Monchegorsk ecology of beautiful tundra



Mikhail V. Kozlov and Valery Barcan

Environmental Contamination in the Central Part of the Kola Peninsula:
History, Documentation, and Perception





INTRODUCTION

The central part of the Kola Peninsula, severely affected by emissions from a nickel-copper smelter at Monchegorsk, represents a perfect object for environmental studies. We survey the information collected in this region, with special attention paid to earlier works by Russian researchers. Although some sources are difficult to access, and some of the data should be used with caution, the benefits to be derived from the inclusion of the already collected information in forthcoming environmental projects are obvious; it provides a historical (dynamic) view of landscape deterioration and eliminates redundant work. The perception of environmental contamination by local communities changed from acceptance in the 1950s to ignorance in the 1970s and 1980s; the active protests of the early 1990s have been terminated by economic factors, which have drawn public attention away from problems of the environment and of public health.

During the past decades the Kola Peninsula (Fig. 1) has been a popular target for environmentally oriented studies because of the severe impact of its mining and smelting industry (1-9). The development of economic, cultural, and social links between the Murmansk region and the Nordic countries has promoted international awareness and interest in the regional environmental problems. Moreover, quite recently, the Kola Peninsula was designated one of the focal areas of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (10) and the Barents Sea Impact Study (11), which promotes the further development of both national and international research projects dealing with the past, present, and future of the environment in this part of Fennoscandia. The earliest scientific descriptions of the natural environment of the Kola Peninsula appeared during the last decades of the 18th century.
Figure 1. Map of the Kola Peninsula and adjacent areas,
showing the towns mentioned in the text.


Since the 1920s, the Russian (formerly Soviet) Academy of Sciences has conducted multidisciplinary studies of the regional environment (12, 13). There is an enormous amount of 'natural history' information available, including data published in more than 200 monographs, over 5000 papers and abstracts, and more than 200 unpublished reports and academic dissertations, as well as information contained in natural history collections. The incorporation of this information into the mainstream of current and forthcoming environmental projects would certainly bring exciting results. However, careful reading of recently published project reports and research papers clearly demonstrated that most scientists in the west are unaware of the extensive studies conducted by Russian researchers before 1990; and vice versa, some Russian researchers obviously ignore the publications of other research groups, overemphasizing their own role in the study of the problems of the Kola area. As a result, much redundant work has been and is still being done.

This paper briefly elucidates the history of (z) environmental disturbances, mainly related to pollution; (ii) environmental research conducted in the terrestrial ecosystems of the Kola Peninsula; and (Hi) the perception of pollution problems by local communities. Our objectives are to introduce to the international scientific community a large pool of information collected by Russian scientists, to discuss some specific features of scientific work published under governmental censorship, and to survey the main environmental projects carried out in the Kola Peninsula during the past decades, with the aim of promoting the exchange of information and further cooperation among research groups (14).

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Pre-industrial Period

Although the Kola Peninsula has been populated for thousands of years, in 1913 there were only 13 200 inhabitants in the area. Old descriptions of the landscape and vegetation reflect virgin nature, in places slightly affected by traditional forms of land use such as reindeer herding, fishing and hunting. Up to the mid-1930s, virgin pine forest and impenetrable spruce forest with 'beards' of pollution-sensitive epiphytic lichens covered the area a few kilometers to the south of the recent position of Monchegorsk (15).


Severonikel smelter and the town of Monchegorsk, as seen from the Monche-tundra.
Submontane ecosystems suffer less from pollution than forests: the stones in this locality,
which is only 5 km from the smelter, are densely covered with lichens,
and ground vegetation looks healthy.
Photo: E. Zvereva.

