Help for the Irkutsk Botanic Garden (fwd from TAXACOM)

DARWIN at iris.uncg.edu DARWIN at iris.uncg.edu
Fri Jan 14 01:14:32 EST 1994


This message just appeared on TAXACOM, and while it is a bit off our topic
of comparative studies in the historical sciences I think it is a worthy
cause.  If any of the members of Darwin-L can provide assistance they should
get in touch with Dr. Kuzevanov directly at the address below.

Bob O'Hara (darwin at iris.uncg.edu)

----------------------------------------

<Forwarded message: From Victor Ya.Kuzevanov (VIC at BOGARD.IRKUTSK.SU)

May I ask you to give us some help in order to get a very necessary
information for our Irkutsk Botanic Garden, if available. Some Siberian
enthusiastic scientists and environmentalists are going to restore the
Garden after many years of its destruction. Several scientists and me
have shifted from the Academical Institutes to Botanic Garden last year
and now we urgently interested in different supporting materials useful
for reviving of Irkutsk Botanic Garden (see attached info) and for the
new environmental policy in Siberian Region near the Baikal Lake.

There are some of our needs:

1) Email and post address list of other Botanic Gardens all over the
world as well as seed companies.

2) Info on botanists/programmers involved in BG-Base and
TROPICALIS-Base information system.

3) any support in order to get Tropical Plants Identification Manuals and
Botanical descriptive literature with color pictures, Zyxell-type
Fax-Voice-Modem (with MNP5), IBM-type NoteBook computer, color scanner to
scan pictures and maps, color printer, A4-format copying xerox machine,
software Paradox 4.0, some plant growth regulators (IAA, BAP, GA3), seeds
of different colorful American flowers to be exposed in our Botanic
Garden.

4) the memorandum and resulted documents of the "Earth Summit in
Rio -1992" concerning biodiversity and international efforts to save
rare, endemic, and endangered plants, to save natural Siberian flora and
fauna of such fragile ecosystems near the Baikal Lake - well known world
heritage.

Any other information on environmental problems concerning plants would
be appreciated. Let me know what kind of botanical and ecological
information from Siberia and Baikal Lake region you may be interested
in. Thank you in advance. Sincerely yours,

Victor

Dr.Victor Ya.Kuzevanov, Director
Botanic Garden of the Irkutsk State University
Koltsov Street, 93
P.O.Box 1457, Irkutsk
664039, RUSSIA

Phone: 7-(3952)-435836
Fax: 7-095-4202106(International) or 7-3952-332238(Local)
Telex: 231511 PTB SU  Attention IGU KUZEVANOV
Email: vic at bogard.irkutsk.su

