For a month, scientists will examine Kamchatka spruce forests
On August 1, an expedition of scientists from the Kamchatka branch of the Pacific Institute of Geography has begun. Field studies of the forest area surrounding the Nikolka volcano and the river will take about a month. During this time, the researchers expect to collect sufficient information to prepare the rationale for the creation of a botanical reserve in this area.
According to scientists, at least 12 rare species grow in spruce forests around the volcano, some of which are listed in the Red Book of Kamchatka Krai, Russia. And some, like, for example, boreal f felt lichen (Erioderma pedicellatum), are of particular value on a global scale. The fact is that spruce forests in the area of Nikolka and the Lazovsky site of the Kronotsky Reserve are one of four places in the world where this extremely rare lichenized fungi species is found.
Previous expeditions that scientists conducted in 2014-2016 revealed serious threats to this cluster of ancient forests. First of all, we are talking about deforestation, as well as forest fires, which, for example, in the summer of 2016 destroyed over 190 hectares of forest. According to experts’ opinion, if a conservation status is not established over the territory, these forests will be completely destroyed in a few short years.