A Geography of the Soviet Union by John C. Dewdney and W. B. Fisher (Auth.)

By John C. Dewdney and W. B. Fisher (Auth.)

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T h e s e a r e often h i g h l y a l k a l i n e o w i n g to t h e intense e v a p o r a t i o n d r a w i n g salts to t h e surface, a n d in places saline soils (solonets a n d solonchak) d e v e l o p . T h e s e c a r r y a few grasses a n d s h r u b s a d a p t e d to c o n d i t i o n s of h i g h alkalinity. 7. D e s e r t T h i s e x t e n d s from t h e n o r t h e r n a n d e a s t e r n shores of t h e C a s p i a n to t h e foothills of t h e A l a y a n d T y a n ' S h a n ' m o u n t a i n s .

N o r t h - w e s t w a r d , a l o n g t h e Black S e a coast, c o n d i t i o n s b e c o m e progressively d r i e r a n d t h e v e g e t a t i o n on t h e lower slopes takes on t h e g e n e r a l c h a r a c t e r of t h e x e r o p h y t i c M e d i t e r r a n e a n forest. A t i n t e r m e d i a t e levels b e t w e e n t h e l a t t e r a n d t h e coniferous forest of t h e h i g h e r a r e a s is a z o n e of d e c i d u o u s forest in w h i c h t h e b e e c h is p r e d o m i n a n t .

S . S . R . w h e r e t h e coldest m o n t h h a s a m e a n a b o v e freezing p o i n t . T h e s e i n c l u d e t h e C r i m e a n coast ( Y a l t a 4 ° C ) a n d T r a n s c a u c a s i a ( B a t u m i 6 ° C ) . M o s t of Soviet C e n t r a l Asia h a s low w i n t e r t e m p e r a t u r e s ( T u r t k u F — 5 ° C ) . T h e r e is a s m a l l a r e a a l o n g t h e s o u t h e r n m a r g i n w i t h n o m o n t h l y m e a n b e l o w zero, b u t even h e r e frosts a r e a c o m m o n o c c u r r e n c e .

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