2021 Lëd i Sneg  
The properties of snow cover, one of the most important abiotic factors for survivability of animals (mainly hooves) in winter, are considered. To analyze possible consequences of this influence, it was necessary to develop a special parameterization of snow cover properties differing from those used in solving hydrometeorological problems. In this paper we present the biotopic approach to spatial and temporal modeling of the snow depth and structure at the mesoscale level. For this scale
more » ... the main factor determining the snow cover depth and structure is the distribution of plant associations (the vegetation cover) on mountain slopes of different exposure and steepness. Our cartographic model of the vegetation cover was developed based on the results of decoding the hierarchical multispectral satellite images. Each combination of a vegetation type, exposure, and steepness of a slope has its own snow accumulation coefficient, which allows calculation of the snow depth in a particular biotope. We propose to analyze winter animal habitats using two parameters depending on the depth and structure of the snow cover: a passability and the food availability. Similarly to the map of plant associations exerting effect on snow cover, a map of plant communities of forage biotopes of specific animals has been built, and a certain snow depth was assigned to each type. The forage biotopes were ranked according to degree of availability and passability. The proposed approach was applied to modeling the passability and food availability for wild boar and red deer biotopes in the southern spurs of the Bureinsky range in the Russian Far East. The snow accumulation coefficients used in the model were obtained from field surveys carried out in 2016-2018 at 173 sites located on slopes of different exposure and steepness and within different types of plant communities. It has been established that a significant part of the favorable foraging territories of wild boar and deer overlap, that may cause the interspecific competition and increased load on forage biotopes during severe and snowy winters. The model also makes possible to introduce additional parameters such as the energy consumption per movement, composition and quantity of feeds.
doi:10.31857/s2076673421010073 fatcat:4j2lfdllsfe7dmsdvoo4lqjhye