International scientific conference "THE GENE POOL OF THE COLLECTIONS OF BOTANICAL GARDENS AND ARBORETUMS - THE KEY TO SUSTAINABLE PHYTOCENOSIS IN THE CONTEXT OF CLIMATE CHANGE"
The foundation of the Botanical garden of the Imperial Novorossia University began simultaneously with the reorganization of the Richelieu Lyceum. The first 70 species of plants which were acquired in 1867 were stored in a private greenhouse under observation of the staff of the Department of botany.
In 1867, thanks to L. S. Zankovsky, the head of Department of botany, the University donated the Lyceum bath and the university yard for the establishment of the Botanical garden. Over time a small hothouse and a greenhouse were built on the University funds.
Some time later a collection of open ground plants, which was continually replenished, was created on the same territory. In 1880 the area was completely occupied and it was impossible to increase the collection. By the decision of the administration of the University and with the help of L. V. Reinhardt , the head of the Department of botany, the Botanical garden was transferred to the university farm in the area of Malyy Fontan (Frantsuzsky Blvd., 87). Here, in the garden, a greenhouse was built and the sector "System of plants” was organized. In 1885 Professor L. A. Rishawi became the head of the Botanical garden. He changed the system of flowerbeds without any systematic plan and a room for the staff was constructed. Later the Botanical garden was inspected by the Ministry of Education and the Commission of the University. The work on the administration of the garden was found unsatisfactory and in 1895 the management of the garden was entrusted to F. M. Kamensky.
It was planned to solve the following problems to improve the work of the garden: - problems of personnel; - the systematization and replenishment of the collection fund; - expansion of cooperation with Botanical gardens throughout the world; - reorganization of the exposition of the garden.
Unfortunately, the initiative of Professor Kamensky was not supported by the University and the question of closing the Botanical garden on Malyy Fontan was raised once again.
However after careful consideration the Commission concluded that the only in the steppes of the southern Black sea coast and in the great seaport city Botanical garden was absolutely necessary and couldn’t be closed. The Commission also recognized the need to expand the garden and organize a laboratory, a library and a herbarium within its structure .
From 1912 to 1915 the Botanical garden was headed by the Professor of anatomy and physiology P. P. Polovtsev.
The following 5 years the work of the garden was managed by Professor B. B. Grinevetsky. In 1920 the University was reorganized into three separate institutions and the Botanical garden stayed out of those establishments. Such changes, as well as the frequent reassignment of the administration, negatively affected the conditions of the Botanical garden.
In 1923 D. O. Svirenko was appointed the head of the Botanical garden . Thanks to his talent as an organizer a subsidy was received in 1924, and the Botanical garden officially received status as a scientific research, cultural and educational institution. The Botanical garden was used as a base of operations for scientific research. The work of the nursery and seed laboratories was recovered, the garden tours were resumed and connections with Botanical gardens around the world were re-established. So gradually the Botanical garden was transformed into a research institution and a team of researchers was formed, which involved students and post-graduate students - future scientists.
In 1928 the garden was headed by academician V. I. Lipsky, who devoted the last years of his life to the Botanical garden. He did a great job of arranging the collection fund of living plants of the garden, organizing herbarium, the library, the chemical laboratory and the museum. A systematic study of the plant resources of south-western part of Ukraine and Odessa region was carried out. The study of the algae of the Black sea was started resulting in construction of the iodine plant on the Peresyp (later the plant for the production of agar-agar). The excursion attendance in the Botanical garden also increased. The rapid development and enlargement of the garden required more land, so in 1930, an agreement was reached with the municipal authorities about the garden relocation to Maraslis villa (Frantsuzsky Boulevard, 85). In the same year the Botanical garden acquired the status of scientific institution of national importance. Due to the collective efforts of the entire team the new territory acquired a flawless look. However, in 1932 the territory of the garden located on Maraslis villa was transferred to the Central Medical Commission.
