Recent studies (2008–2021) have demonstrated the high importance of old cemeteries for the preservation of steppe ecosystems and red-listed steppe species. The flora of 13 old cemeteries of the Kherson region includes 2104 occurrence of vascular plants. The study of the flora of 10 old cemeteries of Kherson region (rural cemeteries) was conducted during 2008–2017 and 3 old cemeteries of city Kherson was during 2020-2021. The area of the old cemeteries of the Kherson region varies from 0.43 ha to 10.45 ha. Total area of all old cemeteries is 51,2752 ha. In old cemeteries of the studied region, rare steppe species have survived, although steppe vegetation is preserved where there are fragments of virgin and unploughed steppes around the cemeteries, near old villages or cities. The preservation of the natural vegetation cover in cemeteries is supported by the sacred status of cemeteries that are places where economic activities are not allowed.
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 2,118 records.
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Researchers should cite this work as follows:
Skobel N, Moysiyenko I, Sudnik-Wójcikowska B, Dembicz I, Zachwatowicz M, Zakharova M, Dzerkal V, Marushchak O (2022): Vascular plants of old cemeteries of Lower Dnipro region (Southern Ukraine). v1.1. Kherson State University. Dataset/Occurrence. https://gbif.univer.kharkov.ua/resource?r=vp_cemeteries&v=1.1
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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: 4f5a8595-6bda-4a3b-9d07-c0cdc38ffdef. Kherson State University publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Participant Node Managers Committee.
Occurrence; Kherson region; old cemeteries; cultural heritage sites; Occurrence; Observation
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Floristic research was carried out in 13 old cemeteries. According to the administrative and territorial division, the examined cemeteries are located in the Beryslav, Henichesk, Skadovsk and Kherson districts and Kherson city council of Kherson Province. Kherson region include to the Lower Dnipro region. The characteristic features of the natural conditions of the Lower Dnipro region are determined by its geographical location within the true steppe zone of the Eastern European plain.
|South West [46.134, 31.904], North East [47.48, 35.057]
All vascular plants were identified to species.
|Start Date / End Date
|2008-01-01 / 2017-01-01
|Start Date / End Date
|2020-01-01 / 2021-01-01
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). 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.
|Northern Eurasia 2022
|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 How the East was won: Towards an environmental history of the Eurasian steppe N 2012-06112
|Study Area Description
|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.
|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.
The personnel involved in the project:
The identification of vascular plant species was held with morphological methods at the field and in the Kherson State University Laboratory of Plant Ecology and Environmental Protection.
|The study of the flora of 13 old cemeteries was conducted during 2008–2017 using route-field method and literature data. According to the administrative and territorial division, the examined cemeteries are located in the Beryslav, Henichesk, Skadovsk and Kherson districts (former Belozerka, Beryslav,Velykooleksandrivka, Hola Prystan, Nyzhni Sirogozy districts), city Kherson of Kherson region.
|The study of each site was conducted at least 3 times during the growing season: spring, summer and autumn. For data cleaning we were used OpenRefine.
Method step description:
- We searched flora of old cemeteries, that were esstablished before 20th.
- Study of each site was conducted at least 3 times during the growing season: spring, summer and autumn.
- The data were compiled which contained the following additional information about each taxon of vascular plants: its occurrence (estimated according to a 3-point scale: 1 – sporadic, 2 – infrequent, 3 – common).
- Moysiyenko І.І., Skobel N.O., Sudnik-Wójcikowska B., Dembicz I., Zachwatowicz M., Zakharova M.Ya.(2021). Old cemeteries as refuge of the steppe flora in Southern Ukraine. Chornomors’k. bot. z., 17 (3): 98–106.
- Moysiyenko I.I., Skobel N.O., Sudnik-Wójcikowska B., Dembicz I., Zachwatowicz M., Zakharova M.Ya., Dzerkal V.M. (2021). Florososological significance of old cemeteries of the Lower Dnieper. Materials of VII Scientific readings in memory of Sergey Tarashchuk, Mykolaiv,23-24 April ,2021: 61-67.(in Ukrainian)
- Moysiyenko I.I., Skobel N.O., Sudnik-Wójcikowska B., Dembicz I., Zachwatowicz M., Zakharova M.Ya., Dzerkal V.M. (2021). Lower Dnieper old cemeteries in steppe flora of southern Ukraine. 29th Conference of European Vegetation Survey: Revegetating Europe – Contributions of the EVS to the UN Decade on Ecological Restoration. Online conference, 6–7 September, 2021: 60.
- Moysiyenko I.I., Skobel N.O., Sudnik-Wójcikowska B., Dembicz I., Zachwatowicz M., Zakharova M.Ya., Dzerkal V.M. (2021). Old cemeteries as a refusion of steppe flora in the Kherson Region. Practical aspects of biodiversity conservation in the southern steppe region: a collection of scientific papers of the scientific-practical seminar "Askania-Nova Biosphere Reserve", Askania-Nova, 26-27 May, 2021: 9-73. (in Ukrainian)
|1) to establish the level of floristic richness of ancient cemeteries on the example of 13 cemeteries of the Kherson Province; 2) to find out the peculiarities of the structure of the flora of ancient cemeteries; 3) show the role of ancient cemeteries in the preservation of steppe.