----------------------------------------

Brief information on the Botanic Garden
of the Irkutsk State University

     The Botanic Garden of the Irkutsk State University (BG-ISU), created
in 1941, today occupies 27.08 hectares of the Sverdlovsk region of Irkutsk
city (70 kilometers west of Lake Baikal). It is the single site of plant
introduction in Eastern Siberia and categorized by law as a nature
preserve within the city of Irkutsk.
     The principle tasks of BG-ISU are plant introduction, the training
of university students, schoolchildren and the general population, and the
improvement of the ecological situation. BG-ISU works to save the
genetically-diverse flora of Eastern Siberia by adding to its collection of
living plants and studying their biology. With the existing collection, an
assortment of plants better adapted to local and other climatic and
ecological conditions, BG-ISU endeavors to increase the amount of green
areas in the city and to improve the environment. BG-ISU carries out
educational activities regarding nature preservation and botanical
knowledge. BG-ISU is the only botanic garden in Central Siberia included in
the International Nomenclature of Botanic Gardens (beginning in 1953) and a
member of the Network of Botanic Gardens of Russia.
     BG-ISU maintains and studies a collection of 1,300 live plant species
and varieties from various regions of the world (estimated value of 3 million
rubles at 1991 prices). BG-ISU is a center of training and practical study
for students of the Biological and Soil, Geological, Geographical, and
Chemical Faculties of Irkutsk State University, at which staff members
give lectures and carry out research. In the past five years, students at
BG-ISU have completed 1 doctorate, 6 master's and 8 bachelor's degrees.
Courses and workshops are held regularly for student pharmacologists of the
Irkutsk State Medical Institute, students of the Irkutsk State Pedagogical
Institute, summer students of the Irkutsk Pharmacological College, as well
as for school teachers. School groups also make frequent field trips. In the
past five years, staff members have published 14 articles and 7 conference
abstracts in Russian publications. Once every two years, BG-ISU issues a
seed list, "Delectus of the Irkutsk Botanic Garden", as part of its
international seed exchange program.
     Currently, BG-ISU is organized into four sections:
1. Section of Dendrology. Occupies about 8 hectares. Maintains and studies
approximately 300 species of woody plants and bushes, including both local
Siberian flora and flora of the former Soviet Union and world.
2. Section of Wild Flora and Preservation of the Genefund. Occupies about 1
hectare, on which over 300 species are maintained. Consists of three
collections: systematicum, medicinal plants, and rare and endangered plants
of Eastern Siberia.
3. Section of Flowering and Decorative Plants. Over 500 species are
maintained in a field and 2 greenhouses (1000 square meters and 200 square
meters).  Tropical and subtropical cultures are included.
4. Section of Horticultural plants. Occupies about 2 hectares. Over 200
species and varieties of fruiting and other cultivated plants.
     At the moment, BG-ISU is registered as a branch of the university,
but it expects to become an independent entity within the some next
years. The staff includes 29 members (incl.4 PhD's): 3 administrative
workers, 12 biologists, 3 senior and 2 junior lab workers, 4 gardeners,
and 4 guards. Presently, the University provides only for BG-ISU
operating expenses and staff salaries (average $40 per month). Financial
support for BG-ISU restoration and beautification was discontinued over 5
years ago. The material base of BG-ISU does not meet modern or current
demands, as it lacks the following: 1) Machinery for soil treatment, 2)
Transport ability, 3) Elementary equipment for botanical, physiological,
and soil research, 4) Sewerage system. The physical infrastructure of
BG-ISU is in poor condition. The perimeter fence remains broken in
several spots because the university is not able to provide funds for its
repair. Nearby residents trespass on the grounds of BG-ISU constantly,
leading to frequent destruction and theft of valuable plants. The one
guard per 24 hour period allowed by the university's budget cannot patrol
27 hectares adequately. Especially destructive are teenagers who build
fires in the midst of a relict pine forest situated on BG-ISU territory.
Four years ago, almost 1.5 hectares of the forest were designated for
cutting by the administration of the city of Irkutsk to build a highway
and homes. At least 0.25 hectares have been cut and the completion of one
building has seriously damaged the biocenosis of the forest. Both a hot
water pumping station and a power station for city trolleybuses now run
through BG-ISU. Lawns and natural fields were harmed by construction
machinery. Building materials and trash litter the forest as a result of
the construction. A temporary order of stay exists for the forested area
not yet cut. Beginning in 1981, almost 60 percent of valuable tropical
and subtropical plants died every winter due to accidents that resulted
from a dangerously constructed heating system. This system has been
repaired as one of the first acts of the new management of BG-ISU,
financed independently from the university.
     Unfortunately, the break-up of the Soviet Union has forced
fundamental changes in the system supporting botanical, ecological, and
biotechnological research, shortage has come, and we have to look for any
collaboration/support from international sources.

     At present BG-ISU is looking for collaboration in:

1) GENE BANK PROJECT for rare and endemic Siberian plants conservation
(seed banking, collections, etc),

2) making of COMPUTER DATA BASE (Paradox 3.5, scanning of color
pictures&maps) of plant genetic resources in Siberia as a part of Gene
Bank Project,

3) botanical expeditions (+ecological tourism) around the Baikal Lake
to save endangered plants,

4) clonal propagation (fruit-trees, etc) and genetic transformation of
plants,

5) seed exchange and/or seed production,

6) publishing of attractive brochures and photo-cards on Siberian
flowering plants.

Every help would be appreciated.
    Thank you.

----------------------------------------

-- 
James F. Mahaffy                   e-mail: mahaffy at dordt.edu
Biology Department                 phone: 712 722-6279
Dordt College                      FAX 712 722-1198
Sioux Center, Iowa 51250



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