Bad weather is no obstacle for young naturalists© Evgeny Dunaev
12 August 2019

Bad weather is no obstacle for young naturalists

Another research training session of the Young Naturalists Club of Lomonosov Moscow State University’s Zoological Museum has come to an end. The trip was organised with the support of the Far Eastern Leopards autonomous non-profit organisation.

The training session took place from 22 July to 5 August 2019 in the north of Karelia and the Murmansk Region in two landscape areas: taiga and tundra. These are swamplands and coastal areas, the kingdom of lichens and sphagnum.

The students will long remember the unique nature, the white nights and the unusual weather of the polar region. This summer the trip yielded better results than in previous years. Students learned about 140 plant species, 90 lichen species, 18 moss species, 15 mushroom species, 6 typical algae species, 28 species of insects and marine invertebrates, 29 bird species, and others.

In addition, students conducted research in the following subjects: the environmental features of the distribution of ferns (Polypodiophyta) in the polar region of Karelia; the substrate groups of slime molds (Myxomycota) in Karelia’s northern taiga; the changing skin colour of the viviparous lizard (Zootoca vivipara vivipara (Lichtenstein, 1823)) on the White Sea coast in Karelia; the substrate features of polypores in the polar region of Karelia; the diet of the common toad (Bufo bufo (Linnaeus, 1758)) in the north of Karelia; the environmental features of the distribution of epiphytical lichens in Karelia’s northern taiga; and the communities of mosses and lichens in sphagnum bogs in the north of Karelia.

The research produced different results. The weather almost ruined the study on the viviparous lizard, but samples for the rest of the research were successfully collected. The night temperatures were about 3°С, and the day temperatures were between 8°C and 10°С for most of the time. This affected both the research and the daily routine of the participants, who stayed in tents. They had to constantly keep a campfire burning, and they were always looking for firewood. But all the students successfully overcame these difficulties, and the training went well.

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