This area, along with the Khibiny Mountains close to Kirovsk, was advertised for its sightseeing charms depicting northern nature (16). The Russian writer Mikhail Prishvin (17) gives a brilliant description of a virgin bog with a carpet of flowers, close to the place where the town of Monchegorsk was established some years later. The first intensive disturbance in the central part of the Kola Peninsula was caused by the construction of the railway from Petrozavodsk (southern Karelia) to Murmansk (1915-1916), when conifers were completely cut down around the towns of Kola and Murmansk; since then these areas have been covered with birch woodland. The railway disturbed the migration of the reindeer and led to a significant increase in forest fires (18). On the other hand, the railway provided new opportunities for research in the central part of the Kola Peninsula. In 1923, the ownership of 3.4 106 ha of forest to the north of Medvezhyegorsk, central Karelia, was given to the Murmansk railway.

From 1924, the systematic investigation of natural resources, starting with the forest inventory, was conducted by the Department of Colonization of the Murmansk railway in order to promote development of the unpopulated areas north of the Onega lake. During the 1920s and 1930s, some 400 scientific expeditions explored the natural resources of the Kola Peninsula (13). In particular, the detailed descriptions of plant communities made by these expeditions (12, 15), along with herbarium specimens (mostly kept in the V.L. Komarov Botanical Institute, St. Petersburg) can serve as historical controls in environmentally oriented projects.

The earliest ecological studies of the Kola Peninsula, focused on the relationships between different trophic levels, were organized in the 1930s by Fridolin (19). He made a detailed description of the ecosystems of the Khibiny Mountains, paying special attention to the ecology of pollinators and blood-sucking insects. More specifically, he investigated mountain desert communities, conducted phenological observations, and collected a number of insects (kept in the Zoological Institute, St. Petersburg). Nowadays, the environment of the Khibiny Mountains suffers from open-cast mining, from pollution by the Severonikel smelter (especially the northwestern slopes) and by local power stations, and from dust contamination by apatite processing factories; Fridolin's publications are the only source of information on many specific regional features prior to human intervention.

The 'Discovery' of Pollution

The discovery of apatite ores in the Khibiny Mountains (1920-1926) and of nickel-copper ores in the Monche tundra (1929-1932), followed by the decision of the Soviet government to develop mining and ore-processing factories in the central part of the Kola Peninsula (1929-1935), resulted in rapid environmental changes. The population of the Apatity-Kirovsk area grew from 10-15 in 1930 to 23 000 in the summer of 1931 and to 40 000 by the end of 1931. Similarly, the population of the Monchegorsk area grew from a single Saami family in 1930 to 200 persons in 1933 and 34 190 persons in 1938 (20). Intensive town planning meant the clearcutting of large forest areas, and the rapid population growth also led to a drastic increase in forest fires. The mining of rare earth deposits in the Lovozero Mountains (Revda) and the processing of iron ores near Olenegorsk also contributed to forest decline and environmental contamination. Environmental changes during the period of rapid industrial growth were not scientifically documented. In part, this was related to the perception of ecological problems at the time: 'the black puffs of smoke from factory chimneys, the sun hidden behind them, was [sic] considered as a sign of industrial progress; terrible industrial landscapes seemed to be harbingers of the bright communist future' (21, 35, 36). Only attacks by bloodsucking insects, which reduced labor productivity, attracted some attention: the Apatit mining company requested instructions from the Academy of Sciences on practical measures to control the populations of mosquito and midges (19). However, in 1930, when the extent of environmental disturbance became obvious, the Lapland Nature Reserve was established to preserve some examples of virgin forest and mountain landscape in the central part of the Kola Peninsula (22).

The Early Industrial Period

The Severonikel smelter near Monchegorsk was officially opened in 1937, but regular work began only in 1946-1947 with ores from the local Nittis-Kumuzhje deposit (5-7% S). At a later date, sinter-roasted ores from the Pechenga district (5-7% S) were used (23). No data are available on the volume of emissions during the first years of smelting. However, losses were as high as 10-15% of the metal content of the ores, which in combination with the data on metal production (10 Ktoime (Kt) of Ni and 6.3 Kt of Cu annually: 23) gives emissions for the late 1940s of 0.5-1 Kt of Ni, 0.5-1 Kt of Cu and about 60 Kt of sulfur dioxide annually. Numerous published and unpublished reports (14), in particular descriptions of certain landscapes in the mass media, indicated that visible signs of forest damage around the Severonikel smelter appeared immediately after the beginning of smelting. In the early 1950s, clear changes in forest vegetation were detected within 2-3 km distance from the smelter (1). However, none of the publications indicated an awareness of environmental problems; landscape degradation was considered to be a normal, unavoidable result of industrial development.

