Korean Pine seeds nursery created in Primorye
Seasonal forest fires and logging operations over the past decades twice reduced the area of mixed Korean Pine-broadleaved forests in Primorye. Forest restoration such as planting, growing of Korean Pine seedlings and returning them back to the wild under the forest canopy is very important. However, every year it's hard to find healthy seedlings of a good quality for a proper reforestation.
«Complicated situation in forest management in Russia over the past decades practically destroyed the system of forest nurseries in Primorye. Thanks to regular trainings, work of students and staff of the Academy as well as WWF support, the Academy managed to preserve the forest nursery. A new special module – seeds storage is needed for proper preparation of seeds for planting. Its launch will help to grow Korean Pine and other tree species in volumes required for Primorsky province forest restoration”. - comments Andrey Komin, principal of Primorskaya Agricultural Academy (PGSHA).
Forest seeds storage is the key infrastructure of the nursery. It was purchased and equipped this year with help of WWF Russia supporters and members of Golden Panda Club. The Academy received a special construction for proper storage of seeds and further preparation for the planting. If stored in improper conditions, even seeds of high quality lose their germinating ability.
This February, the students and post graduate students of the Forestry Institute of the Academy already put two tons of Korean Pine seeds to the new rack for stratification. The seeds were purchased with WWF support. Such seed storage allows cultivating rare Red Listed tree species and plants such as Japanese yew and prickly castor oil tree (Kalopanax).
«I'd like to highlight that the stratification, apart from the importance for forest restoration, is the part of practical training for students to study the technologies of forest seeds preparation for planting, - comments Evgeny Lepeshkin, project coordinator at WWF Russia Amur branch. - Now, in complicated period for the forest management in Russia, supporters help for WWF activities in forest sector is vitally important. Primorsky Agricultural Academy is WWF's key partner, and our cooperation hopefully may bring professional specialists in forest management in the Russian Far East, and the confidence that those forests of Amur tigers and leopards are in good hands. The storage for seeds will improve the process of seeds preparation for planting, and allow to get about one million 3-year old Korean Pine seedlings, thus ensuring restoration of 400-500 hectares of forests”.
The cooperation of WWF Russia and the Institute of Forestry was launched in 2011. The start point was the nature conservation lease of experimental forest unit of the area of 29000 hectares. With WWF support the forest nursery was recovered, where students are trained to the methods of reforestation and prepare planting material for restoration of degraded forests in the home range of the Amur tiger and leopard.