Truffles grow also in Estonia
Leho Tedersoo and Triin Nadel introduce the strange-looking fungi with high culinary qualities. A truffle is basically a fruiting body of an underground mushroom. Truffles, as all underground mushrooms, are very dependent on mammals that spread their spores. Therefore, the truffles attain the specific smell once the spores have ripened to attract different mammals. Most mushrooms with underground fruiting bodies also have symbiotic relations with forest trees, called ectomycorrhiza.
70–75 species of truffle mushrooms have been described in the world; 5 of of these have been identified also in Estonia, but there may be more. None of them are edible, but they are not poisonous, either. The article also covers the culinary use of truffles.
Estonian nature protection 100: Jaan Eilart and his era
Erki Tammiksaar and Taavi Pae recall the Grand Old Man of Estonian nature protection and cultural history, as well as the establishment of the Estonian Nature Conservation Society. Born in 1933, he became a student of forestry and later botany in early 1950ies. As a student, he was very active in botanical expeditions. After graduation he became the scientific secretary of the nature protection committee of Academy of Sciences. He was very productive, very versatile and eager and accomplished an imposing number of tasks. He was fond of culture, especially literature. The Estonian Nature Conservation Society, founded in 1966, was first and foremost about cultural history and the public events organized by Eilart were extremely popular, carrying the aura of freedom.
15 years of nature protection orientated care of coastal meadows in Estonia
Marika Kose, Murel Merivee and Annely Reinloo sum up the efforts made to preserve coastal meadows – heritage communities. To a very large extent, the management of coastal meadows depends on local people and their cattle, who in turn are dependent on project money to support cattle-raising in non-productive areas. In the last 15 years, project money has helped to restore over 3000 ha of coastal meadows and to manage over 4000 ha of coastal meadows.
Business with endangered species
Kadri Alasi warns that a souvenir, piece of clothing or natural medicine brought along on a trip abroad may become an obstacle when crossing borders. Illegal business with endangered species causes a large number of species come extinct. In 1963, the CITES convention was signed to control the business with endangered species, their skins and other trophies. The article shares several tips for travellers about how to avoid buying things containing parts of animals under the CITES.
Interview: It’s time for meaningful work in nature protection
Toomas Kukk has interviewed Rita Annus, the Chancellor of Ministry of Environment.
Estonian nature protection 100: Flashbacks of Arno Kukk
Mart Reim speaks highly of Arno Kukk, the first director of the Nigula nature reserve, who lived a very short life.
Hiking trail: The heritage culture of Old Livonia on the coasts of the Gauja River.
Jürgen Kusmin calls to visit the sights on the right bank of Gauja in Estonia as well as in Latvia. The joint project of two countries involves a 60 km long bicycle trail along the Gauja River, a shorter – 18 km long – biking trail around Tellingumäe and a 2 km long hiking trail around Tellingumäe. The sights emphasized are objects of heritage culture – usually invisible without someone pointing attention to them.
Dissertation: Woods of hybrid aspen are now in the middle of their lifecycle.
Arvo Tullus introduces the first results about the growth and increase of the fast-growing tree species, and discusses about factors influencing the growth. While ordinary aspen woods are cut down at the age of 50, the woods of hybrid aspen are ripe for the axe 30 years after planting. The research has shown that hybrid aspen grows very fast in Estonia, especially on fertile soils.
Interesting bark tea from Latin America
Urmas Kokassaar praises taheebo tea, a product made by crushing the bark of Red Lapacho tree. This tree can be about 30 m high and centuries old. The local Indians have used the bark for centuries, curing several different diseases. The taheebo tea has many advantages: it does not contain any caffeine, but is rich in antioxidants.
100 years since the birth of a talented botanist and forester Harjo Sandur
Heldur Sander, Mati Laane and Toivo Meikar look back on the life an almost forgotten botanist, who could have become the director of the Botanical Garden of the University of Tartu. He studied forestry, but was more interested in botany. He studied in Denmark to become the director of the Tartu Botanical Garden, but it took time and in 1944 he escaped from Estonia. In 1949 he started a sea voyage to Australia, but ended his life during the voyage.
Aimur Joandi describes the life and activities of Julius Tehver, a professor of histology, and the story of an oak planted in his honor behind the Tartu Song Stadium.
Fungus Phellinus punctatus prefers slanting habitats
Erast Parmasto describes a quite wide-spread tree mushroom, whose spores are offloaded from vertically located tubes.