Polish National Committee

Chair

Prof. Dr. Lech Wojciech Szajdak 
Doctor Honoris Causa
Polish Academy of Sciences
Institute for Agricultural and Forest Environment
ul. Bukowska 19
PL-60-809 Poznan
POLAND
phone: +48 61 847 5601
e-mail: szajlech (at) man. poznan.pl, lszajdak (at) tlen.pl

Secretary

Dr. Katarzyna Styla
Polish Academy of Sciences
Institute for Agricultural and Forest Environment
ul. Bukowska 19
PL-60-809 Poznan
POLAND
email: styla.katarzyna (at) gmail.com

Annual Report 2014

Polish studies of peat and peatlands have a long-term tradition and substantial achievements. The researchers working in this field are members of the Polish National Committee of IPS, whose commissions have recently received considerable attention in terms of their goals and functions. Polish National Committee of IPS has 98 members.

The work of our Committee in 2014 focused on evidence of structural variation, richness and inventiveness of peatlands. However we are just beginning to understand their relevance to the functioning of peat ecosystems, which is related to their fate and behaviour in soil conditions. Understanding peat soil requires an interdisciplinary approach involving several sciences such as chemistry, biochemistry, soil science, ecology and plant physiology, as in the development of the history of peat science, the histories of individual scientific peat disciplines (botany, biology, chemistry, biochemistry, balneology, energetic and agricultural utilization) have played an enormously significant role.

Activity

Two members of Polish National Committee defended doctoral thesis in 2014:
 
“Impact of organic soils of peatland as biogeochemical barrier on the limitation of non-point pollution in ground water”,
“Carbon and nitrogen in organic matter fractions of Histosols located in upper valley of Liwiec river”.

The members of the Polish National Committee are involved in several Polish and international projects:

a) “Impact of the melioration on organic matter properties and the content of biologically active substances in peats”.
b) “Function of humus substances and the transformation of nitrogen in peat caused by the drainage and undrainage of peatlands”.
c) “Molecular composition of organic carbon in soil water systems”.
d) “Impact of peat type and species of upland mires on the changes enzymatic, chemical and physical properties”.
e) “Function of peatland on the limitation of non-point pollution in ground water”.
f) “Relationship between chemical, biochemical and physical properties of organic and mineral growing media and the occurrence and significance of indole-3-acetic acid as fotohormone”.

The results were presented during international conferences and congresses:

Peat - Water Ecosystems (Kiev, Ukraine), West Siberian peatlands and carbon cycle: past and present (Novosibirsk, Russia), Biogenic - abiogenic interactions in natural and anthropogenic systems (Sankt Petersburg, Russia), Paleopedological record of postglacial soil and landscape evolution (Toruń, Poland), European Geosciences Union, General Assembly (Vienna, Austria).

Conclusion

Prof. Lech Wojciech Szajdak, the chairman of the Polish National Committee of IPS would like to express gratitude towards the members who participated in the meetings and the people who have worked voluntary for the Polish National Committee of IPS.

Annual Report 2012

The Polish National Committee of IPS published two books in 2012. The first one, entitled “Necessity of Peatlands Protection”, has 381 pages and consists of 31 chapters written by more than 60 authors from six countries (Belarus, Estonia, Poland, Romania, Russia and Ukraine). The book was edited by Lech W. Szajdak, Woletta Gaca, Teresa Meysner, Katarzyna Styla and Marek Szczepański. The results of the papers published in the book were presented during international peat conferences under the same title as the book, organized by the Polish National Committee of IPS and Commission III of IPS in Bory Tucholskie, Poland in 2011. The report of the conferences has been published in Peatlands International 2/2012. The book exhibits the highest level of editorial work – hard cover, good quality paper, figures and pictures in color. In addition, all tables and figures are very clear. The publication is available at www.isrl.poznan.pl/en/departments/environmentalchemistry/2-uncategorised....

The papers in the book may be divided according to the following thematic subjects:

• characteristics of wetlands and peatlands in selected areas (8 papers),

• peatlands vegetation (5 papers),

• peatlands soil and their properties (8 papers),

• chemical properties of peat (8 papers),

• therapeutic properties of peat (2 papers).

