A History of Russian Forestry and its Leaders
Soil Science, Forest Ecology, and Forest Science
"Before Dokuchayev, soil science was an empirical science; as a result of Dokuchayev's work it has become a broad natural science discipline." (B. R. Williams)
The work of V. V. Dokuchayev, P. A. Kostychev, their students and followers created a scientific foundation for soil studies in Russia in the 1880's. Their work was universal for all soils and for all countries. The classic works of Dokuchayev and Kostychev went beyond the borders of Russia and became part of the textbooks for students in universities abroad. The Russian words chernozem and podzol became part of the lexicon of agronomists and soil scientists the world over.I
Professor Romann of the University of Munich in 1901 advised his fellow soil scientists to study the Russian language if they wanted to be on the cutting edge of their field. In 1968, the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda cited the following fact, "Until recently the majority of graduate students accepted by the soil sciences department of Oxford University knew Russian. The professors at England's oldest university believed that every soil scientist should read Dokuchayev and the scientists of the Dokuchayev school in the original." 1
VASILIY VASILIYEVICH DOKUCHAYEV 1846-1903
Vasiliy Vasiliyevich Dokuchayev, a leading scientist of the late 19th century, was the third child ii in the family of a minister in the village of Milyukovo, Sychev county, Smolensk Province. When the boy was eleven, his father sent him to the Vyazma Seminary. When he graduated in 1861, he transferred to the Smolensk Seminary.
In August 1867, Dokuchayev went to St. Petersburg for the first time. Thanks to his excellent academic record, Dokuchayev was sent to St. Petersburg at government cost to attend the Ecclesiastical Academy. Only a month later, he ran away from the Academy, and on October 28,1867 he became a student of natural sciences at the University of St. Petersburg.iii
The University of St. Petersburg was then experiencing a golden age. The staff of the Physio-mathematics College included D. I. Mendeleyev, the genius who invented the periodic system of elements, the famous physiologist I. M. Sechenov, and the outstanding chemist A. M. Butlerov. The botany department included A. N. Beketov and A. S. Famintsin, who taught the physiology of plants. The University also employed the geologist A. A. Inostrantsev and the chemist N. A. Menshutkin.
At the end of the 1860's, a remarkable event occurred in Dokuchayev's life: he met the geologist A. A. Inostrantsev. An overwhelming interest in geology naturally dictated that Dokuchayev would devote his research work to geology. In 1871, he presented his thesis entitled On Alluvial Formations Along Kachna Creek. and received his Candidate of Sciences degree. It is interesting that this soon-to-be famous soil scientist never once mentioned soil in his work.
In 1872, Dokuchayev began to study the Gzhat River in Smolensk Province to discover the process whereby the river was becoming increasingly shallow. In his work he drew conclusions which have not lost their significance even now. "... The decreased navigability of the Gzhat has been caused mainly by intense logging along the river. With the loss of forests in the area, snow melts much more rapidly in the spring and the water quickly runs into the river, and leaves the river just as rapidly. The direct result of this has been a decrease in the number of days ofrunoff, which is now sometimes only 2-5 days. Understandably, in this short period of time it is difficult to float barges from the head of the Gzhat to the Volga. The loss afforests along the Gzhat has another negative impact on navigation: it significantly increases expenditures for shipbuilding and thus makes river transport even less advantageous.
Add to this the construction of the railroad in the region of the Gzhat, which takes freight away from the river, and it becomes quite understandable and indisputable that traffic on the Gzhat is decreasing, and this quite independently of the river's siltation."2 The independence and validity of Dokuchayev's opinions and his method of geographic analysis are striking.
Only at the end of 1874 did Dokuchayev produce his first scientific work on soils. It was entitled Podzol in the Smolensk Province. During this same period Dokuchayev devoted much time and interest to another major problem, namely the draining of swamps. He studied the work of an expedition organized by the Ministry of State Properties to study the swamps of Polesiye in order to drain them.
Dokuchayev discovered that the work of the expedition did not contain necessary data from climate, meteorological, and hydro-geological research. The leader and supervisor of the expedition, a military engineer, Colonel Zhilinski, apparently did not understand the importance of such research.
Dokuchayev could not ignore such an unsatisfactory approach to a problem of such national economic importance. In May of 1875, he presented a report on his first major work. On Swamp Drainage in General and as it Relates to Polesiye.
Dokuchayev began his report with the words "Until recently, swamps have been studied from a mainly utilitarian perspective; from the perspective of their harm or use to man. The essence of the phenomenon has hardly been touched. In all likelihood, therein lies the reason for the failure of the battle that man has long been waging with swamps ..."
It was precisely these failures that led several scientist and practitioners to express doubts about the possibility of draining Polesiye. Dokuchayev, however, did not share their doubts. On the contrary, he believed that the drainage of the Polesiye swamps was fully possible, but that it would require preliminary scientific research on the "geological and me teorological characteristics of the country."
This work is also of interest to foresters, since Polesiye, a broad, swampy and forested lowland, is frequently drained to expand agricultural land. Nature has created an important role for swamps. Dokuchayev understood this and sagaciously noted "... before millions are spent on draining the swamps, it must be proven that the rivers that begin in the peat bogs can survive without them. Otherwise, we will have to spend even more money and labor to re-flood the drained areas.'' Further, he described the often complex and at times contra dictory interdependence of the swamps, rivers, forests, atmospheric precipitation, evaporation, and river deposits. He warned, "It is essential to clearly understand the mutual connection between all the factors indicated above, in order to achieve positive results from interfering in their highly important and complex struggle. "iv
In 1876, Dokuchayev presented a major paper on The Probable Siltation of the Rivers of European Russia. He also published an article on the formation and significance of ravines and wrote a major work entitled River Valley Formation in European Russia. These works concluded the first stage of Dokuchayev's scientific research.
In the same year, Dokuchayev, known in scientific circles as a geologist, became a member of the so-called "Chernozem Commission," which was elected at a session of the Free Economic Society. He received his first direct experience with the chernozem when he explored its northern border in the Tula province in 1877. In 1879, he published a major theoretical composition called The Cartography of Russian Soils.3 With this work,v Dokuchayev initiated the development of a new discipline of natural history, soil science.
In The Cartography of Russian Soils Dokuchayev, describing the soils of Yaroslav Province, noted, "It is remarkable that the peasants, based on the species of the trees growing in gray soils (podwl), further divide the latter into walnut (the best gray, moderately dry), pine and fire (the first is very dry and the second is somewhat moister)."
Dokuchayev seemed to be trying to remind his successors of the need to be guided by the experience of the Russian peasant farmers when he characteristically remarked, "There is reason to hope that in the near future we will be able to distinguish not only the soils of the steppe and forest from each other, but also birch, lime, oak, beech and other soils as well. The common Russian people have long recognized and valued the innate qualities of these different soils."
In The Cartography of Russian Soils Dokuchayev first formulated the genetic definition of soil, "... it has been proven that every soil is the product of the combined activity ofbedrock, climate, vegetation and local landforms .... Soil science in general and soil geography in particular have a very close genetic tie to the history of our planet. "3
Dokuchayev based soil classification on a characteristic common to all soils, be they from the steppe, the forest, or the meadow, and that was the presence of humus. Soil gradations were based on the amount of humus present.vi In 1883, Dokuchayev published his greatest work Russian Chernozem. in which he laid the foundation of genetic soil science and presented a final definition of the concept of soil. He also named five soil formation factors: climate, landforms, bed-rock, vegetation, and the age of the area. Soil characteristics may be defined based on these factors without additional research.
While working on Russian Chernozem. Dokuchayev discovered a new and unique formation of natural history, soil. He wrote that soils comprised a fourth natural kingdom in addition to animals, plants, and minerals.
It is a fact that some scientists, contemporaries of Dokuchayev, maintained that chernozem formation was a result of pure climatic factors. In response to A. I. Voyeykov, Dokuchayev wrote in 1881, " ... / view soil as a function of the combined activity of bed-rock, climate, vegetation and local landforms, and the age of the area... I have continually said that it is precisely the combination of factors, and not any one factor alone, that explains the totality of the different characteristics of our soils."
In Russian Chernozem. Dokuchayev, when comparing different geographical areas, wrote, "outside of the European countries, only the steppes of Siberia, Missouri and Mississippi can compare with our band of chernozem."
Dokuchayev tried to strengthen and develop the genetic soil science that he created. He published the first periodical for soil scientists called Materials on the Study of Russian Soils. With the support of A. V. Sovetov, he created a soil committee within the Free Economic Society and published Works of the Soil Commission.
Dokuchayev categorically opposed the wholesale adoption of foreign methods that did not take local conditions into account. " ... It is finally time," Dokuchayev protested, "for our agronomists and their professors and instructors to abandon the almost slave-like following of German textbooks and instructions which have been compiled for a different environment, a different people, and a different economic and social structure... "
Dokuchayev demanded that Russia develop its own agronomy for chernozem, loess, and barkhan (sand-hills) that would correspond strictly to local climatic conditions, to local soils, and to the economic and social conditions of a given region or zone.
