Libmonster ID: KZ-1582
Author(s) of the publication: Svetlana FISENKO

by Svetlana FISENKO, Cand. Sc. (Agr.), senior research assistant of Gornotayezhnaya station named after V. Komarov, RAS Far-Eastern Branch (village of Gornotayezhnoe, Primorski Krai)

On the western slopes of the Przhevalsk Mountains, a part of the Sikhote Alin system, 25 km away from the town of Ussuriisk, on the area of 4,747 hectares, there is located a Gornotayezhnaya station of RAS Far-Eastern Branch, the first academic research institution in the Far East, named after the outstanding botanist and geographer, President of the USSR Academy of Sciences (1936-1945) Acad. Vladimir Komarov. Founded in 1932 on his initiative and under his active support, it became a center of collective use and a base for experimental and scientific studies of national and foreign specialists, who are engaged in problems of reproduction, rational use and protection of resources of Primorski Krai.

Almost all academic institutions in early 20th century, except for experimental and regional stations, were concentrated in Moscow and Leningrad. However, the state interests required creation of research bases in other big industrial areas as well. In 1916, after opening of the Southern Ussuri Branch of the Amur Department of the Russian Geographical Society, they were set up in north-western outskirts of Russia: in Vladivostok, Khabarovsk and Nikolsk-Ussuriisk (today Ussuriisk), where a permanently acting Botanical Study was opened in 1918. In 1929, it was transformed into a Southern Ussuri Branch of the Far-Eastern regional research institute and in two years into the Institute for Studies of the Far-Eastern Flora; then in 1932 on its basis was formed the aforesaid Gornotayezhnaya Station (GTS).

Its creation is closely connected with the name of Acad. Vladimir Komarov. He suggested to organize per-

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manent branches of the Academy of Sciences in remote regions of our country, including the Far East, when he was Vice-President of the USSR Academy of Sciences (1930-1936). In 1913 the outstanding naturalist thoroughly studied the Southern Ussuri territory. The unique flora in the upper reaches of the Suputinka river, diversity of forest communities, not damaged by fires and anthropogenic activities, all this became a motive force for the scientist to take a decision on creation of a reserve there. But hard times in Russia hampered realization of these plans. Only in 1931 Komarov managed to initiate a resolution of the Presidium of the USSR AS on organization of the Far-Eastern Gornotayezhnaya Station with a Suputinka (today Ussuri) reserve as its component part. In 1932, after its incorporation into the Far-Eastern Branch of the USSR AS, it became the first regional academic institution in the Far East.

The tasks were grandiose: to study mountain and taiga areas of Primorski Krai and offer ways of their reasonable and rational use. Its first director (1932-1934) was Alexander Fedorov, one of the initiators of creation of the Southern Ussuri Branch of the Russian Geographical Society-an outstanding personality, talented organizer, close friend of the famous geographer, ethnographer and researcher of the Far East Vladimir Arsenyev (1872-1930). It was also headed by Tit Samoilov for more than 30 years (1945-1979). Under his guidance the station carried out functions of an experimental permanent base for biological subdivisions of the Far-Eastern Branch of the Academy of Sciences, conducted independent studies and assisted in the development of horticulture, potato-keeping, beekeeping and other spheres of agriculture in the territory. At present the station is headed by Pyotr Zorikov, Dr. Sc. (Biol.), who is interested in studies of medicinal herbs of Primorski Krai, biological activity of extracts from Far-Eastern and introduced plants.

Acad. Komarov closely cooperated with the station for many years, supervised studies in the sphere of plant taxonomy-most important in the first and very difficult years of its formation. In 1931 and 1932 there was published in Leningrad a two-volume book by Komarov Guide to Plants of the Far-Eastern Territory, which he wrote in collaboration with the botanist Yevgeniya Klobukova-Alisova. It presents ~2,000 species of the local flora. The book gained popularity at once and became a bibliographical rarity. At the same time there was carried out inventorying of the Ussuri reserve vegetation, taxonomy of Far-Eastern poplars, lindens, buckthorns, actinidias, grasses and sedges.

In the initial period specialists paid close attention to groups of plants which had economic significance. Observations carried on by Zinaida Gutnikova, Cand. Sc. (Biol.), for many years, allowed to reveal composition and study phenology of forest honey plants in the south of Primorski Krai. The object of studies were fodder crops (more than 9,000 local and introduced species of herbs used in animal husbandry were tested at the nursery) as well as medicinal wild plants, including ginseng. Not far from the Suputinka reserve (today the Ussuri reserve named after V. Komarov) the staff member of the station Anna Skibinskaya laid the first planta-

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tion of ginseng (200 plants). This served as a base for creation (in 1961) of Primorski specialized state farm "Ginseng" (village of Starovarvarovka, Anuchinsk district). The famous Far-Eastern geobotanist Galina Kurentsova described characteristics and use of more than 250 Far-Eastern medicinal plants.

In 1935 a dendrological nursery was organized on the experimental plot "Krivoi Klyuch", the place of the present-day station, in the picturesque spurs of the Przhevalsky ridge. Works connected with its laying and looking after plants were managed by Taisia Samoilova, head of the dendrological laboratory. For the first 10 years she and her colleagues tested more than 6,000 species of seeds of arboreal and frutescent plants of various origin. The grown material was planted in the arboretum.

Among biochemical works of the period of formation of the station we must mention works of Dmitry Balandin on studies of lemon tree, predominating in Primorski Krai, mainly in areas adjacent to the Ussuri river. In 1941 there was published the scientist's monograph with convincing proofs of pharmacological characteristics of liana. He isolated for the first time a new stimulating substance from the plant fruits-schizandrin (from Latin name of lemon tree) and described it.

From late 1930s our specialists studied methods of economical use of mountain slopes for agriculture and timber industry, laid new experimental plots for studies of erosion processes in soils and fodder-grass cultivation.

In 1940 the GTS was named after Acad. V. Komarov. Three years later due to the organization in Ussuriisk of the Far-Eastern base of the USSR Academy of Sciences, which in 1949 was transformed into the Far-Eastern Branch of the USSR AS, a majority of its leading specialists began work there, while at the station proper research activities were gradually abating. Only in 1953 the work team was strengthened by academic specialists. At the same time there was set up a station of Solar Service for continuous tracking of active processes on the Sun; in 1981 the station turned into an independent organization-the Ussuri Astrophysical Observatory of the RAS Far-Eastern Branch.

The 1960s are one of the brightest decades in the GTS history. The group of Antonin Titlyanov studied anatomy of seeds of lemon tree and Actinidia, as well as methods of their accelerated reproduction. Nikolai Suprunov and Pyotr Zorikov with colleagues carried out biochemical studies of plants of the ginseng family for medicinal purposes, worked out technologies of getting extracts from them. Yelena Nechayeva with colleagues analyzed peculiarities of formation of forest soils in mountain and taiga areas and worked out recommendations for their practical application.

From 1961 the works were resumed in the arboretum, which had been terminated in 1942. The main objective was to create an uterine park in the territory of the station-in fact it was a live museum with arboreal-frutes-

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cent, suffruticose and liana plants of different origin. The group of Taisia Samoilova, studying a possibility of introduction and acclimatization of plants in the conditions of Primorski Krai, created on the area of 10 hectares sites for expositions and collections of botanical and geographical landscapes of North America, Eastern Asia, Europe, Siberia and Far East. By 1978 the arboretum had a collection of almost 1,360 species of trees, shrubs, lianas of various origin. Some introduced cultures (American mountain ash, Canadian wayfaring tree, shadbush, nine-barks, box elder, etc.) turned out to be more viable and productive as compared with local aboriginal plants. A significant part of plants managed to acclimatize successfully-they flower, bear fruit, are self-sown and can serve as an initial material for further reproduction. A lot of introduced leafy plants are wide-

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ly used in cities and villages of Primorski Krai to make them green and beautiful.

Scientific and practical significance presents one of the biggest collections of Coniferales, rhododendrons and lianas in Russia, as well as a complete collection of relict species of the ginseng family. On the base of the nursery there is implemented reproduction of economically valuable, rare and endemic plant species, an insectarium is created for breeding and upkeep of disappearing species of insects, registered in the Red Data Book of Russia.

In the 1960s the problem of potato-growing was completely abandoned in Primorski Krai, its yields were very low. The cause-general spread of viral diseases and a low level of seed-growing. The infection-affected tuberiform herbaceous plant was "degenerating" (was losing quality characteristics). The solution of this problem consisted in working out agrotechnical methods of growing of high-grade seed potato on a virus-free

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base. Yevgeniya Lebedeva, Cand. Sc. (Agr.), decided to find them.

I happened to work under her guidance for 15 years, study weed-infested plants, take part in expeditions to Primorski Krai and Khabarovsk Territory with other staff members of the laboratory. At last we managed to find main causes of affection of the culture by viral diseases and on the basis of studies of many years (in cooperation with the Biological and Soil Institute on Vladivostok) to work out methods of potato-growing on a virus-free base. The most rational of them was creation of closed areas for seed-growing. Ecological and climatic analyses based on materials of studies of 20 meteostations demonstrated: the best place for organization of farms to produce healthy élite in Primorski Krai was a plot in Chuguevsk district, where are located two villages-Sokolovka and Bulyga-Fadeevo. In 1971, by the government decision there were organized areas of closed potato seed-growing, one of the first in our country. Due to GTS works its growing in the farms of Primorski Krai became rather profitable.

Thus, by early 1970s there were formed 3 research groups-of dendrology, phytovirusology and medicinal herbs, reorganized into corresponding laboratories (later on 2 more groups were created-insect ecology and forest monitoring). In 1986, by order of the USSR AS, the station was granted status equal to that of research institutes. Together with the arboretum it is a center for collective use and an experimental base for national and foreign laboratories. Our main partners are institutions of RAS Far-Eastern Branch: Biological and Soil Institute, Botanical Garden-Institute, Far-Eastern Geological Institute, Pacific Institute of Geography, Pacific Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry and other leading centers of Primorye.


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Svetlana FISENKO, WAYS OF OPENING UP THE USSURI TAIGA // Astana: Digital Library of Kazakhstan (BIBLIO.KZ). Updated: 23.11.2021. URL: https://biblio.kz/m/articles/view/WAYS-OF-OPENING-UP-THE-USSURI-TAIGA (date of access: 04.12.2021).

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