The exhaustion of local ore deposits stimulated intensive reconnaissance work during the late 1950s and early 1960s. The analysis of plants and soils around the smelter revealed an extensive surface geochemical anomaly, which was considered to be an indicator of ore deposits (24, 25). However, copper-nickel ores in the Kola Peninsula, which are located deep in rocks and always covered by quaternary deposits, cannot by any means contribute to surface geochemical anomalies. In spite of this obvious fact, a more plausible explanation, i.e. contamination by dust emitted by the smelter, as suggested already in 1954 (26), was not considered seriously until the midl960s.

The first study to unequivocally link the increased concentrations of heavy metals in surface waters, soils, and plants with industrial emissions had been commissioned by the Severonikel smelter and was conducted jointly by the Kola Branch of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and by geologists from Monchegorsk. By means of snow and water analyses they demonstrated that nickel and copper reached the environment by sedimentation of dust particles emitted from the smelter (27). By that time (1966), the contaminated area extended 90-120 km north, 30-40 km to the south and 20-25 km both east and west of the smelter, thus covering approximately 6000 km2. However, even the discovery of metals in snow (27) did not convince some scientists (25), who continued to insist on the presence of ore deposits around the smelter. This discussion was concluded only in 1974, when Ramenskaya (28) found no correlations between the presence of nickel-copper ores and the concentrations of these metals in soils and plants and confirmed the existence of an industrially contaminated area around the Severonikel smelter.

STUDIES OF POLLUTION AND POLLUTION IMPACTS

Beginning of Research

Although unpublished reports from the Lapland Nature Reserve (1965-1966) referred to the catastrophic decline of the forests around Monchegorsk as a well-known phenomenon, the need for systematic investigations of the impact of pollution on natural ecosystems was not recognized by local researchers. The only scientific description of forest damage was made in 1969 (29), and reports of the basic results of research conducted during 1931-1991 by the Polar-Alpine Botanical Garden and Institute (30), which for a long time was the only biological institution studying terrestrial ecosystems in the Kola Peninsula, do not mention a pollution problem.

The first industrial ecology studies in the central part of the Kola Peninsula were inspired and funded by the Severonikel smelter. Today, this seems astonishing because from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s the smelter administration ignored environmental problems. But it should not be forgotten that in 1971 the smelter commissioned a study of air quality in the city of Monchegorsk and proposed the construction of a 400-500 m superstack to reduce pollutant concentrations in the town (31). The smelter also supported an integrated study of the effects of pollution on forest ecosystems, including soils, vegetation, and insects, carried out in the early 1970s by scientists from Moscow State University. This pioneering work (32) not only documented the degradation of the landscape, but also led to the development of the first classification of damage zones, which with some modifications was subsequently used by many researchers (21, 33-37). During the decades of the Soviet regime, information concerning various aspects of ecosystem disturbances in the former USSR, especially that related to environmental contamination, was confidential. This explains many odd features in earlier publications by Russian scientists. Some popular books described numerous environmental problems related to the development of the region but did not even mention industrial pollution (20). A book by Doncheva (32) gives no geographical names, although a detailed map, with labels such as 'a lake' (32; p. 13) allows the experienced reader to attribute the data to the Severonikel smelter. Similarly, the book by Kryuchkov (38) names no source of emission, including 'anonymous' data on pollution loads and environmental effects. The efficient use of the information contained in these and many other works is indeed possible; the combination of several publications by the same author usually allows the reader to obtain an integrated picture.

