Yugra State University hosted the VI International Meeting on the Biology of Sphagnum on 1-11 August. This was the first time when it was held in Russia. 35 researchers from different countries studied distribution of numerous Sphagnum species and their ecology in Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Ugra.
The Meeting was organized under the auspices of UNESCO. Among organizers also were the regional Government, OAO “Surgutneftegas”, Saint Petersburg State University, Tomsk State University and Russian Botanical Society. The financial support was provided by AO “NK “Kondaneft”.
During 10 days researchers were participating in scientific field excursions around Khanty-Mansiysk, in the natural park “Konda Lakes” and Surgut Polesye. Traditionally, the excursions aim at exchanging experience of field determination of Sphagnum species. The participants came across both dispersed species and the ones listed in the Ugra Red Book.
38 Sphagnum species are known in West Siberia. Participants of the Meeting managed to find almost all them apart the 6 species growing in the Arctic only. Moreover, they discovered two new habitats of Sphagnum subfulvum listed in the Ugra Red Book, and met several habitats of Sphagnum annulatum, which has been never recorded in Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug.
The topics of the Meeting comprised floristic diversity, biology, ecology, genetics and physiology of Sphagnum mosses. Special focus was on their practical application, which is quite topical for the region, 50% of which is covered with peatlands.