No such thing as too much forest

  • 14.11.2014
  • News
No such thing as too much forest

The Amur Tiger Center handed over four tons of seeds of Korean cedar for the needs of the nursery of Primorskaya State Academy of Agriculture.

Over the past decades, extensive forest management in the Amur tiger’s habitat has led to a significant reduction of areas covered by plantations with predominance of Korean pine and Mongolian oak. As a consequence, the quality of habitats of rare and endangered species has significantly decreased. In the current situation, artificial reforestation is one of the ways to transform the many degraded forests into a pristine state.

Currently, the fund for the reconstruction of forests in Primorsky Krai is estimated in thousands of hectares - these are areas where people are to plant the trees. The main species for the restoration of forests in Primorye was and remains the Korean cedar. At the initiative of the Amur Tiger Center joint work was begun in the forest nursery of PSAA to prepare for the cultivation of cedar seedlings. So far the Amur Tiger Center and its supporters have purchased four tons of cedar seeds, which are tested at a seed-growing station. Half of the seeds has already been placed in trenches for a long stratification, to sow then in 2016. The remaining seeds will be stratified by a combined (accelerated) method for sowing in the spring of 2015. In the process of stratification, students of the Forestry Institute under the guidance of experienced specialists receive the necessary knowledge and skills in preparing seeds for sowing.

"The forests of the south of the Russian Far East have an amazing ability for natural restoration. Nevertheless, there are areas of the forest that are degraded by fires and logging. They are depreciated when the cedar, oak and other valuable, primarily for ungulate animals, trees disappear. Everything is interconnected, when there is no fodder base to maintain high population of ungulates - there will be no tiger, - Sergey Aramylev comments. - Of course, the seed fund created by us together with the Academy is a drop in the volume of forests that need to be planted. Do not forget that planting a seedling is the first and simplest step in all respects, after which a long-term care is required, and only after that the forest will "have" a fruit-bearing tree. The main task of our project is to educate the younger generation, including qualified specialists. Everyone can plant a tree, this step is guaranteed not to harm the environment.

The first plantlets of cedar in the tiger’s areal will appear in May next year. According to preliminary estimates, it is expected to receive no less than 300 thousand pieces of seedlings, which in three years can be used to increase the forest area. The same amount of planting material is planned to be obtained from the second part of the seeds, which are on a long stratification in the trench, 1 year later.

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