Vasil Metreveli

Vasil Metreveli


Academic Biography:

  • born in 1990 in Tbilisi,Georgia
  • Bachelor’ Studies: Forestry Business , Georgian State Agrarian University, from 2007 to 2011
  • Master’s Studies: Natural Resources, Ilia State University, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering, from 2012 to 2014
  • Internship(s): Forest and Natural Resources Specialist, Tbilisi National Park, 2012
  • Scientific Position(s):
    • Researcher, Ilia State University, Institute of Botany, Department of Geobotany, from 2015 to 2018
    • Junior Lecturer, Ilia State University, from 2016 to 2018

Brief Description of the Doctoral Project:

„Ecology of Chestnut“

The Ph.D. research represents a study of European-sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) ecology in the Caucasus, which describes the distribution and conditions of chestnut forest. According to the national Red List of Georgia, Castanea sativa is considered as a vulnerable species. It is distributed in Europe and Asia and represents a relict of the Last Glaciations Maximum. Chestnut is a native species in the Caucasus. This region was one of the most important refugia) during the glaciations period (Krebs et al. 2004). At least two populations of C. sativa are spread in the Greater and Lesser Caucasus from 200 to 1300 above sea level (Tugushi, 1965). 20 years ago, chestnut stands occupied almost eighty thousand hectares in the Caucasus region (Pridnya and Cherpakov, 1996).
Even though there are several studies about C. sativa in the region, we still do not know their occurrence and distribution patterns in the Caucasus. Also, we do not know what the dissemination depends on and how the variables of distribution differ in the area. (Tugushi, 1965; Tavadze et al. 2013) Also, the genetic research on chestnut stands is still not carried out in Georgia (Mattioni et al., 2013).
A large problem for chestnut species is the fungi Cryphonectria parasitica (syn. Endothia parasitica). Within 50 years, it killed almost all of the estimated 4 billion American chestnut trees in the eastern forests of the United States (Zhang, 2013). Since its introduction in 1938 to Italy, the blight has spread throughout the Europe (Robin and Heiniger, 2001). Even though the European sweet chestnut is more resistant against the pathogen then American chestnut, the fungus has caused serious damage in orchards and forests since its introduction to the Europe (Anagnostakis, 1987). Cryphonectria parasitica appeared first in the Caucasus 1938, and 1980th it had covered the whole region (Protsenko, 1939; Pridnya and Cherpakov, 1996). Only some individuals older than 50 years old survived and the quantity of seedlings also decreased (Pridnya and Cherpakov, 1996).
Despite the fact that this pathogen was introduced to the Caucasus almost 80 years ago, it is still the most dangerous enemy of chestnut (Tavadze et al. 2013). But at the same time we know, the best living condition for C. parasitica is warm and humid climate. It cannot survive in dry and cold climate (Anagnostakis, 1987). Also, we know that chestnut can be resistant to the fungi in very special cases (Stevens, 1917). Accordingly, there must be special conditions where the fungi cannot develop well. Under such circumstances, chestnut could be more sustainably managed using the most successful measures against the pathogen.
Solving these problems is very important for the further development of the forest in the country as well as for carrying out the right actions during the management of chestnut stands. Within the research I have to do modeling of chestnut habitats in the Caucasus. At the same time we have possibility to reveal more healthy or damaged stands and find out in which spatial cases are chestnut stands more healthy or damaged by the fungi.
Besides, I will find genetic differences between the different populations of chestnut.

Grants (own Grants and Participation in Grants):

  • Position: Forester Specialist; Function: Forest Inventory and Vegetation Description; Title of the project “Expansion and Improved Management Effectiveness of the Adjara Region’s Protected Areas (00088000)“ Task: Provision of Services for Machakhela National Park Nations Development Program (UNDP), 2015.
  • Position: Forest specialist; Functions: Identification plant species of wetland forests; Title of the project: Mapping Wetlands of Georgia Task: Identification (field data gathering), delineation and mapping of wetlands of Georgia. Funded by: Integrated Biodiversity Management in the South Caucasus (15.2101.2-004.00), (IBiS)/GIZ, 2016.
  • Position: Team Leader; Functions: Description and Mapping (modeling) of the Forest Typology; Title of the project: “Conservation of unique forests in Georgia through the establishment of new protected areas / GE0058” Task: Describing and Mapping (modeling) of Forest Typology, Ecological Conditions of Forests and Actual Forest Use (ownership, local use, concessions, etc.). Funding organization-World Wildlife Fund (WWF), 2016.
  • Position: Researcher, educator; Functions: Mapping the habitats of Nitraria schoberi and raising awareness of the local population about the importance of Nitraria schoberi in Georgia. Title of the Project: “Integrated conservation action for Nitraria schoberi – scaling up public outreach (BGCI – 1063) Funded by BGCI Botanic Gardens Conservation International, 2016-17.

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