PrimoryeProtection

BOTANICAL GARDEN-INSTITUTE, FAR EAST BRANCH, RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

 
Expositional and collection sites of Laboratory for Introduction of tree species
Blooming Garden Corners

The Rosethe most beautiful Queen of Flowers

Garden under Glass Roof

Collection of Plants of Russian Far Eastern flora

Ecological Path
 

    The discovery and study by S.P. Krasheninnikov, K. I. Maximovich and V. L. Komarov, leading Russian botanic research figures, of Russias rich and unique flora and vegetation in the nations Far East, particularly its southern part, a section of its ancient East Asia floristic region, and urgent problems of exploration and development of the Russian Far East caused the necessity to create a science center for experimental study of Far Eastern and other plants in stationary conditions. Hence, already before the 1917 Russian Revolution, a Botanical Garden under the South Ussuri Branch of the Russian Geographic Society was organized in Nikolsk-Ussuriisk. The initiator was Academician (later President of the USSR Academy of Sciences) V. L. Komarov, and the leading researcher E.N. Klobukova-Alissova, authors of the first discriminators of plants growing in the Russian Far East. However, the Garden did not last long.
    In the mid-nineteen twenties, Professor V. M. Savich, then its director, tried to create a Botanical Garden in the area of Station Sadgorod near Vladivostok. However, organized under the aegis of the Russian Society for the Study of Amur Region, it also proved short-lived.
    After the end of World War Two, it was deemed necessary to set up botanical gardens all over the country under the USSR Academy of Sciences. At that very time, the Academy began to organize its Head Botanical Garden in Moscow and Central Siberian Botanical Garden in Novosibirsk. At the same time, the Far East Base, USSR Academy of Sciences, and the local authorities in Primorye proposed the creation of an academic botanical garden in Vladivostok, and the Bureau (governing body) of the Council of Branches and Bases, USSR Academy of Sciences, endorsed the project in April 1946. Leading Russian Far Eastern foresters Professor (later Corresponding Member, USSR Academy of Sciences) B. P. Kolesnikov and Professor N. E. Kabanov selected a plot 176 hectares in area (present area is 170 ha) with well-preserved black sprucebroad-leaved and larchwood forests. In 1948, the Vladivostok City Council ruled to secure this plot for future construction of the new Garden, and in February 1949 the USSR Council of Ministers ruled to allocate the area to the Far East Base, USSR Academy of Science. For a long time, the Garden staff was not complete, and the position of Manager was vacant. A. Z. Kovalenko, Far East Base researcher, was part-time acting director, episodically superseded by researchers of the Academys Far Eastern Base (Head of Sector N. E. Kabanov), under which the Garden functioned till 1962. In 1949, M. A. Skripka became the Gardens director and only researcher to be officially endorsed in capacity of director in 1950. In 1959, the Garden already had six staff members. However, already from that period the research theme Introduction into the Culture of Local and Foreign Useful Plants in Conditions of Southern Primorye was being developed to include three sections. In 1952-1958 the Garden Director was V. G. Sinegub, under whom the Head Botanical Garden, USSR Academy of Sciences, provided major assistance in organizing research. In fact, M. A. Skripka used the results of five years work to publish her first monograph titled Wild Perennial Grassy Plants of the South of the Russian Far East for Park Construction.
     Yet in the 1950s, Vladivostok Botanical Garden was still not a genuine research institution. In 1954, it staffed eleven persons, including its director and three researchers. Since there were no specialists with degrees, A. D. Vorobiov, formally not a staff member, was placed in charge of the topic  Primary Introduction of Local and Testing of Foreign Useful Plants Management was frequently replaced: in 1958, P. V. Kusina was appointed acting director. E. N. Litvintsev was director from 1960 to 1963, and A. A. Popov from 1963 to 1964. During that period, the Garden launched its research on Introduction and Acclimatization of Plants, and gave major attention to developing the scientific foundations of landscaping in urban and rural areas of the Russian Far East and to promising farming crops
     In 1966, L. N. Blizniuk, the first employee with degree of candidate of science, was invited to be Botanical Garden director. At that time, the Garden was involved in two research projects connected with the study of local and introduced flora. Several researchers were sent to take regular and correspondence post-graduate courses. Subsequently in 1970, in connection with the organization of the Far East Science Center, USSR Academy of Sciences, the Botanical Garden received the status of an independent research institution, and V. P. Kuprianov was appointed director. In 1971, the Garden already staffed six candidates of science, and this allowed to organize two research laboratories. In 1974, A. F. Zhuravkov, Cand. Sci. (Agriculture), was appointed Director to remain in that capacity till 1996. A new laboratory building was commissioned in 1978, and two new greenhouses were built later, followed by reconstruction of a hothouse. Also, the Garden premises were surrounded by safety fencing, and construction of a nearby road network was started. In 1988, the Garden organized its own Academic Council, and in 1990 the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences granted it the status of a research institution. V. A. Nedoluzhko, D. Sci. (Biology) is Garden Director since 1996.
    At present, the Garden-Institute is the only fully botanical research institute in the Russian Far East, conducting scientific research in three major directions:

