During the field season lichenologists of the Department of Botany and Physiology of Plants, Doctor of Biological Sciences, Professor Viktoria Tarasova and Candidate of Biological Sciences, Associate Professor Vera Androsova together with students took part in four scientific expeditions to the Republic of Karelia and Arkhangelsk Oblast.
In May the group embarked on the first expedition to the Kivach nature reserve in order to study ontogenetic structure, cenopopulations, and physiology of cyanobiont lichens Nephroma and Peltigera. The studies were carried out at stationary test sites in plant communities of fir type, which are at different stages of succession. As part of the study, the researchers made hypotheses, methods, study plan, tested methods, collected material for further cameral treatment. This comprehensive work is done for the first time in Northwestern Russia and will be the groundwork for four graduation theses of students of the Institute of Biology, Ecology and Agricultural Technologies.
In June PetrSU researchers went on an expedition to the Vodlozersky National Park to the Ileksa River, Arkhangelsk Oblast, to study species diversity of the park. This is the first lichenological expedition to this area. The participants of the expedition traveled on a boat approximately 70 km of the river: from the Kalgachenskoe Lake to the Ik Lake (15 km from the border with Karelia) and explored its tributaries (rivers Chusreka, Olova, Ukhta). During the expedition, the group established and described 29 test sites in various types of plant communities, including unique low-disturbed inundated fir wood, collected around 3 thousand samples of lichens, among which are species new for the park and the area in general. The completed work is a considerable contribution to revealing general species diversity of the park, the largest nature reserve in Europe, and will facilitate the work on the new edition of the Red Book of Arkhangelsk Oblast (2019).
In the second half of June, Viktoria Tarasova took part in international Finnish-Russian expedition organized by Arkhangelsk WWF Office. The expedition carried out field research of a forest plot in the Pinezhsky region of Arkhangelsk Oblast to substantiate the extension of the regional special nature reserve “Puchkomsky”. The field study of the plot evidenced its low level of disturbance; the forests have a natural dynamic of stands, most studied communities have no traces of fires and lumbering, show diversity in lichen, including rare endangered species (the Red Book of Russia, the Red Book of Arkhangelsk Oblast, including the incoming edition of 2019). The participants of the expedition discovered in Arkhangelsk Oblast Usea longissima Ach., rarest lichen in the world included in the Red Book of the Russian Federation (2008).
At the beginning of July, Viktoria Tarasova studied plant communities in the floodplain of the Netoma River, the Plesetsky region, Arkhangelsk Oblast. The Netoma River is a tributary of the Vodla River that flows through the Pudozhsky region of the Republic of Karelia. The river marks the border between Arkhangelsk Oblast (AO) and Karelia (RK) in this area: the left bank belongs to AO and the right bank to RK. The aim of the expedition was to examine the plant communities in the area belonging to AO, find habitats of endangered lichen species and inclusion into the new edition of the Red Book of AO. As a result, the researchers established and described three test sites, discovered new lichens from a potential list of protected species of the Red Book of AO, including rare nemoral lichen Tuckermannopsis ciliaris (Ach.) Gyeln., seldom found in Karelia in the floodplain of the Vodla River (the Pudozhsky region).