usually deciduous (more rarely evergreen) broad-leaved forests dominated at the tree level by various species of oaks. They are found in East Asia and the Mediterranean area, as well as in Europe, Ireland, and western England. In the USSR oak groves are concentrated in the central and southern European parts, the Caucasus, and the Far East; they cover more than 9 million hectares, or 1.3 percent of total forested land.
Oak groves generally also contain ash, maple, elms of several types, linden, beech, hornbeam, cherry, service wood, apple, pear, birch, aspen, occasionally black alder, and even pine and spruce. The undergrowth includes many filberts, spindle trees, mountain ash, bird cherry, and in places hawthorn, steppe cherry, blackthorn, black elder, cranberry, honeysuckle, and dog rose. Pure oak groves grow, with low yields, on solonets soil.
Types of oak groves and their productivity vary with soil and terrain conditions and the climatic features of the region. Some specific types are spruce, spruce-maple-linden, spruce-hornbeam, and tidal groves. Oak groves serve many purposes. They produce a variety of valuable wood from oaks and other trees found in them, particularly hardwood varieties. They also give edible nuts and fruits. When growing on watersheds, ravines, gullies, mountain slopes, or steep river banks and their floodplains, oak groves have great importance for water retention and regulation soil protection, and land and forest improvement.
The oak groves of the European part of the USSR (the Ukraine, Byelorussia, the Baltic region, the central areas, the Volga Region, and the Northern Caucasus) are composed primarily of English oak. In the west, in the Crimea and Caucasus, durmast oak and, in the south, pubescent oak mix with English oak. Besides the varieties named, there are also Iberian oaks, chestnutleaf oaks,Macranthera oaks, long-stem oaks, and Hartwiss oaks in the Caucasus. Oak groves of the Far East contain primarily Mongolian oak.
REFERENCESDubravy SSSR, vols. 1-4. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949-52.
Lositskii, K. B.Vosstanovlenie dubrav. Moscow, 1963.
Shimaniuk, A. P.Biologiia drevesnykh i kustarnikovykh porod SSSR, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1964.
Lesa SSSR, vols. 2-3. Moscow, 1966.
A. P. SHIMANIUK