Systematic Studies by Local Researchers

Starting in the early 1970s, following the exhaustion of local ores and a rapid increase in emissions due to the increasing smelting of Norilsk ores (up to 30% S), environmental degradation finally attracted the attention of the government, leading to the more systematic study of environmental pollution. Furthermore, it appeared that the impact zone of the Severonikel smelter was a nearly ideal study object. This was, and is, the only smelter in the central part of the Kola Peninsula and the only industrial enterprise in the town of Monchegorsk. The composition of emissions had been nearly constant over several decades, and the levels of emissions were so high that the effects of environmental contamination were clearly visible over huge areas. A large part of the impact zone lies within the Lapland Nature Reserve and is therefore protected from any other human-induced disturbance. In combination with the relative proximity to the main Russian scientific centersSt. Petersburg and Moscowthese factors account for the considerable attention paid to this area by a number of researchers. Some 20 research teams (some with only one or two participants, some as large as 10 to 20) worked in the area affected by the Severonikel smelter during 1970-1990, and we are not sure that there is information from all the groups (1).

Researchers of the Lapland Nature Reserve started work on problems of environmental contamination in the early 1970s (39). In accordance with the research strategy of nature reserves, most of the work was devoted to long-term monitoring of both pollutants and environmental effects. A long-term systematic study resulted in maps of soil contamination by heavy metals (40). Concentrations of metal pollutants were also measured in edible berries and mushrooms (41), in snow (42) and in small mammals and birds (1). The distribution of sulfur dioxide was monitored using passive lead dioxide absorbers (1). Studies of the biotic consequences of pollution focused on spruce, small mammals (Fig. 2) and birds. Many of the annual observations of the state of the ecosystems in the affected area are kept in the form of unpublished annual reports (43).

At the Kola Science Centre, the study of industrial contamination was initiated by Kryuchkov (21, 33, 34). He was probably the first naturalist who tried to alert local communities to the possible pollution threat to both nature and humans (38, 44). Studies of terrestrial ecosystems carried out at the Laboratory of Nature Protection established by Kryuchkov (since 1989 the Institute of North Industrial Ecology Problems) have recently concentrated on () the investigation and modelling of spatial distribution of pollutants; (ii) the effects of metal contamination on soil microbiology, including restoration aspects (7); and (Hi) the biotic consequences of pollution impact on the northern taiga forest. The latter work is based on an integral investigation of biogeochemical cycles (8), with an emphasis on forest heterogeneity (in terms of parcellar structure) and nutritional status (9).

In 1978, the Laboratory of the Anthropogenic Dynamics of Vegetation at the V.L. Komarov Botanical Institute, St. Petersburg, began investigations of the impact of pollution on the Scots pine stands of the Kola Peninsula. This work was inspired by the Soviet-American agreement on the project Interaction between Forest Ecosystems and Pollutants, first headed by V.A. Alexeyev. To date, this research team has produced 3 monographs (35, 36, 45) and a number of papers describing diagnostic methods regarding forest health, concentrations of pollutants in soils and vegetation, effects of pollutants on the crown structure, growth and reproduction of Scots pine and certain dwarf shrubs, and changes in moss and lichen (46) communities under the impact of pollution and forest fires. Of particular value are detailed instructions on how to use epiphytic lichen communities for bioindication of aerial pollution (47).

The research group of the A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Moscow, first headed by N.I. Pjavchenko, began an integrated study of forest and bog ecosystems at 6 sites south of the Severonikel smelter in 1981. The first expedition resulted in a useful collection of papers (48), which was classified as secret until recent years, but is now available for public use. Subsequently, a number of papers were published on the effects of pollution on forest ecosystems, in particular vegetation and soil-dwelling animals; most of the findings are included in a final monograph (6).

The research group of the Moscow State University, which began environmental research around Severonikel in the early 1970s (32), repeated some of its field observations in the late 1980s, thus revealing the dynamics of landscape degradation (49). The Monchegorsk Field Station of the Arkhangelsk Institute of Forest and Forest Chemistry, investigated the impact of emissions on forest productivity (50). It tried to elaborate a strategy for sustainable forestry in contaminated areas and methods of reforestation for areas of forest death (1, 51). Some important findings were also published by scientists from the Institute of Experimental Meteorology, Moscow, the St. Petersburg Forest Academy, the Moscow Forest Academy, the Polar-Alpine Botanical Garden at Kirovsk and certain other institutions (1, 14).

