Diversity of rust fungi on woody and shrubby vegetation of the Zailiysky Alatau
Data on rust fungi on trees and shrubs of Zailiysky Alatau are significantly outdated (especially
taxonomy of species). Therefore the aim of our work is to study the diversity of rust fungi on trees, shrubs
and lianas of Zailiysky Alatau, to establish the distribution of species by host, gorge and absolute altitudes.
Establishing the species composition of rust fungi associated with trees and shrubs, their distribution in
the altitude zones and gorges of the Zailiysky Alatau is of scientific and practical importance. The material
for the article was both the authors’ own collections from the research area and the Institute’s herbarium
data. Preparation of specimens was carried out according to standard methods; they were studied and
photographed using a Polyvar photomicroscope with Nomarsky interference optics. During the last decade
we have determined 35 species of the rust fungi infecting trees and shrubs within the mycobiota of the
Zailiysky Alatau. The material was combined both of the authors’ own collections from numerous localities
within the research area as well as herbarium samples from the Institute of Botany and Phytointroduction,
Almaty. The most widely represented genera were Phragmidium and Puccinia (10 species each).The highest
diversity, 23 rust species, has been recorded in the Turgen gorge of Zailiysky Alatau, although all identified
species belonged only to 4 genera: Gymnosporangium, Melampsora, Phragmidium, and Puccinia. In the
Big and Small Almaty gorges, similar number of rust species has been recorded (22 and 19, respectively).
The lowest number of rust species, only 6, was noted in the Akterek gorge of the Zhetyzhol ridge, which is
the western tip of the Zailiysky Alatau. The main species diversity was confined to heights of 1300–1900
m a.s.l., which corresponds to the small-leaved forests and dark coniferous forests and meadows belts.
The value of the study and its practical importance lies in obtaining new data on the distribution of rust
infections of various trees and shrubs in the territory of Zailiysky Alatau.