Dokuchayev's work on agricultural zones and nature zones laid the foundation for differentiated agriculture methods, which were adapted to local conditions.
The year of 1888 witnessed two important events that played an important role in the further development of the science created by Dokuchayev. One was the creation of a standing Soil Commission within the Free Economic Society. The second event was the organization of the Poltava works.
In 1889, a world exhibition was held in Paris which brought new worries for Dokuchayev. Dokuchayev received permission to display in the Russian exhibit a collection of soils, which was intended to demonstrate the basic principles of the new genetic soil science. On October 16, Dokuchayev received a letter from V. I. Vernadski in Paris, informing him that his exhibition had received a gold medal.
In the spring of 1891, Dokuchayev was compelled to participate in the work of the Commission for Higher Agricultural Education, which was formed at the government's request. In September of 1891, he inspected the Novo-Aleksandrov Institute for Agriculture and Forestry. During the academic year of 1991-92, Dokuchayev devoted all of his free time to intensive work resulting from the tragic events of the previous summer.
During the summer of 1891 nearly the entire chernozem zone of European Russia was caught in the grip of an unprecedented drought. The drought covered more than twenty provinces and affected more than 35 million people. This terrible tragedy struck Ukraine, as well as the provinces of Voronezh, Kursk, Orlov, Tambov, Samara, Saratov, Astrakhan, Simbersk, Orenburg, Penza, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Ufa, and a number of others. In many counties of these provinces, no crops were harvested at all. In other places, the yield amounted to only 2-3 poods (1 pood = 36 pounds) per desyatina (2.7 acres). No seed was harvested. Potatoes and vegetables suffered as well from the drought and yielded little. The meadows dried up and there was no hay for livestock. In 1891, the grain harvest in Russia amounted to less than one half million poods (9,000 tons).
Dokuchayev was one of the first to respond to the national disaster. He wrote his famous book, Our Steppes Yesterday and Today, in which he analyzed the reasons for the drought and proposed a plan to reform nature and reorganize agriculture in the chernozem region to promote consistently high harvest yields.
He wrote with anger, "The forests once protected the area from erosion, wind, and snowdrifts, helped conserve soil moisture and maintained the level of the water table. They prevented pollution in streams, lakes and rivers, and regulated the size and length of the spring runoff. These most important regulators of atmospheric water and life in our springs, rivers, and lakes, have decreased in size by 3-5 times in some places and even more in others. Up to 90% of the territory in many places," he continued, "has been cultivated and this has destroyed the grainy structure of the chernozem, the characteristic essential for holding soil moisture. Plowing has caused the soil to fall victim to the erosion of wind and water."
The destruction of the forests and the breakdown of the firm grainy or crumbly structure of the soil resulted in the siltation of the rivers, drought, "the energetically increasing erosion of fertile soil from the steppes," the formation of ravines, the spread of sand, the siltation of steppe depressions, ponds and temporary lakes, which were once fed by steppe streams.
Dokuchayev was deeply convinced of the unlimited power of man's influence on nature. He wrote, "... all of these enemies of our agriculture - wind, storms, drought - are frightening only because we cannot control them. They are not evil, but we must study them and learn to control them, and then they will work in our favor."
Dokuchayev created a brilliant plan of action to accomplish his goal of transforming nature on the steppes. The plan included methods for snow retention and water regulation from runoff and rain. It also established norms for the relative amount of cultivated land, meadows, forests and water bodies. Dokuchayev developed methods for cultivating the soil that would maximize moisture usage and prescribed the sowing of crops suitable to the local soil and climatic conditions. The plan suggested methods to fight soil erosion, protect sandy areas from wind erosion, safeguard the waters and soils, protect fields by planting tree breaks, and regulate rivers, ravines and gullies. It also proposed planting timber crops along the riverbanks, and building ponds and reservoirs in ravines and gullies and on small rivers for irrigation, and to stop further erosion in the ravines. The plan also promoted estuary irrigation, and the forestation of ravines, gullies, reservoirs, sandy areas, and any other land not suitable for cultivation.
Dokuchayev's well-balanced plan included all of this and much more. He wrote, "These measures must be purposeful, stringency systematic, and sequential..."
In the end, Dokuchayev was able to convince government agencies of the need to fight the drought. On May 22, 1892 the Forest Department organized, under the leadership of V. V. Dokuchayev, the Special Expedition for the Testing and Evaluation of Various Methods and Approaches to Forest and Water Management in the Russian Steppes. Eighteen volumes of reports of the Special Expedition were issued over the next four years under the editorship of Dokuchayev.
Dokuchayev's plan prescribed that the main experimental plots be designated in watersheds, on open flat steppes, and in areas where some forest remained. These areas, thanks to Dokuchayev and later generations of foresters, have become widely known in the world of forestry.
Dokuchayev's first choice was the so-called Khrenov plot, located in Bobrov and Pavlov counties of Voronezh Province. The selection of this plot was very fortunate; it included a large tract of steppe called the Kamen (stone) Steppe, as well as two forests, the coniferous Khrenov forest and the decidu-ous Shipov forest. The latter had been designated as a protected shipbuilding grove at the order of Peter I.
A second experimental plot - Starobel - was selected in the watershed of the Don and Donets rivers. This plot was by its nature quite different from the Khrenov plot and farther to the south, but it was also quite typical for the steppes.
A third plot was designated in the south close to the shores of the Sea of Azov. This plot was located near the birthplace of the writer A. P. Chekhov and included the settings of Chekhov's story Steppes, which was a favorite of Dokuchayev. The Veliko-Anadol plot lies between the Donets and the Dniepr rivers in Mariupol County, Yekaterinoslav Province.
Dokuchayev led the expedition from 1892-1897. During this time a network of the above-mentioned and other plots was established, which laid the foundation for experimental forestry in Russia.
Another fact of note is that, in his work The Steppes Yesterday and Today.4 the scientist emphasized that it is essential to designate at least two types of forest vegetation: forests in river valleys and forests on the dry plains of the steppe.
On June 1,1892, Dokuchayev was appointed as the acting director of the Novo-Aleksandriyskiy Institute in addition to his position of professor at St. Petersburg University. Dokuchayev spent almost the entire academic year of 1892-93 at the Novo-Aleksandriyskiy Institute, where he concentrated his attention on its operation, which had long been neglected. On April 17, 1893, a pronouncement was made concerning new staff and the state of the Institute. Because of this pronouncement, the Institute and all of its students were accorded the rights and privileges of a higher institution of learning, thus increasing Institute's budget threefold.
V. V. Dokuchayev reorganized the Novo-Aleksandriyskiy Institute, renewed the teaching staff by bringing to it many of his best students (Sibirtsev, Barakov and others), and achieved the reorganization of the network of agricultural schools and experimental stations, which were organized according to zones and local natural and economic conditions. Dokuchayev believed that a good teacher must also work independently in the field of his science.
1893 was the peak of Dokuchayev's organizational activity. He worked intensively on the Forest Department expedition, as well as on the reorganization and operation of the Novo-Aleksandriyskiy Institute. In that year he also had to finish the research reports on the soil studies for the Poltava province. In spite of all his work and worries, Dokuchayev also managed to assemble a soil collection and send it with an accompanying description translated into English for the worldwide Columbus Exhibition in Chicago.
The work of the Forest Department expedition was in full swing. Especially intensive work was being done on the Kamen Steppe plot in the Voronezh region. In 1892 and 1893, the Special Expedition, under the leadership of Dokuchayev, planted protective forest breaks on 125 hectares, built a series of ponds and reservoirs, and conducted comprehensive natural history research. This work makes Dokuchayev one of the creators of experimental science, including experimental forest science, in Russia. vii
Dokuchayev's plans for the reorganization of the Institute placed special emphasis on the teaching of soil science. He wanted to create a serious scientific base for the new science, with a special laboratory and office to exclusively serve the needs of the new science. In order to achieve his cherished dream - the creation of a soil science department within the Novo-Aleksandriyskiy Institute - Dokuchayev was required to expend much time and energy.
Finally, at the beginning of 1894, the Novo-Aleksandriyskiy Institute established a department of genetic soil science. It was the first in the world. This was without doubt a great accomplishment. An independent department and an independent course, even if it was offered in only one institute, signified the official recognition and legitimization of the new science.
Dokuchayev wanted the new department to be headed by his best student, Nikolai Mikhailovich Sibirtsev. The course of lectures, read by N. M. Sibirtsev from 1894-1899, was the basis for the world's first textbook on soil science, which was published only after Sibirtsev's death in 1900. This textbook, which was universally acclaimed and is still meaningful today, served as the foundation for every successive course on genetic soil science in Russia.
At the beginning of 1895, Dokuchayev submitted a memo to government authorities that outlined "the advantages and timeliness of creating two new departments. Soil Science and Micro-organic Studies, within the College of Mathematics and Physics of the St. Petersburg University." Dokuchayev's proposal received the support of many leading scientists, and was quite actively supported by D. I. Mendeleyev. However, the authorities did not approve the request.