International Projects



Figure 2. Effects of pollution on density of bank vole, Clethrionomys glareolus,
in Lapland Biosphere Reserve (the break in observations is due to World War II).
Site 1 is located 30 km south of the Monchegorsk smelter; it was considered clean
until 1958-1960, when the first signs of forest damage by emissions were detected.
Site 2 is located 30 km west of the smelter and represents clean control
(protected from emissions by Monche-tundra mountain range).
Data after G. Kataev (6, and unpubl.).

Changes in the political situation in the USSR/Russia at the end of the 1980s made possible the involvement of researchers from other countries in large-scale studies of environmental effects in areas formerly closed to foreign visitors. As an immediate result, a number of international projects were launched in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The strategy of environmental research in the Kola Peninsula changed from generally descriptive to problem-oriented, producing conclusions of general scientific or practical merit. However, although local scientists were usually involved in the practical work, the earlier data accumulated by Russian teams were generally neither used in the planning of research nor referred to in the concluding reports and research papers.

The Lapland Forest Damage Project, funded by the Government of Finland during 1990-1994, was one of the first attempts by western scientists to explore the most polluted areas of Scandinavia (3). A multidisciplinary team conducted an integrated study on the distribution of pollutants from the nickel-copper smelters located in Monchegorsk and Nikel and on the environmental effects caused by these pollutants. An immediate reason for this large-scale project was the forest damage observed in Finnish Lapland in the late 1980s, which was assumed to be due to emissions from the Kola Peninsula. The project produced valuable information on the distribution of pollutants, the forest damage, the precipitation of contaminants and their fate in polluted soils, frost sensitivity in Scots pine, pine response to defoliation, scleroderris canker and a number of other subjects (3), and also attracted international scientific and public attention to the environmental problems of the Kola Peninsula. In particular, the project demonstrated that the average atmospheric S02 concentrations almost throughout Lapland remain within the range of 1-5 ug m~3, which is clearly below the level believed to be critical for forest ecosystems (3, 52).

However, occasionally (< 1% of hourly values) S02 may exceed 100 |Ug m 3 (3), and a potentially critical deposition of 0.3 gS m~2 yr4 is exceeded over an area of 150 000 km2, 32 000 km2 of which are in Finland and 19 000 km2 in Norway (52). Although adverse impact of pollutants on Scots pine and other plants is indisputable, the levels of the emission from the Kola smelters reaching Finnish Lapland are too low to cause forest death or visible forest damage (3). The forest damage incidents in Finnish Lapland are now believed to be due to the nutrient deficiency caused by the exceptional weather conditions of winter 1986-1987, when the rapid freezing of the soil led to root damage, in combination with the extensive epidemic of scleroderris canker (3, 53, 54).

At about the same time, a research program Evaluation of Man-made Environmental Changes in Fragile Northern Ecosystems was initiated by the Finnish and Soviet Academies. Along with fieldwork focusing on the soil seed bank, dwarf shrubs and small mammals, this project collected extensive information on earlier environmental research in the Kola Peninsula. To make this information available to the international scientific community, the international workshop Aerial Pollution in the Kola Peninsula was held in St. Petersburg in 1992; the proceedings of this workshop include a number of commissioned review papers by Russian scientists (1).

Particular attention during the past decade has been paid to ecogeochemical mapping (1, 42). The most extensive project, carried out during 1991-1996 by the Geological Surveys of Norway and Finland together with the Central Kola Expedition (4), resulted in the publication of the Environmental Geochemical Atlas (55). In line with this study, a multi-decadal database on pollutant concentrations in different media (soils, plants, animals) is being created within the framework of the EU-BASIS project. This database in combination with the project's Geographical Information System will serve as a basis for further studies of the impact of global change on the central part of the Kola Peninsula.