The book will be useful to researchers in the field. Moreover, it will be helpful for undergraduate and postgraduate students, soil scientists, biochemists, chemists, plant ecophysiologists, “natural products” organic chemists and other environmental scientists and experts. The book was dedicated to Professor Tomasz Brandyk, a member of the International Peat Society who was highly involved in IPS activities, both on Polish and international level.

However, we currently have abundant evidence of structural variation, richness and inventiveness of peatlands; we are just beginning to understand their relevance to the functioning of peat ecosystems, which is related to their fate and behaviour in soil conditions. Understanding peat soil requires an interdisciplinary approach involving several sciences such as chemistry, biochemistry, soil science, ecology and plant physiology, as in the development of the history of peat science, the histories of individual scientific peat disciplines (botany, biology, chemistry, biochemistry, balneology, energetic and agricultural utilization) have played an enormously significant role.

Polish studies of peat and peatlands have a long-term tradition and substantial achievements. The researchers working in this field are members of the Polish National Committee of IPS, whose commissions have recently received considerable attention in terms of their goals and functions. Therefore, it has become crucial to publish a book entitled “Polish National Committee of IPS – the history, activity, achievements”, which was edited by Andrzej Łachacz.

Within its 180 pages, the book shows the history and activity of all Commissions included in the Polish National Committee of IPS. In addition, it includes information on Commission III of IPS on “Agricultural use of peatlands and peat”, which has been chaired by Polish scientists from 1995 (Piotr Ilnicki 1995-2000, Tomasz Brandyk 2000-2004, Lech W. Szajdak 2004-2012, Barbara Kalisz 2012-now).

 

Annual Report 2011

Members of the Polish National Committee of IPS met twice in 2011. Our annual assembly was held on 10 February in Warsaw. All chairpersons of commissions showed the reports on activities during 2011. The discussion after presentations was connected with the plan for 2011.

The second meeting was held on 1 September in Tlen, Bory Tucholskie, Poland during the International Conference on “Necessity of Peatlands Protection”. The Polish National Committee together with Commission III of IPS, the Committee on Land Reclamation and Agricultural Environment Engineering, Polish Academy of Sciences and Institute for Agricultural and Forest Environment, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan, Poland organized this event.

The main topics of the conference were: (1) peatlands and forest areas, (2) protection of peatlands in agricultural and forestry landscape, (3) multifunction of peatlands.

During three sessions, distinguished leading scientists, young researchers and students presented 44 papers including 13 oral lectures, and 31 posters. The conference was addressed to young scientists who have been involved in this problem recently. 50 Polish, Estonian, Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian and Rumanian scientists attended the conference.

During the meeting, a new chairperson - Prof. Dr. Lech Wojciech Szajdak, two vice-chairpersons - Prof. Dr. Andrzej Łachacz, Prof. Dr. Krzysztof Lipka and the secretary - Dr. Katarzyna Styła of Polish National Committee were elected.
 
As the Polish National Committee assembles mainly scientists from 24 universities and research institutes, the activities are focused on different aspects of research. The members reveal the activity in many fields related to peat properties and peatlands utilization and protection. During the last year many important research projects were carried out by the Polish IPS members. Therefore the results obtained were published in many international and local journals and monographs.

The Polish National Committee decided to prepare a book describing activities of the Polish National Committee and its commissions. It will be published in Polish and an English version. The book will cover the entire history of our organization, however, the main point is to show different aspects of our activities performed during the last decade. The Polish National Committee would like to publish this book before the 14th International Peat Congress in Stockholm and to promote it during the event of the International Peat Society.

Annual Report 2010

Members of the Polish National Committee of IPS met twice this year. An annual assembly was held on 10 February. During this meeting the chairpersons of commissions presented reports on activities during the previous year. After discussion the action plan for 2010 was accepted. The second meeting was held on 27 October. It was decided to organize a peat symposium in 2011. Another theme discussed was to prepare a book describing activities of the Polish National Committee and its commissions. The idea is to cover the whole history of our organization and the main point is to describe various activities performed during the last decade.

As the Polish National Committee assembles mainly scientists from 24 universities and research institutes, the activities are focused on research. The members are active in many fields related to peat properties and peatlands utilization and protection. During the last year many important research projects were carried out by the Polish IPS members. The results obtained were published in many international and local journals.

