine in 2017 and 2018. Common field work was carried out in the village of Zmiivka (Gammelsvenskby), Kherson Oblast, with important comparative visits to other villages in the area. Before going to the field, however, we did an exhaustive search for of historical maps in historical archives. We developed methods for digitization of these maps in low-tech environments. We then developed methods for geo-referencing these maps (i.e. giving these maps coordinates). In both cases our method development is potentially significant, as we are not aware of other research that has done this before in the wider region, based on 18th to mid 20th century cadastral maps. Moreover, these digitized, geo-referenced maps then became the basis of a historical database on land-use in different periods. While such maps are occasionally referred to in historical and political geographical work, our project showed that these maps can be an important component in GIS-related landscape and environmental history research. This is a proof of concept and there is a large potential here to be tapped. Project: 2. Ukraine has a large number of cultural heritage sites, a significant part of which has a high environmental value. The most numerous among them are kurgans (burials in the form of earthen hills), of which there are 100-150 thousand in Ukraine according to various estimates [Sudnik-Wójcikowska, Moysiyenko, 2012]. The historical value of kurgans and other objects of cultural heritage is well known, while their natural component remained practically unexplored for a long time. Our research has shown that cultural heritage sites are important hotspots for the preservation of biological diversity [Sudnik-Wójcikowska, Moysiyenko, 2012]. With the beginning of war, damage to cultural heritage sites became much more intense. In particular, kurgans are a convenient place for locating observation posts, ambushes, combat positions, etc. Therefore, today we record facts about the damage to many objects of cultural heritage, both during the placement of military objects there and combat operations.
|Title||Northern Eurasia 2022|
|Funding||Project: 1. Administering Organisation Stockholms universitet Fack 10691 Stockholm, Sweden Vetenskapsrådet, Box 1035, SE-101 38 Stockholm, tel. +46 (0)8 546 44 000, firstname.lastname@example.org Project: 2. The Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) Spittelauer Lände 3 1090 Wien Austria Tel.: (+43 1) 313 58 – 0 Fax: (+43 1) 313 58 – 60 e-mail: email@example.com.|
|Study Area Description||Project: 1. The Pontic-Caspian grassland-steppe extends from Hungary in the west, across Ukraine and (European) Russia to Siberia and Northern Kazakhstan. Or rather “extended,” for today this region is more noted for its agriculture and the fertile black soils under the steppe grasses than the grassland eco-system that defined this area for millennia. Before European settlement, however, the steppe was a billowing landscape of tall grasses, wild flowers, forbs, and shrubs. There was of course human impact of the steppe before European settlement and pockets of settled agriculture – though how much human impact and how much settled agriculture remain open questions. In any case, the steppe has been a meeting point between pastoralists and imperial powers imposing agriculture for thousands of years. The last such power to impose agriculture, and the one to do it most successfully, was of course Slavic civilization in its various guises (Russian Imperial, Soviet) extending down from the north beginning roughly 300 years ago, and since then the history of the steppe is one of colonisation, reclamation, famine and war, agricultural intensification and irrigation, bringing us to the present period where, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the use of the steppe has been characterised, until the past several years, by de-intensification of land use, abandonment of agricultural fields, and the seeming return, as indicated in the quote above, of the steppe. The economic up-swing in the early and mid-2000s led investment firms from Moscow and Kyiv to Stockholm and New York to bet on the economic potential of largescale, rational and modern agriculture on the relatively “under-utilized” steppe, identified as one of the most promising areas where agricultural productivity can approach western norms. Yet even as large land acquisitions in the steppe area (in Russia and Ukraine) are a growing trend, there is also an emerging discussion about how to balance agriculture with protecting and restoring the steppe, promoting bio-diversity, and making sure that, as agriculture in the steppe re-intensifies and re-industrialises, it does not lead to environmental disaster. Here the words of the prominent environmental historian Donald Worster (1990, 1106) come to mind: “Whatever terrain the environmental historian chooses to investigate, he has to address the age-old predicament of how humankind can feed itself without degrading the primal source of life. Today as ever, that problem is the fundamental challenge in human ecology, and meeting it will require knowing the earth well – knowing its history and its limits.” Proposed research is the southern Ukrainian Oblast (region) of Kherson, where in the 1780s Swedes from Estonia were among the first Europeans to settle in the region following its conquest by Russia, cultivating what was in essence “virgin” steppe. Project: 2. Include territories hole Ukraine, especially, the territory where active hostilities are taking place, or which is under occupation.|
