The International Co-operative Programme on Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests (ICP Forests) was launched in 1985. The first long-term beech forest monitoring plots in Georgia was recently established in June 2021, a group of students of Ilia State University participated in the set up. The ICP BioBlitz lasted for three days and for students this included both cognitive and practical parts, as we discussed many interesting issues during this period such as proper forest management, sampling, soil types and more.

The first day of Bioblitz was successful. Participants met many unknown species of plants and animals, as well as footprints. We learned a lot of new information about soil types, insect collection methods and plant identification ways.
The photo shows the center of the study plot code-named L9, where the trees there are being monitored. We visited the locally installed insect traps. Additional technical controls are planned in the area, such as the installation of air zone and humidity sensors.

For three days we visited several research plots established within the project together with the German project coordinator Prof. Lars Drössler. In addition, we visited various areas of the nature reserve as part of the untouched forest as well as semi-occupied areas near the reserve.

I was a bachelor student at the time and I listen with great interest to Nika Marsagishvili who provided us with information on soil types, which was not a very familiar topic to me.
The expedition successfully covered half of the way to the study plot, here the roe deer trail begins.

The difference between the locations was obvious and the supplemental information clarified what a proper forest management can look like. I think this BioBlitz was educational for me personally, because today this is an increasing problem in Georgia, away from the the nature reserves, poachers are illegally seizing and destroying the uniqueness of both the flora and fauna of our country.

Beka Chitadze

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