MOSCOW, December 2. /TASS/. Experts of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Siberian Branch plan to conduct studies of marsupials (ascomycota) and microscopic species of fungi to assess soil fertility around the Bystrinsky GOK (mining and processing plant) in the Trans-Baikal Region, the biodiversity expedition's press service told TASS on Thursday.
"Generally speaking, in the plant studies everything is quite balanced," said Viktor Glupov, director of the Institute of Systematics and Ecology of Animals (ISEA, Novosibirsk). "During the plant studies, we have found 245 species of vascular plants, 216 species of fungi, 28 species of mosses and lichens, 26 taxa of algae. Those 216 species of fungi are, as a rule, micromycetes."
"For the coming year we plan more detailed studies in this sphere - to analyze also ascomycetes and microscopic fungi," he continued. "With those fungi, the number of species will grow immensely."
According to him, those fungi reflect soil conditions. The soil is a specific community, which some scientists eye a specific live layer. The soil's life depends on what organisms live there, including earthworms.
"The soil is specific for what's called mycostasis, which is the ability to resist invasion of alien microorganisms," he said. "If the soil's mycostasis declines due to whatever impacts, it becomes dead, and the soil formation vanishes. This is a very important moment. Next year, we plan to use the metagenome approach to analyze species of soil microscopic fungi and to see even deeper processes."
The basic biodiversity survey continues the work, which the Norilsk Nickel Company (Nornickel) and the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Siberian Branch began in 2020. Since the Great Norilsk Expedition, this work has extended into another three regions. The survey’s purpose is to identify Nornickel’s impact zones and to assess biodiversity in areas of Nornickel’s operations. The research results will be used in building out a corporate biodiversity management system and biodiversity monitoring and conservation programs.