BOTANICAL GARDEN-INSTITUTE, FAR EAST BRANCH, RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
Expositional and collection sites of Laboratory for Introduction of tree species
Blooming Garden CornersThe discovery and study by S.P. Krasheninnikov, K. I. Maximovich and V. L. Komarov, leading Russian botanic research figures, of Russia’s rich and unique flora and vegetation in the nation’s 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.
The Rose—the most beautiful Queen of Flowers
Garden under Glass Roof
Collection of Plants of Russian Far Eastern flora
(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 Garden’s major task is to spread scientific knowledge in respective branches of science and to educate the general public ecologically.
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.