International reach, special habitats and the Baltic

Spit of productively farmed land surrounded by sea ice
Spit of productively farmed land surrounded by sea ice

Over the last five years, we have published several papers from the Baltic states, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Geologically and climatically it is a unique area: the Baltic plate including precambrian exposures meets the Eurasian tectonic plate, and the oceanic/maritime influence fights with continental cold to give a very variable climate averaging -10C in winter and 17C in summer with extreme excursions from these averages. Plants that cope with this are of great interest, and several of the papers look at the ecology, relationships and genetics of Baltic accessions, comparing them with accessions from the rest of European including in the orchids. Other researchers from these states cover the range of topics including genome analysis that are covered in the Annals of Botany. Finally, the successful and innovative Lithuanian company Fermentas is quoted regularly as a source of molecular biology reagents.

Now, I am happy to say that the Instructions to Authors have been translated into Estonian by Anna Galovich from Tallinn, Estonia. To read the page with Estonian translation see her website, hopefully a prelude to more submissions for Estonia. In another project, Anna has also translated the freely accessible book by Richard Spjut giving a botanical and systematic treatment of different fruit types.

My own knowledge of the Baltic is limited to overflying it, and to seeing a smudge over the Gulf of Finland from Helsinki, but with increasing numbers of conferences being held there, and opportunities for scientific collaboration, maybe I will be able to see this interesting environment one day!