In 1898, Dokuchayev provided scientific substantiation for the theory of zonality in nature, which had been proposed by the Russian academician I. I. Lepekhin in 1783. According to Dokuchayev, the theory of zonality makes no sense without a comprehensive approach to the soil, "To understand the soil, it must be studied as a natural historical body, like minerals, plants and animals. From this perspective, the soil, as a subject of study of equal importance and interest for the mineralogist, geologist, chemist, physicist, meteorologist, biologist, and geographer, encompasses all the basic fields of natural science. "
In his work Horizontal and Vertical Soil Zones (1898'). Dokuchayev wrote that formerly "...studies were conducted on isolated bodies - minerals, rocks, plants, animals, and on isolated phenomena and elements of nature - fire (vulcanism), water, earth, air. In so doing, science achieved amazing results, but it has discovered neither the correlation, nor the genetic, eternal, and always natural ties, which exist between energy, natural bodies, and phenomena, between the dead and living in nature, between the plant and mineral kingdoms, on the one hand and man, his existence, and even the spiritual world on the other hand. It is precisely these co-relations, these natural interactions that are the essence of understanding the natural world; they are the best and brightest charms of natural science. They should be the building blocks of human life, including morality and religion."
In 1899, with the assistance of his students, Dokuchayev compiled the first soil map of the world. Soil Zones of the Northern Hemisphere. He also compiled a Study of the Distribution of Soils on the Earth's Surface. With these works he developed the basis for the scientific study of landscapes. That same year the first issue of the journal Soil Science was published and edited by Dokuchayev's former student, P. V. Ototski.
A. N. Beketov, who was usually very cautious in his reactions, wrote in regard to Dokuchayev's zonal studies; "... For the first time soil zones merge and correspond with the zones of nature, with the zones of natural history in such a tight and friendly manner, that one could hardly expect such love from a faithful spouse or the most exemplary children and parents. In these zones we see the highest manifestation of the world law of love. "
V. V. Dokuchayev's accomplished an unusually large number things in his lifetime, but, of course, not everything that he had planned. During the last three years of his life he suffered both spiritually and physically. Dokuchayev died on December 8, 1903.
It is impossible to end a biography of V. V. Dokuchayev with only the date of his death. He belongs to the number of remarkable people who continue to live in the hearts and minds of their successors even after their death.
Dokuchayev is universally recognized as the founder of a new science, genetic soil science, which provided the genuine scientific base required for the resolution of some of agriculture most important problems dealing with soil fertility. Dokuchayev created an outstanding school of science, the graduates of which include such important scientists as academicians V. I. Vernadsky, F. Yu. Levinson-Lessing, K. D. Glinka, G. N. Vysotsky, L. I. Prasolov, and professors N. M. Sibirtsev, P. A. Zemyatchinsky, G. I. Tanfilyev, P. F. Barakov, A. N. Krasnov, S. A. Zakharov, and others.
Dokuchayev's studies on soil positively influenced a number of other fields of study, such as physical geography and geomorphology, geo-botany and forestry, microbiology and geo-zoology. On the basis of Dokuchayev's ideas, his students and followers created new scientific disciplines. V. I. Vernadski, Dokuchayev's student and friend, created bio-geo-chemistry and G. F. Morozov created forest science. The contemporary study of landscapes resulted from the work of L. S. Berg and other followers of Dokuchayev.
"In the history of every science, the creation of laboratories and special museums, the founding of special departments at institutes or universities devoted to that science are an important historical moment that determines the course of its further development. For soil science, these important steps were first taken in Russia, and the credit for this lies entirely with V. V. Dokuchayev." (V. I. Vernadsky).
I It would be natural to assume that these outstanding people, leaders in the field of soil science, were, if not friends, at least of similar views. Indeed, they worked together at the same university and lived in the same neighborhood on Vasiliyevski Island in St. Petersburg. They had many of the same friends and acquaintances. But, quite to the contrary, they were enemies to the end of their days and did not forgive each other their mistakes. They associated with one another only when it was necessary and treated each other coldly.
PAVEL ANDREYEVICH KOSTYCHEV 1845-1895
Pavel Andreyevich Kostychev was born in Moscow at the home of the Tambov landlord Petrov, to whom belonged Pavel's serf parents Andrei Aleksandrovich and Yevdokia Ivanovna Kostychev.1 In the spring of that year, the family, along with the landlord's household, moved to the village of Karnaukhovo, Shatsk County, Tambov Province. viii
In August of 1857, at the decision of the landlord, A. A. Kostychev took his son to the Shatsk County School. The boy was overwhelmed by the world of books, and in three years he was never once late to school, even though he had to walk 12 versts (1 versta = 3500 feet) to town. After the abolition of serfdom in 1861, Petrov sent Kostychev to Moscow with the request that his protege be allowed to enroll at the Moscow Agricultural School on Zubov Boulevard. Pavel graduated with honors, but did not return home.ix
Kostychev studied hard and eagerly. He was encouraged in this by the staff of the school including the director N. I. Annenkev, a talented botanist and forester, and his teacher S. P. Karelshchikov. After a brilliant career at the school, Kostychev considered how to further his education. A new agricultural and forestry academy opened in 1865 in Petrovsko-Razumovsky near Moscow, but it accepted only applicants from rich families. Kostychev was forced to become a tutor.
Two years later, in the summer of 1867, Kostychev enrolled in the St. Petersburg Agricultural Institute. He became the first student from a peasant serf family not only at the Institute, but in all of Russia.x
Kostychev was thoroughly educated. His knowledge of agronomy, botany, forestry and other natural sciences went far beyond the framework of any course of study. On his own, he studied Latin, German and French. Even at that time no one could rival his knowledge of agricultural literature. During his student years, Kostychev began to write for the Agricultural Gazette and the journal Agriculture and Forestry.
At the Institute he met Professor A. N. Engelgard and began to work under his guidance. Engelgard was amazed at Kostychev's ability to conduct extremely delicate chemical analyses. He began to lobby for Kostychev's appointment as a teacher at the Institute. Kostychev's arrest and imprisonment for several months in the Peter and Paul fortress for participating in a student protest put an end to those plans. The situation worsened when Engelgard was exiled to his estate of Batishchevo in 1870. Kostychev found himself with no means of support and almost without hope to continue his scientific career.
For more than three years he could not get a government job. He finally was hired as an assayer in the chemistry lab of the Ministry of Finance. His job of evaluating the silver and gold content of coins was uninteresting to him, but he continued to keep abreast of the current agricultural literature.
During these years Kostychev became friends with several artists of the podvizhnik (wanderer) movement, including N. N. Ge, who painted a famous portrait of Kostychev. Kostychev especially valued his friendship with N. A. Nekrasov and M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin.
Kostychev's broad erudition and deep theoretical and practical knowledge attracted the attention of the publisher Devriyen, who proposed that Kostychev compile a Calendar of Russian Agriculture for 1874. Kostychev did the job brilliantly.
In 1875, Kostychev received a position as instructor of plant science at the Agricultural Institute. At this institute, which was soon reorganized as the Forest Institute, Kostychev created a chemisty laboratory, which he used to test the experiments on chernozem of the French scientist Grandeau and to study the soil types from the collection ofV. V. Dokuchayev. A series of painstaking experiments with phosphorous enabled Kostychev to defend his master's dissertation Insoluble Phosphoric Compounds. He proved that the introduction of lime binds the phosphoric acid making the resulting compound capable of assimilation by plants.
In 1870, he presented a report on the subject and created a sensation with this important achievement for soil science and agronomy. The report was highly acclaimed by Mendeleyev, who told Kostychev, "You have arrived as a chemist. You should now be giving lectures at the university; the Forest Institute is too small for you. "
In 1880, Kostychev began to teach a course on soil science at the Forest Institute, and later began a private course on soil science for graduate students at St. Petersburg University. Beginning in 1881, he received the opportunity to travel in the summers on scientific trips as an employee of the Department of Agriculture and Agricultural Industry.
Kostychev's prolonged and exhaustive work on the study of the chernozem and the steppes enabled him to publish a number of articles in the journal Agriculture and Forestry. These were published as separate books in 1886 and 1892, entitled Soils of the Chernozem Region of Russia5 and Cultivating and Fertilizing Chernozem.6
While studying the chernozem zone, Kostychev encountered the question of forests in the steppe. He was continually bothered by the question, was it possible to forest the southern steppe or did the climate make it impossible? Had there been forests in the steppe and was it possible to restore them? To answer these questions, which had been occupying the minds of a number of scientists, Kostychev visited the Veliko-Anadol and Berdyan forest districts, inspected the forest zones of the Don, and studied a large volume of literature. On the basis of this study, he compiled a map of the steppe zones of the earth, which included, besides the European and Asian steppes, the North American prairies and the South American pampas.
In 1889, at the 8th Congress of Natural Scientists and Physicians, Kostychev presented a paper entitled The Relationship Between Soils and Several Vegetation Formations. In this work, the scientist established that the borders between the forest and the steppe are determined by climate and that there exists a close relationship between the soils of these regions and their vegetation formations. He explained why the forests of the steppe grow only in soil with specific characteristics, and explained man's role in reforesting the steppes. His report later became a program document when reforestation began in the semi-steppe and steppe regions in southern Russia.
