Ural Federal University: Biologists Planted 100 Seedlings of Siberian Pine

Students and staff from the Department of Biology and Fundamental Medicine at UrFU planted 100 Siberian pine seedlings at the university’s biological station. They launched a two-year experiment to test whether biodegradable bags really decompose in the soil and find out if they are harmful to the environment.

“We divided the seedlings into four categories, 25 each. We planted the trees in regular soil, as well as in polyethylene, biodegradable and paper bags. The bags are perforated, so that the root system could develop and water could enter. The top was covered with wood so that moisture would evaporate less and weeds would grow less,” Irina Kiseleva, director of UrFU’s Center for Fundamental Biotechnology and Bioengineering, explains the study leader.

In the fall of 2021 and spring of 2022, students will take soil samples and estimate the condition of plants, insects, microorganisms, and how much plastic has decomposed.

The experiment is being conducted jointly with Nika-PetroTech. According to its representatives, biodegradable polymers have been tested for compliance with state standards in the laboratory.

“The time has come for full-scale tests on Ural soils, which is why we turned to UrFU,” explains Dan Pivovarov, head of the Nika-PetroTech press service.