Latvian Academy of Sciences
NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDENS
Miera iela 1, Salaspils-1, LV-2169
Tel.: (3712)945440, (3712)945460. Fax: (371) 7901250
Director and Chair of the Scientific Council
Dr.biol. K. BUIVIDS
Founded in 1956 as LAS Botanical Gardens, but in
1992 it has been granted the status of National Botanical
Gardens. During the forty years of its existence the richest
plant collection in the Baltic states has been gathered
there. About 10-12 thousand plant taxa, species, subspecies, and
forms have been gathered and maintained as well as
5-6 thousand varieties. Separately at the arboretum
more than 5 thousand tree and shrub taxa are to be found.
The collections are specialized. Many genera
have national, but some (Crataegus, Cotoneaster,
Populus, Allium, etc.) collection-significance of world scale.
Main Areas of Research
- Dendroflora of Latvia (the Baltics). Studies
of the acclimatization and systematic correctness
of newly introduced tree and shrub varieties and decorative
forms have been made. Descriptions of the protected
trees and shrubs and their distribution maps have been
prepared for the new edition of the Red Data Book of Latvia.
More than 200 thousand of big trees have been inspected,
measured, and registered in the computerized
database. The inspection and evaluation of Latvia's
protected country parks is continuing, a database
has been evolved. Another database, "Plants of the NBG",
is under preparation. Vegetative propagation
methods for coniferous and deciduous trees, shrubs,
and climber plants have been developed, by applying
biologically active substances produced
in Latvia. The culture of larch trees growing in Latvia
has been evaluated, and recommendations worked
out for their improvement. Experimental plantations
of fast growing poplar clones are being made for afforestation
of lands not suitable for agriculture. In three
regions of Latvia the biomechanical and physiological
changes of some clones of the Scotch pine tree have
been studied (chlorophyls, carotinoids, and macroelements)
depending upon the soil, contamination of the environment,
and the physiological condition of the plant. Preservation
and propagation of the protected plants of Latvia
has been made.
- Breeding. Evolvement of new breeding and propagation
methods. New forms of decorative plants (gerberas,
chrysanthemums, orchids, astilbes, hostas, bulbous
plants, et. al.), many cultures of berry plants (black currants,
blueberries, cranberries, cowberries, mountain ash,
and others), decorative trees and shrubs (park roses,
bush roses, climber varieties of Rosa rugosa,
and others), interior plants as well as turf grasses.
While continuing studies of the reaction of different
genotypes to lowered temperature and lighting, four
forms of gerberas and 13 forms of chrysanthemums have been
singled out as relatively tolerant. Work on obtaining
inbredlines for gerberas (10 lines) has been continued,
the regularities of inheriting their colour
and forms have been clarified. The combinating ability
of the plants of these lines has been defined as well
as the possibilities of their use in further selection.
Large efforts have been devoted to the maintenance
of taxonomically correct and corresponding to phyto-sanitary
requirements of the national chrysanthemum collection
(280 taxa) and collection of gerberas (200 taxa). These
collections are the only ones in the Baltics. Four varieties
of gerberas and six of chrysanthemums have been registered
in the State Variety Register.
- Berry plants. The genofund of these plants as well
as the plant bank in vitro (76 forms) has been enlarged.
Perspective hybrids of cowberries and blueberries have
been selected and propagated. Large fruit cranberry
forms have been obtained, their productivity by 23-27% surpassing the North American varieties.
By interspecific hybridization, selection, and backcrosses
11 black currant forms have been obtained especially
productive and can be gathered in by mechanized
methods. They will be registered as suitable for
- Turf grasses. Three red and chewing fescues forms have
been singled out as perspective for Latvia and the
Baltic as well as two forms of Kentucky bluegrass. Criteria
for evaluating turf grasses of distinctive functions
have been worked out (NBG, Priekuli Plant Breeding Station,
Institute of Agriculture).
- Plant tissue cultures. The largest active
plant bank in vitro in the Baltics contains more than
350 plant taxa from 40 genera, including Latvia's selectionist
varieties. Conservation methods of the genofund
have been developed and perfected. The influence
of prolonged cultivation in vitro on plants has
been studied. Programmed propagation of tree plants
has been worked out, including the balance of active
substances, contents and proportions of minerals,
explant treatment substances, and storage regimes.
The suitability of preparations produced
in Latvia in the tissue cultures of various plants
has been studied. The 2nd international symposium "Breeding,
Propagation in vitro, and Disease Resistance
in Horticultural Plants" (April 16-18, 1996) was organized and its materials published.
By marking the 40th anniversary of the NBG an international
conference "The Role of Botanical Gardens
in Plant Acclimatization, Horticulture
Science, and Practice" (September 3-4, 1996) was organized.
Collection of articles "The Baltic Botanical
Gardens in 1994-1995" was issued.
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Last update Jun 9 1997 by Martins Gills firstname.lastname@example.org