In 1894, at the suggestion of A. S. Yermolov, a former classmate at the Forest Institute and current minister of agriculture and state properties, Kostychev was appointed director of the Department of Agriculture. Kostychev came to the position with a program to improve agriculture in all areas: farming, forestry, horticulture and animal husbandry.
Kostychev accomplished much in the last year of his life, but his main achievement was the opening of an agricultural institute in Moscow that replaced the Petrovski Agricultural Academy. In addition, a network of experimental stations was established in many places in Russia based on Kostychev's program.
After a ship accident on the Caspian Sea, Kostychev' heart problems became more severe, and on December 3, 1895 he died.
P. A. Kostychev left behind many successors and students, like the soils scientists and agronomists D. N. Pryanishnikov, P. S. Kossovich, and K. K. Gedroits. Kostychev passed his interest in microbiology on to his son Sergey Pavlovich Kostychev, who in 1914 became a professor at St. Petersburg University and in 1923 an acting member of the Academy of Sciences. It was S. P. Kostychev who nominated Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov, the outstanding geneticist and selectionist, for Academy membership.
viii Petrov was one of those landlord farmers who loved innovation. Agronomists were the new thing, and Petrov decided to learn for himself how to scientifically manage his estate. His peasants told him that there was no one more inquisitive or dependable in the area than Pavel Kostychev. By the age of ten Pavel learned to read and write on his own, and he read every book in the village.
GAVRIIL IVANOVICH TANFILYEV 1857-1928
Gavriil Ivanovich Tanfilyev,7 outstanding Russian geographer, natural scientist, geo-botanist and soil scientist, and the father of wetland studies, was born in Revel (now Tallinn). From 1877 to 1884, he studied at the St. Petersburg University. He studied physio-mathematics, but felt closer to natural sciences and in 1879 transferred into the first year of the Natural Sciences Department. As a student, Tanfilyev was influenced by several famous Russian scientists who taught at the university. These included soil scientist V. V. Dokuchayev, geo-botanist A. N. Beketov and others.
As early as 1884, Tanfilyev submitted to the university his work as a candidate of science entitled Flora of the Chernozem. Upon graduation in 1885, he went to work for the Department of Agriculture and became a member of the Free Economic Society, the St. Petersburg Society of Natural Scientists and the Russian Geographic Society.
In 1888, a soil commission was created within the Free Economic Society; V. V. Dokuchayev was appointed chairman and G. I. Tanfilyev became secretary.
In 1894, Tanfilyev defended his masters dissertation Boundaries of the Forests in Southern Russia and was appointed assistant professor at St. Petersburg University, where he taught a course on botanic geography.
In Boundaries of the Forests in Southern Russia Tanfilyev explained that the absence of forests on the steppes is caused by an overabundance of chloride and sulfate in the soil. This is the result of too little precipitation and makes the soil toxic for trees. Trees draw these toxic salts in through their root system together with other nutrients from the soil and poison themselves. In the more northern regions, where there is more precipitation, the salts are washed from the soil, promoting normal forest growth. Forests appear in the steppes only in places where there are conditions favorable to eliminating the excess soluble salts, namely watersheds, deep ravines, and riverbanks. He listed the "specific tree species that are the pioneer trees which extend the forests of the steppe, both along the borders of existing forests and in open areas." The oak is foremost among these trees and Tanfilyev stressed that, "... seeds for planting must be selected from those trees which grow in the steppes and are already adapted to its conditions." In addition, brush growth on the steppe can help establish the necessary conditions for forestation.
In this work, Tanfilyev quotes the words of Korzhinski, who said, "... physical geographic conditions are not the only ones upon which vegetation depends. There is a whole other world of social relationships with other living organisms. It is quite possible that climatic and other physical geographic conditions are entirely favorable, but a species still can not survive in that place, because stronger competitors force it out."
After these lines, Tanfilyev poses the question, "What does it mean to be "forced out by stronger competitors' ? A species can be forced out, of course, by others that are better adapted to the given conditions of survival, e.g., moisture, light, food, pollination, resistance to parasites and other enemies, etc. These relationships with the environment are so numerous that it is impossible to discover them all, but this still does not mean that a species' chance for survival depends only on "specific vital internal characteristics." Any single factor, of course, cannot explain a specific question of botanic geography, but rather all factors must be taken into account. When all else is equal, one specific factor always dominates and it is credited as the reason for one or another phenomenon, even though all the other factors are not without influence. The search for and discovery of specific real factors in any given case should always be the goal of science."
In 1895, Tanfilyev was hired as the junior conservator for the St. Petersburg botanical gardens. In 1899, he became the chief botanist and also replaced V. V. Dokuchayev as Chair of the Soil Commission.
In his article Cycles of Drought (1899), Tanfilyev suggested the existence of periodic fluctuations in the climate over the course of history and noted that no data existed that addressed general climatic changes toward drought or the positive influence of forests on the amount of precipitation.
In Flora of the Chernozem (1889), Tanfilyev raised the question of the close relationship between the soil and the vegetative covering and the influence of soil composition on vegetation distribution. He concluded that the diversity of vegetation on the steppes can be explained by the abundance of lime in the soils of the chemozem. Chernozem is always found on top of limestone. The soils along the northern border of the chernozem are poor in lime. The vegetation of the cher-nozem must be considered lime soil vegetation.
G. I. Tanfilyev compiled many botanical-geographical maps of Russia. In 1897, the work Physical Geographical Regions of European Russia was published and well received. Before this publication, scientists had created divisions based on a single characteristic, for example, soil, climate, vegetation, or animals of the world. Division by bio-geographical regions became the standard for all subsequent divisions. These regions included soil, botanical, climatic and hydro-logical characteristics as well as geological history and land formation. Tanfilyev is credited with the compilation of one of the first compendiums of the botanical geography of Russia, The Most Important Characteristics of Vegetation in Russia (1903), in which he developed the physical-geographical division of Russia into regions. No description of vegetation by zones existed before.
In 1905, Tanfilyev moved to Odessa. In Odessa he was chosen by the Council of the Novorossisk University to be a regular professor in the geography department. There he wrote his doctoral dissertation Forest Boundaries in Polar Russia (1911) as well as his major work The Geography of Russia. which was published in four volumes between 1916 and 1924 and contained a colossal amount of factual material.
Tanfilyev's 1923 Essay on the Geography and History of Important Crops was about the origin of agricultural crops and their distribution in Russia and around the world.
In Zonality of the Chernozem (1927) and Origin of the Steppes (1928), Tanfilyev explored the reason for the bareness of the steppe. His conclusions, however, exaggerate the role ofbedrock and gives climate only a regulatory role in the processes of soil formation.
Tanfilyev spent the last 23 years of his life in Odessa. He died on September 4, 1928.
BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE MAJOR WORKS OF G. I. TANFILYEV
Boundaries of the Forests in Southern Russia. 1894.
Cycles of Drought. 1899. Agricultural Gazette, Nos. 4 & 5.
To the Question on the Flora of Chernozem. 1889. Documents on the Study of Russian Soils. Vol. V.
Physical Geographical Regions of European Russia. 1897. In: Works of Free Economic Society., No. 1.
The Most Important Characteristics of Vegetation in Russia. 1903. (Supplement to the translation of Warmings... Plant Distribution in Connection with External Conditions. St. Petersburg.
Forest Boundaries in Polar Russia. 1917. Odessa.
The Geography of Russia. 1916, 1922-1924. Part I & II. Odessa.
Essay on the Geography and History of Important Crops. 1923. Odessa.
Zonality of Chernozem. 1927. Works of Odessa State Agricultural Institute. Issue 3.
GEORGIY FYODOROVICH MOROZOV 1867-1920
Georgiy Fyodorovich Morozov (1867-1920),8 the outstanding Russian forester, was born in St. Petersburg. His father was a merchant and city council commissioner. Morozov received a military education, graduating from the 2nd Aleksandrov Cadet Corps and the Pavlov Military Academy. After graduation, he put in three years of compulsory service in the military and then enrolled in the St. Petersburg Forest Institute. During his student days, Morozov made a living by teaching mathematics, for which he had a great talent, at a local gymnasium.
When he graduated from the Forest Institute in 1893, Morozov worked as an assistant forester in the Khrenov forest district in Voronezh province and taught at the Khrenov Technical Forest School. Morozov's work in the forest district acquainted him with the activity of the well-known forester N. D. Sukhodski, who had resolved one of the most difficult problems faced by foresters at the time - growing pine in a dry climate with sandy soils. While participating in the forest crop work in the Khrenov forest, Morozov tried to create a strong scientific base and organized a series of experiments which led to the appearance of several scientific articles about the Khrenov forest and the dependence of forest crops on soil moisture. One of these works. The Fight against Drought when Growing Pine. earned him the rank of Scientist Forester First Class.