(1) biological fundamentals of plant introduction;
(2) protection of the gene pool of Russian Far Eastern flora; and
(3)  man-made changes in plant kingdom.

    Moreover, the Gardens major task is to spread scientific knowledge in respective branches of science and to educate the general public ecologically.

    The Botanical Garden staffs nearly ninety people, and half of them are assigned to research units. The Garden has four laboratories: for introduction of tree plants, for introduction and selection of decorative flower plants (with hothouse), for flora of the Russian Far East (with herbarium), and for monitoring of vegetation cover. In 1997, the Garden organized a botanical-ecological museum. To improve public enlightenment, an educational Garden Center is also being organized.  The Garden staffs twenty-four researchers, including two doctors and twelve candidates of science. Its current academic council includes fifteen researchers (doctors and candidates of science). Regular scientific conferences are held. Every year, Garden researchers publish papers, monographs and collected articles of printed works, and publication of series of transactions has started since 1998. International cooperation is developing through exchange of plant seeds and spores (Index Seminum) and through membership in Botanic Garden Conservation International and other organizations.
    The Garden boasts collections and expositions of 3,500 plant species varieties and forms from all regions of the globe. Over the years, many hundred plant species, varieties and forms have passed introduction tests to be recommended for use in the south of the Russian Far East. Techniques and methods have been developed for replicating and growing useful introduction plants, and methods proposed for conserving rare and disappearing Far Eastern flora species by introducing them into culture, including methods of reintroduction, introduction into park construction, preservation in cold climate, creation of hybrid collections, etc. Local trees and shrubs have been studied taxonomically, representatives of anemone subtribes from the crowfoot family monographically, and Far Eastern ferns biologically and ecologically. The priority of herbaceous life forms for Angiosperm plants has been comprehensively grounded. Selection has resulted in novel and promising varieties of decorative flower plants adapted to monsoon climate. Admissible recreational loads for various types of vegetation have been determined, and monographs written on oak forests of the Russian Far East.
    Every year, thousands of excursionists visit the Garden, whose researchers also teach at local universities, junior colleges, schools, ecological camps and societies.
    The Garden provides scientific guidance in establishing the Sakhalin and Amur botanic gardens operating under the Far East Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences. It closely cooperates with related institutions, e.g. with Alpine Taiga Station, Far East Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, the first academic institution in the region, organized way back in 1932, and one owning its own oldest arboretum, and with arboretums of the Far Eastern Forestry Research Institute in Khabarovsk and Dolinsk, Sakhalin Region, as well as with other institutions boasting live plant collections.

V. NEDOLUZHKO, D. Sc. (Biology), Director, Botanical Garden-Institute, Far East Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences.
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