WWF cохраняет Cамшит
06
November

By Stevie Adams / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /


This is the relic Buxus Сolchica forest. Just a few years ago it was a common tree species along the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus. [25 millions years ago] For thousands of years these ancient woods have grown here. [400 000 years ago] They lived through the Ice Age and survived till our days. But one day it all changed. [2013, 2014] Now Buxus Сolchica is almost completely gone. [ALEXEY BIBIN,
PhD. in Biology, Senior Researcher of
Caucasian State Biosphere Reserve] The degradation was caused by invasion of a specific pest insect, Box-tree moth. This monophagous moth feeds on the leaves and stems of Buxus species exclusively. Introduced into the Caucasus with imported planting stock, the pest spread rapidly across the intact box tree forests of the region. The moth met no natural enemies there. Within few years, its ever-hungry larvas destroyed 99% of intact box tree forests. [ALEXANDER SEMENOV,
Forest Pathologist of Russian Centre
of Forest Health in Krasnodar Region] Buxus Сolchica usually grows in the river valleys which are protected areas. The Water Code prohibits pesticide application in those protected areas along the rivers, thus our hands were tied. We could not use chemical means, and the pest has no natural enemies in this region. The impact on the Buxus Сolchica forest ecosystem was unexpected and devastating. One day we had the Buxus Сolchica forests, and now we have none. Nobody will ever see Buxus Сolchica forests as they used to be. Neither our children, nor grandchildren. Surely, even our grand-grandchildren will not see them. Videos and photos are all that is left to us. However, there is a remote chance to restore the Buxus Сolchica. Ecologically responsible business, individual donors, scientists, and experts joined their efforts to restore population of relict species. [VALERIY SHMUNK,
PhD. in Biology, Director of the Russian
Caucasus Regional O ffice, WWF-Russia] Naturally, witnessing the rapid extinction of the Buxus Сolchica in the Western Caucasus, WWF-Russia joined the project aimed at its conservation at the very beginning. We sought advice from the experts and scientists. And finally, we came to the conclusion that a greenhouse should be built. Building of a greenhouse is only one part of the project; another task is to develop planting method for green cuttings of Buxus Сolchica to create a mother plantation and prepare young trees for planting into the wilderness. At the Apsheronsk Forestry Technical College, scientists and students experiment with germination of the Buxus Сolchica seeds. [EVGENY GRABENKO,
PhD. in Biology, Senior Researcher
of Caucasian State Biosphere Reserve] The seeds are hard to germinate. There is little knowledge about the process or a technology for massive germinating of the Buxus Сolchica seeds. We separate good quality seeds from the poor ones. These good quality seeds are glossy, and they are very important for us. In contrast, the poor quality seeds are faded and easily crushed with fingers. We put the good quality seeds into the cups and place them either into the refrigerator or a drying cabinet. Thus we expose the seeds to adverse environment which improves their germination. However, the Buxus Сolchica prefers vegetative reproduction. To do so, we cut a small branch of the tree, then we cut small spurs from it, clip lower leaves off, and plant the green cuttings. “The Apsheronsk Forestry Technical College welcomes you!” The nursery was opened in official ceremony at the Apsheronsk Forestry Technical College on September 21, 2018. It symbolizes start of practical realization of this WWF-Russia’s long-term project. Building of the greenhouse is actually the beginning of the first stage. We hope that in a few years, maybe 3 or 5, we will have some pilot forest sites with expanding population of the Buxus Сolchica. Within the project different methods of the Buxus Сolchica reproduction, in particular, with green cuttings and seeds planting will be used. A long and complicated work lies ahead. From the very first days of the project, students and teachers of the Apsheronsk Forestry Technical College take active part in it. [VIKTORIA KHARCHENKO,
Director of the Apsheronsk
Forestry Technical College] We are glad to work with WWF-Russia and thankful for their trust, because our College considers a privilege to become the pioneers in the groundbreaking initiative of restoration and conservation of the Buxus Сolchica. The greenhouse is fully equipped to protect the young trees against adverse weather all year round. Thoroughly planned layout of seed beds and passages makes it possible to take care after every young plant there. The ideal environment in the greenhouse is ensured by misting system. [VLADIMIR LITOVCHENKO,
Head of the Educational Farm in
Apsheronsk Forestry Technical College ] The green cuttings have no roots, but they have leaves; so, the leaves will collect the water and the plants will root. 300 green cuttings were planted
on the nursery opening day. That’s only the beginning. Next June, all seed beds will be stocked with young box trees. The trees will grow in the greenhouse for three years. [ELENA CHERKASOVA,
Forest Projects Coordinator of the Russian
Caucasus Regional Office, WWF-Russia] Then we’ll divide them in two groups. The first group will be used for establishing a mother plantation here at the Apsheronsk College grounds and produce new generations of planting stock. The second group will be replanted into the wilderness, where the Buxus Сolchica used to grow. Scientists believe that population of the Box-tree moth will decline considerably withing the next few years. This pest will no longer be a threat to the young boxwood trees. Experts see a good chance that the greenhouse nursery will succeed. The sites where restoration of the Buxus Сolchica population will begin have already been identified. I think it will take 8 to 10 years to see some meaningful result in the wilderness. The new greenhouse nursery is a chance to save this unique tree species from complete extinction. It is also the first step towards restoration of the magnificent box tree woods in the Russian Caucasus. The project was supported by WWF-Russia’s individual donors, business, and environmental organizations. Let’s save the Buxus Сolchica together!


One thought on “WWF cохраняет Cамшит

  1. За прошедший год я высадил и раздал для посадки более 3500 саженцев самшита. В Адыгее с помощью волонтёров из организации НАБУ посажено 2500 саженцев. Проект будет продолжен – уже подготовлено около 5000 саженцев, которые также ожидают высадки в природе и лесопарках по Кавказу…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *