In 2015, the staff of the Science Department are carrying out research on five subjects:
- The Nature Records (scientific supervisor Yu.A. Buyvolov) (download Table of Contents to the Scientific Report);
- Inventory of rare species of animals, plants and mushrooms, as well as rare ecosystems in the buffer zone and in the cooperation zone of the biosphere reserve (scientific supervisor Yu.A. Buyvolov);
- Scientific and methodological support of environmental education activities (scientific supervisor M.M. Zablotskaya);
- Birds of biological communities of the Prioksko-Terrasny BR and adjacent areas (population structure, ecological and ethological features) (scientific supervisor M.M. Zablotskaya);
- The study of the spider fauna (Arachnida: Aranei) of the Prioksko-Terrasny BR. The research, a new for the Reserve, was initiated in 2014 (scientific supervisor R.R. Seyfulina).
The biota monitoring program includes observations of 12 long-term rows with the duration of 20 years or more.
An integrated background monitoring program has been performed since 1984. It includes the measurement of concentrations of heavy metal (mercury, lead and cadmium), persistent organic compound such as benzo(a)pyrene (BP) and benzo[g,h,i]perylene and organochlorine pesticides in the composition of DDT and lindane / hexachlorocyclohexane pesticide in the main ecosystem components – atmospheric air and precipitation, surface waters, boggy and bottom deposits, soils and vegetation.
The reserve management cooperating with research institutions of the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring of Russia and the Russian Academy of Science monitors 4 programmes of international cooperation:
- the Programme of Integrated Background Monitoring in the CIS (IBM);
- the European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme — EMEP;
- the International Co-operative Programme on Integrated Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Ecosystems — ICP IM;
- the Global Atmosphere Watch the World Meteorological Organization GAW WMO.
36 environmental parameters are measured annually. In the database there accumulated continuous series of measurements of 30 years or more. It is the only integrated background monitoring station (IBM) in Russia, on which the full monitoring programme is performed. In the reserve at the IBM station called “The Prioksko-Terrasny Biosphere Reserve” more than 18 thousand of measurements of various environmental components, including meteorological, geochemical, geophysical and biological characteristics of ecosystems are performed every year. The monitoring results allow to authentically evaluate bioclimatic changes in the reserve ecosystems under the influence of global factors.
There have been issued more than 800 publications in Russian and about 100 publications in English on various scientific aspects of the conservation and study of the reserve nature.
The reserve has long-term scientific relationship and makes new contracts on mutual cooperation in various fields of scientific research. In 2015, in the reserve scientists work on 8 research projects on the basis of agreements on scientific cooperation with 12 leading research institutions: the Russian Academy of Science (RAS), High School, the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring of Russia and others (Severtsev Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Lomonosov Moscow State University, the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, the Geographical Institute of the RAS, the Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science of the RAS in Pushchino, etc.)
Scientific and Educational Activity
Every year about 80 students (foresters, botanists, zoologists, ecologists) do a practical training in the Prioksko-Terrasny BR. They study in such universities as the Branch of Moscow State University in Pushchino, Russian State Agrarian University – Timiryazev MAA, Faculty of Biology of MSU, Moscow State Pedagogical University. Besides, undergraduates of Pushchino State University and other universities in Russia come to the reserve.
In the reserve, trainees from various research institutions, participants of seminars on nature conservation, young naturalists – students of colleges, schools and lyceums are trained and take part in the work. Specialists of various research institutions and other strictly protected natural areas do a course here.