|Design Description||Project: 1. The goal of this proposed research is to better understand land cover and land use change, historically and today, in the Eurasian steppe through interdisciplinary study that combines the social and natural science perspectives of a team of researchers from Sweden and Ukraine. In achieving this goal, we aim to: (1) explore how the different research methodologies and knowledge-bases of the research team can enrich each other‟s understandings of the drivers of land use/land cover change; (2) use the results from investigating the southern Ukrainian landscape to generate hypotheses about the dynamics of land cover and land use change in, and the historical ecology of, the Eurasian steppe in general. This second aim would in turn inform a third aim, which is to (3) compliment climate modelling of the historical climate in the steppe, by grounding it in research based on expert local knowledge from the region. We aim also to (4) contribute to a discussion about equitable rural development and the preservation of the steppe, both in terms of nature protection and in terms of agro-ecology, i.e. better understanding how the impact of agriculture on the steppe ecosystem can be reduced by accommodating agriculture to the ecological and climatic conditions of the region. Finally, (5) our ambition is to establish a more long-term research agenda about the steppe “before and now,” where a new generation of scholars from Swedish and Ukrainian universities can take this work forward. The main study site of the proposed research is the southern Ukrainian Oblast (region) of Kherson, where in the 1780s Swedes from Estonia were among the first Europeans to settle in the region following its conquest by Russia, cultivating what was in essence “virgin” steppe. Project: 2. The implementation of the project will be carried out by performing the datasets of the flora of cultural heritage objects (kurgans, ancient settlements, old parks) will be prepared and published, based on previous research, in the GBIF database of open data on biological diversity, similar to how we published the dataset dedicated to the biodiversity of old cemeteries (https://www.gbif.org/ru/dataset/4f5a8595-6bda-4a3b-9d07-c0cdc38ffdef). In total, it is planned to publish more than 30,000 facts about the distribution of species at these sites. These publications will document the high conservation value of cultural heritage sites and thus increase their protection.|
The personnel involved in the project:
The study of each site (in total 18 ancient settlement) was conducted at least 3 times according to the season: spring, summer and autumn. The abundance of each species on each ancient settlement was assessed using a 3-point scale: 1 – sporadic, 2 – infrequent, 3 – common species. In addition to total species list for each site, we also provide multi-scale “biodiversity plots'' of the EDGG (Dengler et al., 2016). Additional data, within different areas - 10m2, 1m2 and 0.1m2 of each plot, included cover of species (%), aspect, inclination, cover of litter, dead wood, stones and rocks, gravel and fine soil, maximum height of vegetation of each layer, the mean maximum microrelief, type of management etc.
|Study Extent||The research was conducted in the Lower Dnipro region (Southern Ukraine), 40–100 m a.s.l. (Zamoryi1961), in the provinces Kherson and Mykolayiv (46.48–47.37° N, 32.00–33.97° E). The Lower Dnipro region is located in the West Pontic grass steppe zone of the Eastern European Plain (BOHN et al. 2000). All 18 studied settlements located on the steep bank of the Dnipro River on both sides (Kherson and Mykolayiv Regions), mainly between two closely spaced ravines or «balkas». An exception is the settlement Oleksandrivka-Roksanovka, which is located on the right tributary of the Dnipro - the Ingulets River. The area of the settlements varies from 1.1 (Zolotobalkivske) to 18.7 ha (Velyke Tiagynske). We included all ancient settlements in the Lower Dnipro region that have survived to the present. Ancient settlements are diverse in accordance of their location relative to the present settlements. Given the proximity of the earthworks to the settlement can be divided into 3 groups: located directly in the middle of the existing settlements today, in their immediate vicinity, or significantly remote from them.|
|Quality Control||The quality of data is manually controlled and verified by professor Ivan Moysiyenko, professor Barbara Sudnik-Wójcikowska, dr. Polina Dayneko. For data cleaning used OpenRefine OpenRefine. The collected materials were verified in Herbarium of Kherson State University (KHER), including documentation in the form of herbarium specimens (more than 200 herbarium sheets).|
Method step description:
- Conducting of field research.
- Species identification.
- Organizing of the dataset according to the Darwin Core standards.
- Dayneko, P. M., Moysiyenko, I. I., Dembicz, I., Zachwatowicz, M., & Sudnik-Wójcikowska, B. (2020). Ancient settlements in Southern Ukraine: how do local and landscape factors shape vascular plant diversity patterns in the last remnants of grass steppe vegetation? Tuexenia, 40, 459–478. 10.14471/2020.40.015
- Dayneko P.M. (2020). Biomorphological structure of the ancient settlements flora in the Lower Dnipro. Biological systems., 12(2), 290–297. [in Ukrainian]. 10.31861/biosystems2020.02.290
- Dayneko P.M. (2020). Systematic structure of the ancient settlements flora in the Lower Dnipro. Chornomors’k. bot. z., 16 (3): 230–239. [in Ukrainian]. 10.32999/ksu1990-553X/2020-16-3-4
- Moysiyenko І.І., Dayneko P.M., Sudnik-Wójcikowska B., Dembicz I., Zachwatowicz M., Zakharova M.YA. (2020). Conspectus of old settlements flora of the Lower Dnipro. Chornomors’k. bot. z., 16 (1): 6–39. 10.32999/ksu1990-553X/2020-16-1-1
- Dayneko P.M., Moysiyenko І.І. (2020). Sozophytes in the ancient settlements flora within Lower Dnipro region. Records of protected animal, plant and fungi species in Ukraine. (Series: «Conservation Biology in Ukraine», Is. 19.). Vinnytsia : TVORY, 2020: 193-196 [in Ukrainian]
- Dayneko P.M. (2019): Species richness of vascular plants on the ancient settlements of the Lower Dnieper. Biology: from a molecule up to the biosphere. Materials of the XIV International Young Scientists Conference, Kharkiv, 27–29 November, 2019: 147–149.
- Moysiyenko І.І., Dayneko P.M. (2021). Perspectives for conservation of steppe phytodiversity on the ancient settlements within Lower Dnipro. Practical aspects of preserving the biodiversity of the southern steppe region: a collection of scientific works of the scientific and practical seminar, Biosphere Reserve "Askania-Nova", Askania-Nova, 26-27 May, 2021: 63-68. [in Ukrainian]