In 1933 the Botanical garden became part of the research facilities at the Odessa Metchnikov National University and was assigned to the Department of botany. V. I. Lipsky left the position of the head and continued to work as a consultant. At this time I. O. Vlasenko was appointed the new head of the Botanical garden. The garden area was re-planned, glasshouses, hothouses and greenhouses were repaired. During this period the Botanical garden conducted a substantial amount of extensive scientific researches. In 1939 G. I. Potapenko was appointed the head of the garden and had a great responsibility for the safety of collection fund during the Second World War.
In the postwar years the garden required immediate restoration because it was almost completely destroyed. In 1948 the University garden received the territory on 48/50 Frantsuzsky Blvd. for the purpose of further expansion. Since that time the garden has been located on two territories. At that time the Director was Associate Professor N. W. Zharenko and later – Professor E. M. Kirkopulo. As a result of his the scientific activity the cultivation of peach firmly established in the agricultural production of the south-western regions of Ukraine. In 1963 the Botanical garden got the status of Memorial Park of Garden Design.
The hard work of the team contributed to the development of the Botanical garden as an education supporting and academic institution.
Today the Botanical garden is a training base for students of biology from a number of higher educational institutions of Odessa, Kherson and Nikolaev. Also on two territories of the garden the collection fund of plants is still being supported and is constantly developing and providing educational process. Each year about 10,000 tourists visit the Botanical garden, and the vast majority are younger students. Nowadays the plants grown in the garden decorate the streets, squares and parks of Odessa.
Main directions – protection, study and enrichment of flora. Scientific and research works on plant introduction, selection, propagation and effective use of plants. Support and conduction of educational activities on botany, environment protection, selection, plant breeding, landscape-gardening, park construction and landscape architecture.
The main aspects of scientific researches:
- preservation of biological diversity of flora, development of the scientific basis for its protection especially of rare and endangered species;
- development of practical and theoretical questions of introduction and plant breeding;
- elaboration of the scientific basis for landscape-gardening and architecture;
- development of scientific basis of integrated plant protection from pathogens and pests;
- study of genetic and physiological-biochemical aspects of plants resistance to technogenic factors of environment pollution;
- creation of databases of plants collections, rare and useful plants of the region;
- introduction of the most valuable plants, their breeding and usage in landscaping.
The plants collection fund of the botanic garden is stored in two arboretums and greenhouses with a total area of 2400 m2.
It contains about 3800 taxonomic units, including 2000 greenhouse units, 204 – of the local flora.
- Azarova Lyudmila Vasilievna – leading specialist, orchidologist.
- Osadchaya Larisa Petrovna – leading specialist, dendrologist and specialist in introduction of trees and shrubs.
- Ryzhko Vera Evgenievna – 1st category specialist, specialist of floriculture.
- Myronyuk Irina Vladimirovna – 1st category specialist, curator of the cacti collection.
- Chesnokova Irina Nikolaevna – 1st category specialist, curator of succulent collection.
- Pilyuga Susanna Armenovna – leading specialist, curator of the tropical and subtropical plants collection.
- Golokoz Asya Vladimirovna – leading specialist, manager of introduction program.
- Levchuk Lyudmila Vladimirovna, candidate of biological Sciences, head of the laboratory of experimental botany.
- Vozyanova Nelli Georgiivna – candidate of agricultural Sciences, specialist in horticulture, dec. floriculture.
- Oseledchenko Tamara Oleksandrivna – leading specialist, specialist of floriculture in greenhouses and plants physiology.
- Kritskaya Tamara Viktorovna – leading specialist, specialist in physiology and biochemistry of plants and floriculture in open ground, curator of decorative herbaceous plants collection.
- Chaban Ekaterina Vasyliena – leading specialist, specialist in dendrology, curator of the ground-covering plants and dendrological collection of the arboretum (Frantsuzsky Blvd., 48/50)
- Tolstuha Natalya Ivanovna – specialist.
- Ermolaeva Alexandra Yurievna - specialist, curator of collection of rare and endangered species.