2nd Field Trip / SPUN EXPEDITION in East Carpathians
The autumn aura of the Bieszczady Mountains overlapped our spring memories, intensifying our experiences of this incredible ecosystem.
Full of enthusiasm and admiration for the complexity of natural systems we collected more soil samples and materials for further scientific analysis as well as for artistic interpretations.
Trees and fungi are a system of networked relationships – they cannot exist without each other’s presence. It’s sad, but the biggest threat to the Bieszczady forests is the massive logging carried out there by foresters. We would like to stop this barbarism and protect the 3675 monumental trees our guide Piotr Klub of the Natural Heritage Foundation mapped. We are part of the international scientific program SPUN (Society for the Protection of Underground Networks). It sends research teams to the wildest places on Earth to create a global map of underground fungal networks and initiate conservation efforts for them. Our goal is to study the underground biodiversity of the Bieszczady National Park’s buffer zone. To do this, we are using state-of-the-art molecular biology and bioinformatics tools that, from DNA traces under a tree, allow us to identify hundreds of fungal species and show the trophic networks connecting them. We are merging science with art to reach our message not only to scientists but to a wide audience and various social and age groups.
Our 2nd SPUN field trip took place in October. During three intensive days (3-5/10/2023) we visited all 20 measurement plots again: 5 for beeches and 5 for firs, as well as 2×5 squares next to these groups of trees.