Research conducted in industrially polluted areas generally deals with either soil or plants; zoological studies are relatively scarce. Several individual projects have examined the changes in insect communities due to pollution impact (56). Since 1991, researchers from the Section of Ecology, University of Turku, Finland, have studied the effects of environmental contamination and habitat disturbance on insect-plant relationships (55-58) and the movement of metals along terrestrial food chains (59, 60). In particular, this group demonstrated that soil acidification enhances transport of nickel from roots to leaves of mountain birch, Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii (60). Recently, this work has been linked with the problems of global change within the framework of the BASIS project, and the first experiments were conducted in 1998-1999 to evaluate the interactive effects of pollution and higher temperaturessimulating future climate scenarioon plant quality for insect herbivores.

Although the amount of environmental information collected to date is impressive, there are still several gaps in our knowledge of pollutants, organisms, habitats, and effects, which need to be filled in order to (i) obtain a complete and integrated picture of ecosystem processes caused by pollution; (ii) predict the further dynamics of these ecosystems; and () elaborate a strategy of ecosystem recovery (37). In particular, we are not aware of any data on the biotic effects of contamination by strontium-containing dust (1, 41) from the processing and transportation of apatite ores. Also the winter ecology of plants and animals is nearly a white spot in our understanding of ecosystem responses to pollution.

LIFE WITH POLLUTION


Although the extensive damage to the forests around Monchegorsk has been clearly visible for decades, neither the Soviet nor the Russian governments have invested financial resources in the search for solutions to the ecological problems of the Kola Peninsula. Even the publication of the alarming letter Smoke over the Reserve by Semenov-Tian-Schanskij and Bragin in Pravda in 1979 had no effect. Later, the distribution of negative ecological information was prohibited until 1989, when the appearance of publications warning of the threat to nature led to mass actions by local residents calling for an end to the pollution of the environment. However, since 1990 the smelter has not been government-owned, thus, there is no hope of public funding for nature protection measures. Furthermore, on 12 May 1990 the director of the Severonikel smelter declared in the local newspaper that reducing production is the only realistic way to reduce emissions, but that this would lead to cutting the workforce by 8000 to 10 000 people; thus, in a town inhabited mainly by smelter workers, every family would be involved (21).
Open-top chambers (used to assess interactive effects of pollution
and temperature on plant growth) on the territory
of Polar-alpine Botanical Garden and Institute in Kirovsk.
Photo: E. Zvereva.


There is no doubt that the inhabitants of Monchegorsk, Nikel, and Zapolyarnyi have been and continue to be chronically exposed to exceptionally high levels of pollutants: the concentrations of nickel and copper in local vegetables, berries and mush-rooms greatly exceed the maximum tolerable limits (41), and the extensive health problems reported for the residents of these cities are obviously related to the emissions of nonferrous metallurgy (61, 62). However, local residents, although regularly informed through the press and other mass media of the possible adverse effects of contaminated air and food, continue to collect berries and mushrooms near the smelter and to grow potatoes and vegetables within severely contaminated areas, because this provides a significant contribution to the family budget. Although we are not aware of any sociological or psychological studies of this problem, the poor economic situation seems to draw public attention away from environmental and health problems in the contaminated towns of the Kola Peninsula.

Since there was no realistic prospect of a rapid decline in pollution, particular attention has been paid to the development of adaptation and mitigating measures, including correction of the nutritional status of damaged Scots pine stands (63). The possibility of the partial revegetation of industrial barren areas by planting native pollution-resistant woody plants was investigated within the framework of the RESTORE 2000 research program funded by the Academy of Finland (52, 64); this study continues under the auspices of the Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation, Finland. Another approachthe sowing of metal-tolerant grassesis being developed by the Institute of North Industrial Ecology Problems, Apatity, in cooperation with Norwegian scientists (65).

At present, the landowners in Russia seem to be the only possibility to change the situation. The Lapland Nature Reserve claimed pollution damage to protected forests in 1997, won its case and received partial compensation from the Severonikel smelter. A similar action brought by the local forest enterprise against the Pechenganikel smelter was also accepted by the court (Pestov, pers. comm.). This gives hope that economic factors may force the smelters to minimize pollution, at least by repairing the systems designed to remove toxic substances from industrial gases; in 1995 only about half of these systems were working properly (66).