In 1897, the talented young forester received an assignment abroad and over the course of two years visited and studied over 70 forest districts in Germany and Switzerland. He became familiar with pine and oak production and methods to stabilize forest quicksand. Morozov became interested in experimental forestry, and for seven months he worked as an assistant to Professor Schwappach in the forest and laboratory of the Eberswald experimental forest station. Thanks to his fluent knowledge of German, Morozov became well acquainted with many leading German foresters, including Professor Heyer, and he took classes from Meyer. All of this helped Morozov to glean the best of what could be useful to Russian forestry and eliminate that which was specific to German conditions.
Morozov, in his reports from the assignment to Europe, devoted much attention to the question of barren sands. Consequently, the Ministry of Agriculture sent Morozov to the sand forestation project in Voronezh province. In 1899 he was appointed as Forester First Class in the Kamen Steppe forest district. There Morozov developed many valuable methods for forest reproduction in the steppes in the fight against drought. These methods are widely used in Russia today.
The work in Voronezh province, which was the site of the Dokuchayev expedition's former experimental plot, brought Morozov into contact with Professor Dokuchayev and his school, and, in particular, with G. I. Tanfilyev, the botanical geographer. His real teachers were these two leading scientists, who determined the direction of Morozov's entire future scientific career. "In my life," Morozov wrote, "learning has played the decisive role and has brought to my work such joy, light, and moral satisfaction, that I cannot imagine my life without the principles of the Dokuchayev school and its view of nature..."
Despite his occupation with practical work, Morozov also conducted a large volume of research and even published a number of articles in forestry journals and in the journal Soil Science. These articles brought him the recognition of other foresters and soil scientists, and in 1901, he was hired as a professor at the St. Petersburg Forest Institute in the department of general forestry.
In 1902, at the initiative of Morozov, the forestry department was divided in two. The department of general forestry dealt with issues of silvics, natural reproduction and intermediate cutting and thinning, while the department of specific (micro) forestry included the subjects of artificial forest renewal and reforestation. From that time on, forestry in Russia began to be taught and develop along two independent lines.
Morozov's work at the Institute constituted an era of creative development for forestry in Russia. At the Institute he worked to establish a new department, a departmental museum, and library. He also took an active part in the scientific and scientific social life of St. Petersburg, and presented reports and lectures at a variety of forestry and botany conferences, meetings, and societies. He immediately earned the love of his students and popularity among a broad circle of society. He participated in the creation of the first agricultural school for women, the Stebutov Higher Agricultural Course for Women, and was the director for a time. He was a member of the standing commission on forest experimentation, initiated the opening of a number of experimental forestry stations, and provided the direction and program for their work.
In 1904, Morozov became the editor of the Forestry Journal and managed it for 15 years.
G. F. Morozov, as a forester and citizen, supported government ownership of the forests. In a speech at the Second Congress of the Union of Foresters, he emphasized that, "...the forest should belong only to the state, and the state should be its caretaker. Not only legally, but also the facts and lessons of history prove that the state should be in charge of forest matters. The state is a community of interests; the forest belongs to the state and, thus, to everyone, and only the state can manage it in the interests of everyone. It is our task therefore to reinforce this concept in the consciousness of the people, to reinforce it in a pure and complete form."9
In 1917, Morozov's health forced him to move to Yalta. In the Crimea, despite his serious condition (paralysis), Morozov still took an active part in the work of forestry practitioners. In the summer of 1918, Morozov, in a wheelchair, attended the forestry conference in Kiev, which developed a program to organize forestry work in Ukraine.
At the same time, Morozov was offered a professorship at the newly reorganized Simferopol Tavria University in the forestry department of the college of agronomy. Morozov had long dreamed of teaching at the university. There he could give his lectures a broad general biological character and find satisfaction presenting his audience with the deep ideas and generalizations on natural philosophy, to which his years of studying the forest had led him.
Although weakened by illness, Morozov found the strength to organize a forestry museum within the forestry department at the university. He also participated in various commissions to improve city services, parks, children's agencies, etc., and he continued to give public lectures.
Morozov died on May 9, 1920. His relatives and friends decided to bury him on the outskirts of Simferopol (now part of Ukraine) in Salgirka Park, which belonged to the university. This fulfilled, at least in part, his wish to be buried under the cover of the Russian forest.
Through the efforts of the Russian Federal Forest Service and the Russian Society of Foresters, and broad public involvement, a monument to G. F. Morozov was unveiled on March 12, 1997 at the Khrenov Technical Forest School (Voronezh Province, Russia), where he began his career.
The G. P. Morozov Gold Medal was established, and it is awarded in Russia for outstanding work in the field of forestry and forest science.
G. F. Morozov was the first in the world to create a single integrated theory of forest management. He gave us the theory of forest types, which was based on consideration for vegetation characteristics within the forest environment, and his theory provided many new answers in the practice of forestry. Morozov was the father of the concept of timber species succession, which demonstrated that forest development depends not only on the characteristics of the species, but also on environmental characteristics, such as soil, atmosphere and animals. He developed and proposed many principles, methods and practices for forestation of the steppes, natural forest renewal, and selective and final harvesting.
The Theory of Forest Ecology
Morozov's theory of forest management was formulated during work on a lecture course at the St. Petersburg Forest Institute. The course on the theory of forest management was first issued in lithographic form as notes taken by students from the lectures of G. P. Morozov in l902-1903. Later, the lecture notes were gradually replaced by several separate books and articles, sometimes with whole chapters devoted to the broad theme of "the theory of forestry management." The first publication of the book The Theory of Forest Ecology. Part 1. Introduction to Forest Biology appeared in 1912. Three more parts were planned, but publishing complications prevented their appearance.
In 1920, Principles of Forest Ecology was published for wider distribution, but it did not include several units of the course which had been published earlier by Morozov as separate articles, and several units were shortened. Only after Morozov's death, did one of his students, V. V. Matreninski. publish The Theory of Forest Ecology in complete form.
Following are excerpts from several chapters of the work.
BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE MAJOR WORKS OF G. F. MOROZOV
Science of the Forest, Selected Works in Three Volumes. 1994. Moscow, Dokuchayev Soil Institute. Vol. 1. 460 p. 27-457.
Regenerative and Improvement Harvesting. 1914. Notes from lectures on general silviculture published by the student commission of the Forest Institute, St. Petersburg. p. 1-78.
On the Foundation of Silviculture (from lectures at the Petrograd Forest Institute in 1916). 1918. Forest Journal. Issues 9-10.
The Future of Our Pine Groves in Regard to Stand Types and their Management. 1909. In: Introductory speech at the XI Russian National Congress in Tula. St. Petersburg. 80 pp.
On the Issue of Pine Regeneration. 1900. In: Forest Journal. No. 2, p. 222-277; No. 4, p. 1-30. This work deals with the issues of: Silvicultural characteristics of pine;
Pine regeneration with various harvesting systems; Natural pine regeneration and forest congresses in Russia;
Environmental influences on pine regeneration; Soil water regimes and pine regeneration; Pine regeneration in dry sandy groves; Seed tree harvesting in pine forests; Pine regeneration and management organization
Essays on Forestation. 1994. In: Selected Works in Three Volumes. Moscow, Dokuchayev Soil Institute. Vol. III. p. 205-278.
Fighting Drought and Pine Plantations. 1896. Forest Journal. Issue 5, p. 1033-1067.
Forest Plantations at the Kamennosteppe Experimental Forest District. 1900. In: Works of the Experimental Forest District. St. Petersburg, p. 105-185.
The Influence of Shelter Belts on the Soil Moisture of Surrounding Areas. 1902. Works of the Experimental Forest District, p. 215-252; also from there p. 1-38.
The Bio-geographical Principles of Sylviculture (addressing the question of stand types). 1914. Forest Journal. Issue 1,p. 12-27.
Organizational Questions on Experimental Forestry Work in General and in Ukraine Specifically. 1918. Forest Journal. Issues 9-10, p. 355-364. The Science of Stand Types. 1994. In: Selected Works in Three Volumes. Moscow, Dokuchayev Soil Institute. Vol. II. p. 9-354.
VLADIMIR NIKOLAYEVICH SUKACHEV 1880-1967
Vladimir Nikolayevich Sukachev10, the future botanist, geographer, forester, founder ofbiogeocoenology, creator of the geo-botanical school of Russia and the USSR, and master natural scientist, was born on June 7, 1880 in the village of Aleksandrovka, Kharkov Province. His father was the overseer of a small estate.xi The family had quite limited means and lived very modestly. Vladimir had a younger brother named Boris.
Sukachev's father sent him to the Kharkov technical school and, thus, closed the doors of the university to him. To enroll at the university, an applicant must have finished classical gymnasium and studied ancient languages and other subjects that were not offered at the technical school. When Sukachev graduated from technical school, he entered the St. Petersburg Forest Institute.
Among Sukachev's professors were famous Russian foresters, botanists and geographers, like G. I. Tanfilyev, V. V. Dokuchayev, and G. F. Morozov. These scientists heavily influenced Sukachev's scientific interests.