The members of Executive Board of the Polish National Committee participated in many meetings and scientific events where various aspects of peat and peatlands were raised. For example, Polish IPS members were active at General Assembly of European Geosciences Union in Vienna (Austria) 2-7 May, where professor Lech Szajdak was a co-organizer of one session – SSS17 – „Dehydrated and rewetted peatlands: hydrological, physical and chemical changes”. Also five persons took place in 7th Scientific School on Bogs and Biosphere in Tomsk (Russia) during 13-19 September and afterwards participated in field trip in Gornyi Altai. The Polish participants are very grateful to professor Lidia I. Inisheva and the organizing committee from Tomsk State Pedagogical University, doctor M. V. Shurova from Gorno-Altai Research Institute of Agriculture and the staff members of Gorno-Altaisk State University for this splendid and well prepared scientific event.

Also at University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn lectures open to general public were delivered. Professor W. Mioduszewski spoken on “Extreme natural events – droughts and floods”. Hydrological role of peatlands is frequently underestimated, therefore the consequences of floods may be of catastrophic dimension. Professor K. Lipka covered two themes ”Functions of wetlands” and “Peatlands in the Orawsko-Nowotarska Basin”. Raised peat bogs located in this sub-Carpathian region are at risk due to human activities.

Annual Report 2009

Members of the Polish National Committee of IPS met twice this year. An Annual Assembly was held on 11 February 2009. During this meeting, the Commission chairpersons presented reports on activities during the previous year. After short discussion, the action plan for 2009 was accepted.

The second meeting was held on 7 December. One of the reasons for this extraordinary meeting was to discuss the present situation of our Committee after the unexpected death of Prof. Tomasz Brandyk, the Vice Chairman of the Polish National Committee. After heated discussion, some changes were approved. Professor Lech Szajdak was elected Vice Chairman of the Polish National Committee, Professor Adam Bogacz as Chairman of Commission III – utilization of peat and peatlands in agriculture and Doctor Barbara Kalisz as a member of the Executive Board responsible for organisational affairs. Additionally, it was decided that during the next Annual Assembly, to be held in February 2010, Vice Chairmen of each Cmmissions will be elected. We hope that all the changes introduced would activate our work. A workshop on properties of peat and taxonomy of organic soils is also planned for 2010.

As the Polish National Committee assembles mainly scientists from 24 universities and research institutes, the activities are focused on research. The members are active in many fields related to peat properties and the utilisation and protection of peatlands. During the last year, many important research projects were carried out by the Polish IPS members. The members of the Executive Board of the Polish National Committee participated in many meetings and scientific events where various aspects of peat and peatlands were raised.

In 2009, differing lectures open to the general public were delivered at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn. The following lectures were focused on peat and peatlands: Prof. Lech Szajdak: Western Siberia – Tomsk, nature, culture, people; The importance of midfield afforested places in reduction of pollutants in the agricultural landscape; Prof. Kazimierz Tobolski: Cultural aspects of peats and peatlands; Protection of peatlands in Europe in the light of the Natura 2000 programme; Prof. Waldemar Mioduszewski: Water for agriculture and nature protection; and Dr. Ryszard Oleszczuk: Emission of greenhouse gases from cultivated peat soils used for agriculture. This activity will continue in 2010.


Annual Report 2008

The Polish National Committee of IPS held its annual meeting on 11 February 2008. During this meeting the Chairpersons of the Commissions presented their reports on activities during the previous year. After discussion, the action plan for 2008 was accepted. Furthermore the membership issues were analysed, e.g. how to attract young scientists to join the Polish National Committee of IPS. During this meeting some problems related to peatland utilization for agriculture and peatland protection within the pan-European ecological network Natura 2000 were also discussed.

The members of the Executive Board of the Polish NC participated in many meetings and scientific events where various aspects of peat and peatlands were raised. The Polish scientists are represented in IPS by 25 universities and research institutes. The members are active in many fields related to peat properties and peatlands utilization and protection. The majority of them are focused on activities within two Commissions, namely on the utilization of peat and peatlands in agriculture, and the chemical, physical and biological characteristics of peat.

During the last year many important research projects have been carried out by Polish IPS members. Lately the project entitled “Geographical information system on the Polish wetlands” was completed at the Institute for Land Reclamation and Grassland Farming in Falenty. The data base comprises information on the distribution and general characteristics of wetlands, including peatlands.

In 2008, a series of lectures open to students, university teachers as well as to the general public began at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn. The scope of the presentations is the environment but a great number of presentations actually concern peatlands. This activity will continue in 2009.