References and Notes

1. Kozlov, M.V., Haukioja, E. and Yarmishko, V.T. (eds). 1993. Aerial Pollution in Kola Peninsula. Proc. International Workshop, 14-16 April 1992, St. Petersburg, Russia. Kola Science Centre, Apatity, 418 pp.
2. Lobersli, E. and Venn, K. (eds). 1995. Effects of Air Pollutants on Terrestrial Ecosystems in the Border Area Between Russia and Norway. Proc. II Symposium, 3-5 October 1994, Svanvik, Norway. Statens forurensningstilsyn, Document 92:04, Trondheim, Norway, 220 pp.
3. Tikkanen, E. and Niemela, I. (eds). 1995. Kola Peninsula Pollutants and Forest Ecosystems in Lapland. Final Report of the Lapland Forest Damage Project. Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi, Finland, 82 pp.
4. Reimann, C, Chekushin, V.A. and Ayras, M. (eds). 1996. Kola ProjectInternational Report, Catchment study 1994. Geological Survey of Norway, Report 96.088, Trondheim, Norway, 450 pp.
5. Rees, W. and Williams, M. 1997. Monitoring changes in land cover induced by atmospheric pollution in the Kola peninsula, Russia, using Landsat-MSS data. Int. J. Remote Sens. 18, 1703-1723.
6. Chernenkova, T.W., Butusov, O.B., Sytchev, W.W., Koneva, G.G., Kabirov, R.R., Stepanov, A.M., Kuperman, R.G. and Kataev, G.D. 1995. Forest Ecosystems of Kola Peninsula under Atmospheric Pollution Influence of Smelters. Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg. 252 pp. (In Russian).
7. Evdokimova, G.A. 1995. Ecological and Microbiological Foundations of Soil Protection in the Far North. Kola Science Centre, Apatity, 168 pp. (In Russian, summary in English).
8. Lukina, N. V. and Nikonov, V. V. 1996. Biogeochemical Cycles in the Northern Forests Subjected to Air Pollution. Kola Science Centre, Apatity, Pt. 1, 213 pp., pt. 2, 192 pp. (In Russian, summary in English).
9. Lukina, N.V. and Nikonov, V.V. 1998. Nutritional Regime of North Taiga Forests: Natural and Technogenic Aspects. Kola Science Centre, Apatity, 310 pp. (In Russian).
10. AMAP 1998. Arctic Pollution Issues: A State of the Arctic Environment Report. AMAP, Oslo, Norway. 188 pp.
11. Lange, M.A., Battling, B. and Grosfeld, K. (eds). 1999. Global Changes and the Barents Sea Region. Proc. First International BASIS Research Conference, St.Petersburg, Russia, February 22-25, 1998. University of Munster, Germany, 470 pp.
12. Levina, F.J. 1949. Studies on Vegetation of the Kola Peninsula. Kola Branch of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Kirovsk, 679 pp. (Unpublished; available in library of Polar-Alpine Botanical Garden and Institute, Kirovsk, Russia). (In Russian).
13. Sorokazherdiev, V.V. 1979. Explorers of the Kola Peninsula (Index of Publications). Murmansk Publ. House, Russia, 104 pp. (In Russian).
14. Due to space limitations, only the key publications and reviews are cited. More references can be found in these publications, at http://www.ngu.no/Kola/bibdb.html (which includes numerous translations from Russian), or requested from authors.
15. Bobrova, L.I. and Kachurin, M.N. 1936. Vegetation of Monchetundra. In: Materials on the Vegetation of Northern and Western Parts of the Kola Peninsula. Zinzerling, Y.D. (ed.). Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Moscow and Leningrad, p. 95-121. (In Russian).
16. Richter, G.D. 1931. Route 8: Monche-tundra. In: Guide to Khibiny Mountains. Fersman, A.E. (ed.). Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Leningrad, p. 145-153. (In Russian).
17. Prishvin, M.M. 1954. Zapolyarnyi med [Polar honey]. Moscow, 28 pp. (In Russian).
18. Kreps, G.M. 1928. Wild reindeer in the Kola peninsula and project of organization of the Lapland reserve. Karelo-Murmanskij krai [Karelia and Murmansk regions] 0 (10-11), 37^0. (In Russian).