As a student at the Institute, Sukachev conducted serious work on the flora of various regions in Russia and published his first articles. Sukachev's first works are devoted to the relationship between the forest and the steppe, the origins of wetland vegetation in the forest steppe, and the influence of man on the vegetative mantel. These works received high evaluations, the Institute awarded Sukachev a gold medal for one of the works." Sukachev actively participated as a student in the activities of several scientific societies (Society of Natural Sciences, Russian Geographic Society).
Upon graduation in 1902, the talented student remained in the department of botany as an assistant. In 1903-1904, he studied the Busuluk Forest and the Bryansk forests. In 1905, he was sent to Germany on a scientific mission.
In 1906, the young instructor developed and began to teach a new course. The Geographic Distribution of Wood Species. at the Forest Institute.xii At the same time, he taught the ecology of plants at the Higher Agricultural Courses for Women in St. Petersburg. It was the first time that this course had been taught at an institution for higher education.
In 1908-1912, Sukachev led expeditions to the Pskov province, participated in the expeditions of the Academy of Sciences and the Russian Geographical Society to the northern Urals and Karsk tundra, and as a member of Pereselenchesky department he studied the vegetation of the Baikal region and Yakutiya.
From 1912 to 1918, Sukachev worked in the Botanical Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences and in the Leningrad Botanical Gardens and the Botanical Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences. During the years 1914-1916, he studied the vegetation of Lake Baikal and Tien-Shyan in Semirechensk province. In 1914, he organized a station for the study of meadow vegetation of the Novgorod province and directed its work from 1914-1925.
In 1919, at the St. Petersburg Forest Institute, Sukachev organized a new department of dendrology, which he chaired until 1941. Dendrology, according to Sukachev, was a complex discipline with elements of ecology, geography, and genetics. Sukachev constantly combined teaching and research work.
From 1918 to 1925, Sukachev also held a professorship at the Institute of Geography.
The next period of Sukachev's life was tied to Moscow University, where he chaired the department of botanic geography. He also chaired the department of plant taxonomy and dendrology at the Moscow Technical Forest Institute. In 1944, Sukachev organized and became a director of the Forest Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences. In 1959, the Institute was moved to Krasnoyarsk. Later, Sukachev established the Forestry Laboratory of the USSR Academy of Sciences in the village of Uspensk in the Moscow region and was its first director (1962-1964).
Sukachev devoted much time and energy to public organizations. In 1904, he joined the Petersburg Society of Natural Scientists and in 1912 the Russian Geographic Society and the Forestry Society. In 1915, Sukachev was one of the founding members of the Russian Botanical Society, with which he maintained a lifelong tie. He was a member of its Council (1916-1941), president (1941-1963) and honor ary president (1963-1967). From 1946 to 1967, he was the editor-in-chief of the Botanical Journal. In addition, from 1955-1967 he headed the Moscow Society of Naturalists (MOIP),xiii the oldest such society in Russia. He was also the editor of the MOIP Bulletin. Biology Series.
In 1967, Sukachev initiated publication of a new Academy of Sciences journal called Silvics. He was the journal's editor for a short time.
In 1920, V. N. Sukachev was elected as a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences. In 1934, he received a doctor's degree in biological science without defending a dissertation. In 1943, he became a full member of the USSR Academy of Sciences. V. N. Sukachev was awarded the decoration of "Honored Worker of the Forest Industry" in 1939, the "Badge of Honor" order in 1942, the order of "Red Banner of Labor" and a medal for "Outstanding Work in the Great Patriotic War" in 1945. In 1965, he received the highest award for labor, "Hero of Socialist Labor."
In 1912, Sukachev received a silver medal from the Russian Geographic Society for his work in the field of botany. In 1914, the Society awarded Sukachev the Przhevalski Great Medal for his contribution to the study of wetland vegetation.xiv
The research work of V. N. Sukachev encompasses a broad range of regions of Russia and the USSR: the polar Urals, the Baikal region, the Kolski peninsula, the Crimea, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Kazakhstan and other regions.
Sukachev established a number of general and specific laws in regard to the development of the vegetative mantel. These include: the interrelationship between separate forest species, the dynamics of grassy vegetation in the forest, the impact of fires on forest societies, the interrelationship of forest and wetland formations, and forest typology. It is impossible to ignore Sukachev's contribution to plant taxonomy. Of special interest are his works on birch (Betula), larch (Larix), pine (Pinus) species. In Russia the name Sukachev'xv is tied to the creation and development of experimental methods in biogeocoenology. He organized several experimental stations, which still function today.
For more than fifty years, Sukachev developed a comprehensive science of plant communities. Sukachev presented his first insights into plant societies as early as 1910 in the article Forest Formations and their Interrelationships in the Bryansk Forests. The theory is founded on concepts about the formation and functioning of communities as a consequence of the interrelation of plant species simultaneously inhabiting the same environment. This new approach to the question allowed him to make a significant contribution to the scientific theory of the dynamics of plant communities.xvi
Sukachev's geo-botanic work was simultaneously landscape (ecosystem) science, since in it he examined the vegetative covering as a component of the geographical environment. Research in this direction led Sukachev to the creation of biogeocoenology, the theory of the role of life within the structure and dynamic of the landscape. This direction of study synthesized contemporary concepts about the functioning of living nature and became definitive in the direction of research of the Sukachev school.
Sukachev contributed a large body of work on the theory and methods of phytocoenology, forestry, wetland studies, the history of vegetation in the USSR, spore-pollen analysisxvii and protective forestation.
Following are excerpts from Sukachev's major work Fundamentals Of Biogeocoenology (Edited by V. Sukachev and N. Dylis "NAUKA" Publishing, Moscow, 1964}:
"Forests cover one-third of the earth's land surface today. The forest area, however, is seriously diminishing every year. This cannot help but concern mankind since there is not a single type of vegetation that meets more of man's needs than the forest. The usefulness of forest vegetation to man is unlimited.
The tasks of forestry include organizing and making the most rational use of all forest resources and at the same time conserving them for the future, raising their productivity, increasing their usefulness and their geographical distribution. It is obvious that these tasks can be fulfilled only on the basis of all available science, especially forest sciences. Among these sciences, silviculture is of outstanding importance. Silvics is the main theoretical foundation of forestry and forest economy.
This idea was most fully expressed in the works of Professor G. F. Morozov at the beginning of the 20th century. Morozov especially stressed that for the successful development of forest economy one must know all aspects of nature in the forest. If we consider even only basic forestry measures (complete and selective felling, logging, assistance to natural regeneration, artificial planting, protection from pests, fire precautions, etc.), the rational application of these requires knowledge not only of the biological features of the stand and other layers of forest vegetation, but also of climatic (including microclimatic) soil and water conditions, as well as of the faunal and microbial life of the forest.
It is especially important to stress that for the proper valuation of all these factors in forest economy we must bear in mind that all forest components interact on each other and affect each other. Thus, from the silvicultural point of view, any area of forest must be regarded as a specific natural unit where all vegetation, fauna, and micro-organisms, soil and atmosphere exist in a state of close interaction.
Such interaction, of course, is a feature not only of forests but of any part of the earth's surface. In no other type of vegetation, however, are they displayed so clearly and with so many aspects as in the forests.
Silviculturists have long since noted several links between the growth and development of trees and their environment. In Russia these views were clearly expressed in D. M. Kravchinskii's book. Forest Growth (1903). The significance of this approach for forestry was most thoroughly and forcefully described by G. F. Morozov in his famous book. Teaching of the Forest (1912). Somewhat later these ideas were expressed in the works of the German silviculturists,
Dengler, Rubner, Hartman, and others. Only Morozov, however, completely understood significance of the interaction of the environment and forest components. Therefore, Morozov was properly regarded as the founder of forest biogeocoenology.
The view that all natural objects and phenomena on the earth's surface are in a state of interaction and interdependence, and that one may speak of the existence of internally inter-related units formed by them, arose a long time ago and independently in several countries and among scientists studying different aspects of nature. For the above reason, a very large number of names for that concept have appeared: microcosm, biosystem, elementary landscape, ecotope, biogeocoenose, ecosystem, facies, and others. These terms are not fully synonymous, but they are all applied to natural objects with a general similarity.
The following definition may be given to the term biogeocoenose: a biogeocoenose is a combination on a specific area of the earth's surface of homogeneous natural phenomena (atmosphere, mineral strata, vegetable, animal and microbial life, soil, and water conditions), possessing its own specific type of interaction of these components and a definite type of interchange of their matter and energy among themselves and with other natural phenomena, and representing an internally contradictory dialectical unity, being in constant movement and development.
We may understand the tetm forest biogeocoenose as any part of a forest, homogeneous over a specific area in the structure, composition and characteristics of its components and in the interrelations among them. It is homogeneous in plant cover, in the animal and microbial life inhabiting it, in the surface of mineral strata, in hydrological, microclimatic (atmospheric) and soil conditions and interaction among them, and in the type of exchange of matter and energy between its components and other natural phenomena.
