In May and October, as part of the SPUN EXPEDITION program, we embarked on two remarkable field trips to the Bieszczady Mountains in the East Carpathians. These excursions allowed our interdisciplinary team to delve into the heart of this pristine wilderness, unearthing the secrets of nature’s splendour. Our May journey revealed the world of monumental trees: ancient beeches, and lush firns, the vibrant rhizosphere and the intricate web of mycorrhizal networks. October introduced us to the fascinating fungi nurturing unparalleled biodiversity. These trips unveiled the region’s natural richness, fostering a deep appreciation for its ecological wonders and reinforcing the bonds within our passionate team.
Our first trip to the southeast buffer zone of Bieszczady National Park (BdPN) started at 10.05.2023 and lasted till 14.05.2023. We got from FDP Natural Heritage Foundation (Polish expert NGO) GPS coordinates of 3675 “mother trees” each exceeding the legislative dimensions for natural monuments (18 species, dominated by common beeches and silver firs), Samples collection (groups of 5 beech or 5 fir at 25 sites, in two categories: “hot-spot” or “cold-spot”, 5 pooled and dry preserved root samples from each tree).
The autumn aura of the Bieszczady Mountains overlapped our spring memories,
intensifying our experiences of this incredible ecosystem.
During three intensive days (3-5/10/2023) we visited all 20 measurement plots again.
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 believe that our scientific research and communication activities will help to stop this exploitation and to preserve the natural value of Bieszczady for future generations.