19. Fridolin, V.J. 1936. Animal-Plant Community of Khibiny Mountain Area. Biocenothical Investigations in 1930-1935. Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Moscow and Leningrad, 295 pp. (In Russian).
20. Koshechkin, B.I. 1985. A Pearl in Palms of Lapland. Gidrometeoizdat, Leningrad, 88 pp. (In Russian).
21. Kryuchkov, V.V. 1993. Degradation of ecosystems around the 'Severonikel' smelter Complex.Tn; Aerial Pollution in Kola Peninsula. Proc. International Workshop, April 14-16, 1992, St.Petersburg. Kozlov, M.V., Haukioja, E. and Yarmishko, V.T. (eds). Kola Science Centre, Apatity, p. 35-46.
22. Semenov-Tian-Schanskij, O.I. 1975. Lapland Reserve, 2ndedn. Murmansk Publ. House, Murmansk, 244 pp. (In Russian).
23. Pozniakov, V.Y. 1993. The 'Severonikel' smelter complex: history of development. In: Aerial Pollution in Kola Peninsula. Proc. International Workshop, April 14-16, 1992, St.Petersburg. Kozlov, M.V., Haukioja, E. and Yarmishko, V.T. (eds). Kola Science Centre, Apatity, p. 1619.
24. Dobrovolskij, V.V. 1964. Landscape and geochemical specificity of the Kola Peninsula in relation to the reconnaissance works. Soviet Geology 0(3), 81-93. (In Russian).
25. Nezhdanova, I.K., Sveshnikov, G.B. and Suetin Y.P. 1966. Report on the Agreement no 373 'drochemical Investigations in the Monchegorsk Area in 1965'. Leningrad State University, 177 pp. (Unpublished; available in archives of St.Petersburg University and of Severonikel smelter). (In Russian).
26. Egorov, A. N. 1954. Brief Report on Investigations of Waste Waters of the Severonikel Smelter and Waters of Monche-tundra Rivers Coming to Njud-javr Lake and Further to the Lake Imandra, and also Rivers of Remote Tundras Coming to the Lake Imandra through the Monche-river. Severonikel smelter, Monchegorsk, Russia, 83 pp. (Unpublished; available in archives of Severonikel smelter). (In Russian).
27. Gurevich, V.I. 1966. Hydrochemical Investigations of Aerotechnogenic Damage in the Monchegorsk District. Kola Science Centre, Apatity, vol. 1, 87 pp.; vol. 2, 41 pp., vol, 3, 7 pp. (Unpublished; available in archives of Severonikel smelter). (In Russian).
28. Ramenskaya, M.L. 1974. Microelements in Plants of Extreme North. Leningrad, Nauka, 158 pp. (In Russian).
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67. We are grateful to H. Cornelissen, E. Zvereva, T. Vuorisalo and two anonymous referees for critical comments on an earlier draft of the manuscript. G. Kataev provided us with unpublished data on vole density at the Lapland Reserve during 1992-1999. E. Valle kindly improved the language. This work is a contribution No. 140 to the EU ELOISE Programme within the framework of the BASIS project carried out under contract ENV4-CT97-0637.
68. First submitted 19 Oct. 1999. Accepted for publication after revision 11 April 2000.



Mikhail Kozlov is senior research scientist at the Section of Ecology of the University of Turku. He works with herbivorous insects, with a special interest in ecological and evolutionary responses to pollution and climate changes.
His address: Section of Ecology, University of Turku, FIN-20014 Turku, Finland.
E-mail: mikoz@utu.fi

Valery Barcan is deputy director of the Lapland Biosphere Reserve. He is working on the environmental contamination of the Kola Peninsula, in particular on the distribution and behavior of heavy metals in soils.
His address: Lapland Biosphere Reserve, Zeleny 8,184280 Monchegorsk, Murmansk Region, Russia.
E-mail: lapland@monch.mels.ru

Ambio Vol. 29 No. 8, Dec. 2000

Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2000

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