Forest biogeocoenology includes knowledge of all forest components and laws governing their interaction and the development ofbiogeocoenoses.
We can make the following general statement. Trees and other tall vegetation are always dependent on soil, atmosphere, animal life and microorganisms. The chemical composition of the soil, its moisture and its physical features affect the growth and development of tree species, their fertility, the technical qualities of their wood and their regeneration, and the growth and development of all other vegetation. All vegetation in turn affects the soil to a great degree, mainly determining the quality and quantity of organic matter in the soil, thus affecting its physical and chemical characteristics. Between soil and vegetation there is a constant flow of mineral matter from different soil horizons into the parts of the plants above ground, with later conversion of it into soil in the form of plant litter."
BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE MAJOR WORKS ON FORESTRY OF V. N. SUKACHEV
The Wetland Pine. 1905. Forest Journal, Vol. 35, No. 3, p. 354-372 with illus. and tables.
The Forest as a Community. 1907. Nature in School, No. 2, p. 80-88.
Plant Communities (introduction to phytosociology). 1922. 2nd edition supplemented, Petrograd, Moscow, Kniga. 119 pp., tables.
On the History of the Development of Larch. 1924. In: Forest Practice. Collected Articles. Leningrad, Moscow, Novaya Dereyevnya. p. 12-44. Bibliography: 45 titles.
Acclimation and the Dendrological Study of Tree Species as a Task of Experimental Forest Practice. 1926. In: Works on Experimental Forest Practice, Moscow, NKZ RSFSR, Forest Administration. Issue 3, p. 114-123.
A Short Guide to the Study of Forest Types. 1927. Moscow, Novaya Dereyevnya. 150pp. Bibliography: 140 titles.
Coniferous (Chpt. 1). 1928. Forest Species: Their Systems, Geography and Phytosociology. Issue 1. Moscow, Novaya Dereyevnya. 80 pp. illus.
Main Concepts on the Study of the Vegetative Cover. 1938. In: Vegetation of the USSR, Vol. 1. Moscow, Leningrad, USSR Academy of Sciences Publishing, p. 15-37.
Types of Forests and Vegetative Covers. 1945. Moscow, Goslestechizdat. 37 pp. Bibliography: 9 titles.
The Relationship of the Concepts 'Geographical Landscape' and'Biogeocenose.' 1949. In: Issues of Geography, St. Petersburg 16, Moscow, Geographgiz. p. 45-60. Bibliography: 13 titles.
Several Basic Questions of Phytocoenology. 1950. In: Problems of Botany. Vol. 1, Moscow, Leningrad, USSR Academy of Sciences Publishing, p. 449-460. Bibliography: 52 titles.
Dynamics of Forest Biogeocoenology. 1964. In: Principles of Forest Biogeocoenology, edited by V. N. Sukachev and N. V. Dylis, Moscow, Nauka. p. 458-486.
Basic Concepts of Forest Biogeocoenology. 1964. In: Principles of Forest Biogeocoenology, edited by V. N. Sukachev and N. V. Dylis, Moscow, Nauka. p. 5-49, (with N. Ye. Kabanov).
The Theoretical and Practical Significance of Forest Biogeocoenology. 1964. In: Principles of Forest Biogeocoenology, edited by V. N. Sukachev and N. V. Dylis, Moscow, Nauka. Selected Works in Three Volumes. 1972-1975. Moscow, Nauka.
xiHis father, Nikolai Pavlovich Sukachev came from, what was then called, a family of mixed rank. His mother, Anna Vasiliyevna Shidlovskaya, was born to an impoverished aristocratic family. Her father, Vasiliy Nikolayevich Shidlovski, married a Serbian woman in the early 1850's and brought her to Kharkov province. They had sixteen children.
IVAN STEPANOVICH MELEKHOV 1905-1994
Ivan Stepanovich Melekhov,xviii a leading forest ecologist and forester of our time, was born to an ordinary familyxix in the village of Zharovikha (later Staraya Zharovikha). The village is now located within the city limits of Arkhangelsk county, Arkhangelsk Province. Until the age of 6 or 7, Melekhov was cared for by his grandmother, who was his first teacher. At the age of 9, he enrolled in a three-year elementary school that was opened by the Ministry of Education not far from Melekhov's home. The school is still standing today near the monument to Peter the Great in Arkhangelsk. xx
Ivan finished the three-year school in the spring of 1917 and, in the fall, enrolled in a religious school. He studied there until the winter, when his old school started a fourth grade, and he returned back. After the educational reform of 1918, Melekhov continued his studies at his old school No. 4, Second Level. During the summers he worked at the sawmill. He finished the school in 1924.
The same year he enrolled at the Arkhangelsk Polytechnical School in the mechanics program. The draw of the forest won out, however, and in August 1925 Ivan Melekhov enrolled at the St. Petersburg Forest Institute. xxi
Melekhov's advisor at the Institute was Nikolai Petrovich Kobranov, a famous forester in those days, and the list of his teachers included well-known scientists and professors. They included V. N. Obolenski for physics and meteorology, B. N. Menshutkin for general chemistry, xxii N. N. Pavlovski for hydrotechnology, xxiii N. I. Nikitin for wood and forest chemistry, xxiv and V. N. Krestinskixxv for organic chemistry.
The very brightest minds in forestry science were concentrated at that time in the forestry department. L. A. Ivanov headed the department of plant anatomy and physiology. V. N. Sukachev chaired the department of morphology, taxonomy and dendrology. xxvi K. K. Gedroits chaired soil science. xxvii M. N. Rimski-Korsakovxxviii headed the department of zoology and forest entomology. G. G. Doppelmaier chaired the department of the biology of forest animals and birds. D. K. Sokolov headed the department of hunting science. M. M. Orlov chaired the Forest Department management and organization. N. V. Tretyakov was in charge of the forest surveying department. M. E. Tkachenko chaired general forestry while N. P. Kobranov chaired the specific (micro) forestry department (forestation).
In addition, various specific courses were taught by some of the leading scientists in those fields. For example, A. A. Yachevski taught a course on phyto-pathology, xxix but was later replaced'by S. I. Vanin. A mathematical statistics course was taught by A. K. Mitropolsky. V. N. Sukachev taught phytoso-ciology and N. N. Stepanov taught forest melioration. xxx Melekhov took and extra course in German phonetics, which was taught by Professor L. V. Scherba. xxxi
After Melekhov graduated from the Leningrad Technical Forestry Academy in 1930, he was sent to Arkhangelsk Technical Forest Institute, where he followed the path from assistant professor (1930) to chairman of the department of general forestry (beginning in 1934) and forestry (1944-1958). xxxii In 1944, Melekhov received a doctoral of science degree in agricultural sciences, and earned the title of professor. In 1956, he was elected to full membership in the All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VASKhNIL).
Melekhov's life in the north was very busy, as he headed scientific expeditions for the Academy of Sciences to study the northern forests, directed a forest group at the Northern Base and Arkhangelsk Station of the Academy, and was director of the northern branch of the Forest Institute (1958-1962).
During these years Melekhov published a number of important articles, which helped to strengthen the position of Russian timber on the world market, 12 established the methodological principles of studying forest fires, 13 concentrated logging in northern European Russia, 14 and the typology of concentrated cuts. 15
His works The Nature of Forests and Forest Fires (1947) and The Impact of Fire on the Forest (1948) are recognized a classics. Because of this, Melekhov is rightly considered to be the founder of forest pyrology, which has been designated in Russia as a separate scientific discipline. The designation of forest fire belts and the compilation of a map of worldwide fire seasons was the first scientific work of its type in the world. The map of forest fire seasons in the USSR and Russia helped to establish a scientifically based system of fire protection in the forests and to increase its effectiveness. Knowledge of the character of the zonal forest fire situation provided the opportunity to more quickly respond to changes in the current situation in one region or another. This was of some significance given the size of the Russian territory.
The fundamental research of I.S. Melekhov on the nature of the taiga (boreal, as we say today) forests and their changes after logging facilitated the planning and subsequently the realization of the large-scale program to study concentrated cuts, as laid out in the work Concentrated Logging in the Forests of the North (1954). This work is an outstanding model for constructing methods to study an object or phenomenon.
Melekhov's work on the typology of forests and cuts deserves special emphasis. He laid out the principles in articles and books in the 1950's and early 60's: Theoretical Principles of the Typology of Cuts (1958), Principles of the Typology of Cuts (1959). xxxiii Guidance for the Study of Types of Concentrated Cuts (1962). Melekhov developed these principles further in his later works. Although the typology of cuts was very important in and of itself, it later became an important integral part of dynamic forest typology as developed by Melekhov and scientists of his school.
Melekhov created a genre of historical sketches on forest issues and wrote the biographies of forester-scientists. 16 He did a great service by presenting Lomonosov to the world as a natural scientist who was concerned about the forests and as a scientist who made a significant contribution to forest science when it was first established. Melekhov's Essay on the Development of Forest Science in Russia (1957). which has long been a rarity, is loved by many generation of foresters for its multifaceted examination of the issue of forest science in its historical development and its laconic and easily understood presentation. It is appreciated not only by specialists, but by anyone interested in the history of Russian science.
