Reviving peatlands: degraded raised bogs restoration via plant biotechnologyactive 2 months, 3 weeks ago
Who we are.
Bio Laboratory is a part of Pomeranian Science & Technology Park Gdynia, Poland (PSTP). PSTP is a public enterprise – a part of local government – City of Gdynia. Bio Laboratory provides support for biotech and life-sciences start-up companies in fields such as: microbiology, chemistry, plant sciences and molecular biology. We are comprised of few division, one of which is devoted to plant biotechnology. In the division, apart from offering services to companies and research institutions, we are strongly engaged in ecological projects, primarily in restoring devastated peatlands in Pomorskie voivodship, Poland. Since 2009 we have been using plant in vitro cultures to build and maintain tissue bank of several species from Sphagnum genera, native Polish sundews (Drosera) and alkaline peatland mosses. Our current efforts are focused on in vitro multiplication of Sphagnum mosses (and sundews), their acclimatisation and reintroduction onto Czarne Bagno (Polish: Black Bog) – a raised-bog-type peatland (a Baltic-type peatland), degraded by industrial excavation of peat. Currently the area has a reserve status and is under protection of the Nature 2000 program.
What our goals are.
Our main efforts are devoted to increase coverage of peat mosses a degraded raised-bog-type peatlands, through means that do not require diminishing population of Sphagnum in other places (such as transplantation of mosses from one site to another). Thus, we have been collecting only sporangia (or seeds) from plants of interest and multiplying them in the laboratory.
Who we look for.
• We are interested in knowledge and know-how sharing considering peatland plants cultivation, restoration of degraded peatlands and ecology of peatlands with public
and private enterprises.
• In our view, it would greatly benefit collective efforts to restore and conserve peatlands around Baltic sea, if we were able to gain knowledge about recultivation of raised-bog peatlands with partners oriented around Baltic sea who have undertaken similar efforts in this matter.
• Because of seasonal occurrence of Sphagnum sporophytes, we have not yet been able to establish stable in vitro cultures of more than four Sphagnum mosses. We look for expanding tissue bank collection with new Sphagnum species with potential partners, if possible.
• Due to issues we have already encountered, we may need an expertise from hydrogeologists to assess water level conditions on the chosen degraded peatland and potential chances to improve it. From studies of other teams, we know that the peatland of our particular interest is prone to season-dependent high water level changes (up to 1 m below the maximum in drier months). Unfortunately, we ourselves have not had, and will not have means to do any work that would require earthworks or melioration management, if these were needed. Those works, however, had been done in the past, which allowed an increase of some water retention in the whole area.
• Alternatively, we look for methods, to address the obstacle mentioned above, through other, possibly technological or ecological means, which may provide us with solutions and improve long-term plants survival. Thus, we are interested in cooperation with companies who cultivate peat mosses for agricultural uses on a large scale. We hope for finding clues of how to adjust our efforts to unstable water conditions on site.
• We are opened to suggestions on matters and means of cooperation not mentioned here, which you, as our potential partner, may want to undertake, revolving around conservation of Baltic-type peatlands.
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