Fabio Abdala’s Diary
Belarus Wetlands

August 9, 2009: What are bogs?
August 3, 2009: Warsaw and Minsk
July 27, 2009: Wetlands connections: Amazonia-Belarus
August 8, 2009: Why study bogs?
August 2, 2009: the path to Belarus: a long journey

August 9, 2009: What are bogs?

Bog view Bogs are boreal wetlands composed mainly of several species of mosses and some trees. It is not possible find these kind of bogs in Brazil, but in South America maybe in Patagonia. According to Dr. Zeliankiev's studies, in the Belarus wetlands there are more than 30 species of mosses, including sphagnum mosses (18 species), gypnum mosses (6 species), and liverworts (10 species). Sphagnum moss is the most common and the only trees found in the bogs are short, compressed pines. Other areas are dominated by woody plants including cranberry, butterbur, wild rosemary, myrtle, crowberry, heather, and great bilberry. Cotton-grass is typical among grasses, as well as sedges and insectivorous sundews. Anyway, I do suggest a visit to the Earthwatch website to see more information.
Vegetation productivity research begins Natalia 2 Zeliankevich explain sphangnomoss strucuture

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August 8, 2009: Why study bogs?

Tania writing Bogs have many important roles in ecological systems: transferring carbon and nitrogen from biogenic into geological circulation, taking up CO2 from the atmosphere, and cooling the climate by hydration, among other functions. Despite having a high level of self-restoration, new data shows that 70% of natural bogs have been altered,Alcoa volunteers Alina, Vicky, Fabio  mainly because of drainage due to agriculture, cattle, wood and energy production. This is why we are here: by studying bogs we have the chance to improve approaches to conserving them and using them sustainably.
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August 3, 2009: Warsaw and Minsk

Minsk River Before arriving in Minsk, I stopped in Warsaw, a city that evokes in my mind images of strife from the Warsaw Ghetto days of World War II. I will write more about that later. As for Minsk, my first impression of this city is pretty positive: sunny, beautiful, and quite a capital city. Some curiosities: the CCCP symbols from the Soviet era are still present everywhere. Also interesting to me, from the Amazon, is finding out more about how the people here practice environmentalism in the snow.
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August 2, 2009: the path to Belarus: a long journey

Sunshine landscape Getting from the Amazon to my Belarus destination is a real saga. Inspiration and persistence are required. My body says, this is a long, long journey! Getting from Juruti to Sao Paulo, with connections in Santarem, Manaus and Brasilia,  I have to travel approximately 4 thousand kilometers lasting 10 hours, by air! From São Paulo to Minsk, capital of Belarus, with connections in Frankfurt (Germany) and Warsaw (Poland,) takes 17 more hours. Incidentally, I leave home August 2nd at 12 am and arrive at my destination in Belarus on August 3rd at 1 pm! Such a long trip! On the way, I will do like my colleague Vicky (who is traveling from Australia to join us on the same expedition): try to learn some Belarusian words, such as Dzien Dobry (Good Morning, Good Afternoon). There is one I am already studying for when I arrive at home: Ja Ciabie kachaju (I love you).
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July 27, 2009: Wetlands connections: Amazonia-Belarus

Field work Mastura, Fabio, Nicholas What do the Amazon and Belarus have in common? We are all in the same biosphere! Great, but that's not all ... because despite the distances we have some similarities. In the coming days I will participate as a volunteer in the Earthwatch scientific expedition "Belarus Wetlands," a study of the botanical diversity of unique humid areas in this region of the planet. It is good to know about them before they disappear (not to seem catastrophic) ... and that's where the similarity to the Amazon begins. Both regions have unique environmental wealth and suffer intense pressure from land development interests and human settlers. As a Brazilian, I'm excited about the opportunity to be part of this team, led by Dr. Natalia Zeliankevich, and learn a little more about this story and what it says about wetlands in my ownThe team except me  country. In the final stage of preparations, in the coming days I will report on this daily "wet" mission. I hope you can follow us.
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