Collaborator in the project until spring 2022


Orotuk Field Station is run by the Institute of Biological Problems of the North, Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences.


The station is in the Upper Kolyma district, western part of the Magadan Region, Russia (62°03’ N, 148°38’ E). The station is situated 10 km southwest of the Orotuk settlement (30 inhabitants).


The Kolyma River floodplain terraces form the typical landscape in the territory. The floodplain is covered by willow, poplar, and Chosenia forests. Numerous lakes, meadows, and swamps can be found on the terraces along the river. Relic steppe communities occur on southwest facing slopes and Pinus pumila thickets and sparse larch forests are the main plant communities of the region. The southern part of the Czersky Mountain range is situated 10 km northwest of the station. The mountain tundra is dominated by various herbs, while dwarf shrubs and lichens cover slopes and depressions. The flora and fauna are typical for the northern part of the boreal zone. The vegetation belongs to the northern taiga and sparse Larix forest zone. The continental part of Northeast Asia belongs to the region of extra continental climate with very severe winters (down to -55-60 °C) and hot summer (up to 30-33 °C). The entire territory is in the continuous permafrost zone.


The station was established in 1992 and first served as a field station for the North-East Permafrost Laboratory, later for the Laboratory of Botany (since 1995). The station accommodates 7-8 people, has a dining room and outside toilets. The station has a building in the settlement of Orotuk, suitable for winter accommodation. In summer, two greenhouses are also in use.


Meteorological observations have been recorded since 1992. The seasonal development of 33 species of trees, shrubs, and grasses are also studied. Phenological data is used for monitoring of Climate Change effects. Non-forest plant resources are studied in permanent sample plots. The flowering phenology and dynamics of yield are monitored for edible berries and mushrooms.


In the middle of 19th century Sakha people drove from the plains of Jakutia to the far northeast and settled near Kolyma River. Now, they live in small villages. Hunting, fishing, and picking wild berries and mushrooms are very important activities.


Orotuk is located 280 km northwest of the town Ust-Omchug (administrative centre of Tenkinsky District, Magadan region). In winter, the station can be reached by car, and in May-September only by boat. The average time by boat from the Duskanya Bay to Orotuk is about 2 hours.

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