Address: Zapadnodvinsky Region, Tver Oblast
Head: Peter Yuryevich Zaznobin
The hospital farmstead is located 15 km from the town of Zapadnaya Dvina in the village of Sosvyatskoye. Both the staff of ILAN RAS and local residents work at the station. The scientific supervisor from the day of foundation to the present is Stanislav Eduardovich Vompersky, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The head of the station is Pyotr Yuryevich Zaznobin, a native of the West Dvina land.
Experimental base is represented by the bogs of different types dried in 1972-1973 on the area of 3006 ha and not dried control bogs. Hydroforest-reclamation was carried out by a network of open ditches dug by an excavator. The distance between the ditches varied from 33 to 250 m, and the depth of the ditches varied from 0.5 to 1.7-2.0 m. The variant with the distance between ditches of 130 m and their depth of 1.0 m was taken as a standard. Total length of drainage network including main canals was 262 km and the degree of drainage was 87 linear meters per 1 hectare of drained area.
The diversity of geomorphological conditions of the stationary territory determined the presence of practically all possible zonal types and variants of waterlogging. Since 1974 the most intensive researches have been carried out at the station by a wide team of specialists in different fields: biological productivity, hydrology, hydrochemistry, chemistry and physics of soils, meliorative soil science, soil microbiology, geobotany, automation of observations, mathematical modeling of the processes under study. For the first time, studies revealing the biogeocenotic mechanisms of the impact of forest reclamation both on the drainage objects themselves and on the environment appeared. All this has made it possible to better justify ecological norms of drainage and to shake the myths of a negative attitude to hydroforest reclamation.
Since 1990 up to the present time, the implementation of the recommendations tested in the stationary forestry has lost its former interest after the curtailment of hydroforest reclamation due to the lack of funds. At the same time, global interest in the biospheric functions of wetlands has increased dramatically. All this has changed the focus, methods and scale of the work being done. Modern studies are aimed at determining the extent of the swampiness of the territory of Russia, the carbon pool contained in the peats, assessing the manifestation of the biospheric role of bogs in the CO2 fixation of the atmosphere, the structure and functioning of bog biocenoses on the basis of full-scale stationary, including year-round observations. Attention is paid to some poorly studied ecosystem consequences of different uses of bogs: features of fires during hydromelioration, drainage of boggy forests, beaver settlements on forest drainage canals, greenhouse gas emissions. A geographic information system (GIS) “Bogs of Russia” was created, which was used to estimate the distribution and diversity of marsh and bog habitats, occupying a quarter of the Russian territory.
Throughout the history of the Zapadnodvinsky station, the results of scientific research have been shared with practitioners, scientists and students in Russia and countries near and far abroad, including: Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, Poland, USA, Finland, Sweden. Almost all leading bog scientists, hydromeliorators and other specialists have visited the station. The station was visited by heads and specialists of the All-Union, republican and regional forestry services. Several international conferences were held.
For teachers and students of several schools in the Tver region, for 60 participants of the Ecological school “Wetlands Keepers” on the basis of the station in 2014 made a report-presentation and organized two tours to the oligotrophic (high) forest swamp and main drainage channel with an active beaver dam (more details can be found in the News of ILAN RAS at the link). In 2017 for 90 students of the Ecological School “Forest Academy” a report-presentation was made in Zapadnodvinsk technological college and a tour of the station research sites was conducted (for more information, see ILAN RAS News at the link).
The practical implications of the research are aimed at determining the paramount scientific importance in general biology of studying the functioning of ecosystems (biogeocenoses) as well as the biospheric role of Russian bogs, which together with the peated wetlands leave more than 20% of the country. In the middle of other types of terrestrial ecosystems bogs are characterized by a unique multi-year unclosed circulation of substances, which is reflected in the growth of peatlands. The carbon pool enclosed in them is one of the main in the ecosystem cover of the country and its biosphere role.
In 2019, the Zapadnodvinsky scientific forest-marsh stationary celebrated its 45th anniversary. In honor of this event, an article “Two significant anniversaries” by Tamara Vladimirovna Glukhova, a leading researcher at ILAN RAS, was published in the 36th issue of the newspaper Vanguard.