Assessment of the Biological Resource Potential of Species of Symphytum L. in the Flora of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic
The paper investigates ecological and biological features, chemical composition and nutritional value of the aboveground phytomass of Symphytum asperum Lepech. and Symphytum caucasicum M. Bieb. within the primary range through the example of phytocenoses of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic. The range of S. asperum covers the foothill and middle mountain zones up to a height of 2400 m a.s.l., and S. caucasicum covers the flat and foothill zones up to 750 m a.s.l. The limiting factors for the species of Symphytum L. are moisture, nitrogen availability and acidity of the soil. In the studied ecotopes, the realized ecological niche of S. asperum and S. caucasicum is within the limits of the fundamental one. The relationship has been established between the content of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the aboveground phytomass of comfrey plants and the content of humus, mobile phosphorus and exchangeable potassium in the soil of the species habitat. The accumulation of vitamin C in the aboveground phytomass depends on the height above sea level, the average temperature and the amount of precipitation during the growing season. The nutritional and energy value of phytomass, high yield and good regrow capacity of plants indicate the possibility of using S. asperum and S. caucasicum in fodder production. Since comfrey plants grow sparsely and in places difficult for farm animals to access, it is advisable to create plantations of S. asperum and S. caucasicum in the territory of Kabardino-Balkaria for multiple purposes (fodder, melliferous and medicinal).
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