Melekhov's Moscow period began in 1962 when he was appointed as assistant chairman of the State Committee on Forest Pulp and Paper and Wood Processing Industries and Forestry. This committee was part of Gosplan USSR. At the same time he became the acting forestry department chairman of the Moscow Technical Forest Institute, which he headed for more than thirty years.
The Moscow period is tied to the rethinking and development of those themes, for which Melekhov established the basic principles during his 30 years of work in the northern forests. Nonetheless, he also kept abreast of new trends in the development of forest science and actively responded to them. 17
Two very important works of the late 1960's were Issues of Dynamic Forest Typology and the collective monograph Forestry in the Taiga, which raised questions that were later addressed in his major work, that has since become a classic, Silvics (1980). 18
In Silvics. Melekhov presented a general scheme that he developed for forest type formation in relation to the anthro-pogenic changes of the forest environment. He moves from a general schematic to a concrete classic schematic of vegetation succession on the cutting site of a fir-bilberry grove. These schematics form the methodological basis for the creation of regional schematics of vegetation succession according to forest type.
The dynamic typology of cuts was the starting point for a large volume of research both in the USSR and abroad. Its importance was also emphasized in the report of the President of the IUFRO at the 7th World Forest Congress.
In 1983, Melekhov's textbook Silvics was awarded the Morozov Gold Medal.
In 1978-1983, Melekhov's work Forest Pyrology was published independently. In it the author addressed the day's most important problems concerning forest fires and how to fight them. 19 Unfortunately, the author never fulfilled his wish to publish Forest Pyrology as a separate book, as he was very busy with the preparation of another major work, the textbook Silviculture. 20
I. S. Melekhov also wrote a number of key articles for the Forest Encyclopedia, to be published for the first time in the USSR. 21 An abridged form of the articles Forest (Vol. 1, p. 503-506) and Forest Pyrology (Vol. 2, p. 211-212), for example, follows:
"The forest, one of the main types of vegetation, is an aggregate of ligneous, fruticose, herbaceous and other plants (mosses, lichens) together with animals and microorganisms that are biologically interconnected in their development and which impact each other and the external environment. In addition, the forest is an integral and very important part of the biosphere; it is an element of the landscape. The forest is a raw material resource, a natural resource or even material (forest products), often identified in the last case as timber. The forest is the object of forest management and the basis of the state forest fund of the USSR. Thus, the forest is a multi-faceted concept. It can be viewed in a natural historical context (as a natural phenomenon), in a technical, economic, legal, historical or even medical context.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian scientist and forester G. F. Morozov (1867-1920) gave the first scientific definition of the forest. He defined it as an aggregate of ligneous plants that are changed in their external appearance, form and internal structure as they affect each other and the soil and atmosphere they occupy. Later definitions mirror and supplement Morozov's concept of the forest. Thus, the forester and soil scientist G. N. Vysotsky (1865-1940) expressed the concept of "forest" as a simplified equation, S=LGPH, where S is the forest (silva), L is the tree (lignum), G is the environment (gremium), P is the affect of the forest on the environment, and H is the impact of man on the forest (Homo).
The forest is the subject of study of silviculture, biogeocoenology, dendrology, silviculture, forest surveying and other sciences.
In the contemporary understanding, the forest is a product of nature and its component part, a natural system, which can be examined at various levels. Consequently, the scale of the concept of "forest" changes from global (a part of the biosphere) to local (for example, forest stands). Within the framework of this system, moving from the general to the specific, it is possible to designate several interconnected levels: the forest as a part of the biosphere-natural zonal subdivisions of the forest-provincial forest subdivisions-the forest stock-biogeocoenose or ecosystem-forest stand (forest phytocoenose) - stand subdivisions."
Melekhov further laid out the successive subsivisions:
"The concept of the forest as a component of the biosphere is the broadest and most comprehensive. Forests grow on every continent except Antarctica...
Natural zoning and provincial-regional divisions allow the forest to be approached as a geographical phenomenon...
The concept of forest as isolated territories of ligneous and other vegetation, that is forest stock, is a narrower approach...
V. N. Sukachev (1880-1967) defined the term forest biogeocoenose as a forest unit that is for some time homogeneous in the composition, structure and properties of its combined components and in their interrelationships. In other words, the unit is uniform in its vegetative cover, animal and microorganism population, surface rock formations, hydrological, microclimatic and soil conditions and their interaction, in the type of exchange of matter and energy among it components and other natural phenomena...
The broad range of environmental of ecological factors that determine the conditions of life in the forest can be divided into several groups: climatic factors (light, heat, precipitation, air movement, etc.), edaphic factors (soil, its composition, physical properties, fertility, forest mat, terrain characteristics, steepness, incline exposition, etc.), biotic factors (animals, plants, microorganisms), anthropogenic factors (forest cuts, stump grubbing, drought, fire and others)...
The forest tends toward morphological and biological stability, toward self-regulation. The forest can survive over a long period of time, including time on a geological scale, and preserve its typical characteristics... This stability, however, does not mean that the forest is static. On the contrary, the forest should be viewed as a dynamic, self-regulating natural system. Continual change in the forest includes the exchange of matter, circulation of energy currents, processes of renewal, changes in the growth, development and differentiation of the trees and forest stock, changes in the growth and development of other parts of the forest and their interaction with each other. The forest changes in space and in time. The impact of external factors, especially anthropogenic ones can and does lead to changes that are sometimes severe enough to destroy the whole forest system and its surrounding territory..."
The following passages are excerpts from the article Forest Pyrology (Vol. 2, p.211-212).
"Forest pyrology (from the Greek 'pyr' meaning fire and 'logos' meaning word or study) is the science of forest fires and the changes in the forest caused by fire. Its purpose it to develop methods to fight forest fires and their negative consequences and to determine ways to make positive use of fire in forest management.
Forest pyrology is based on a number of forest sciences and general scientific disciplines and makes use of modern technology. The science was developed in the 1940' and 50's. The impetus for its development came most noticeably from the USSR, the USA, Canada, as well as Australia, France and Japan. Certain issues of forest pyrology had been examined earlier, however. For example, in Russia at the end of the 19th century, a book appeared entitled Forest Protection (N. S. Shafranov, 1872, 1876; P. V. Baranetsky, 1880), which contained material on protecting forests from fire. In the 1920's and 30's, several scientists and leading forest practitioners studied the issue of forest fires, including A. A. Strogii, M. E. Tkachenko, N. P. Kobranov and others. Their attention was focused mainly on the loss from fire and ways to fight it.
At the end of the 19th and, especially, at the beginning of the 20th century, forestry and botanical literature began to examine the ecological role of forest fires and their impact on the regeneration and succession of species and on the growth structure of the forest stand (A. Grakov, M. E. Tkachenko, A. Ya. Gordyagin, V. N. Sukachev, A. V. Tiurin and others).
The scientific development of forest fighting methods noticeably increased in the 1930's in the USSR. That is when the experimental study of fires in the forests of the taiga began. Over the next twenty years important properties were discovered about the nature of forest fires and their consequences, which facilitated the development of new answers to important problems of fighting fires. This was the period when the theory and practical applications of forest pyrology were developed (I. S. Melekhov, A. A. Molchanov, P. P. Serebrennikov, V. V. Matrenienskii, V. G. Nesterov, I. N. Balbyshev, A. A. Korchagin) . . .
In the 1930's the Leningrad Scientific Research Institute for Forestry (LenNIILKh) conducted experiments on extinguishing forest fires with chemicals and water with the aid of special sprayers (Serebrennikov, Matrenskii, N. A. Ivankin, G. A. Mokeyev and others). In the early 1930's Mokeyev was the first person in the world to use parachute to fight forest fires..."
I. S. Melekhov was the author and editor of more that 350 scientific and methodological publications. He advised over 50 individuals in the preparation and defense of their candidate and doctoral dissertations.
Melekhov represented Russian and Soviet science on numerous occasions at international conferences and symposia. Thanks in part to his knowledge of English and German, he was elected vice-president of the 6th World Forest Congress in Madrid (1966) and chairman of the forestry committee at the 14th Pacific Science Congress in Khabarovsk (1979). As a rule, Melekhov shared the results of his trips abroad in various publications. 22
Melekhov's work received deserved recognition not only in Russia, where he was received many high state awards and the title "Honored Leader in Science and Technology of the USSR" (1967), but also abroad. He received an honorary doctorate from the Higher Agricultural School of Brno, Czechoslovakia (1966). He became a member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Agriculture and Forestry (1968), an honorary member of the Finnish Forestry Society (1969), and an honorary member of IUFRO (1986).
Ivan Stepanovich Melekhov worked diligently as a professor of the forestry department of the Moscow State Forestry University (formerly the Moscow Technical Forest Institute) until the last day of his life. He died in the early morning of December 6, 1994 and was buried in Moscow.
xviiiThe author of this sketch of the life and work of Melekhov is V. K. Teplyakov, his former student.