Principal characteristics of the facility and of the support offered to users:
The Department of Ecology and Systematics, Division of Systematic Biology (University of Helsinki, Finland) is willing to continue giving advanced instruction on bryology and lichenology to European scientists. The necessary technical facilities (e.g. laboratory equipment, microscopes, microcomputers, newly established laboratory for molecular studies) are available. The supervisors and other staff are leading experts in their fields. Special bryological and lichenological libraries are excellent containing numerous classical works and most of the modern serials. The significance of the bryophyte herbaria of S.0. Lindberg and V.F. Brotherus, as well as the lichen herbaria of W. Nylander and E. Acharius is strongly emphasized. They are unique in the world and, as such, indispensable sources of material. Modern equipment for ecological studies like biomonitoring of air pollution using lichens and bryophytes as indicators is available. The aims of the proposal are 1) to provide European scientists an access to the outstanding facilities in Helsinki, 2) to give those scientists a good understanding of the latest developments in their field, and 3) to increase the cohesion of, and cooperation within, the European scientific community. The proposal is justified by the fact that some European countries (e.g. Sweden, France, Austria, Portugal, Greece) have a low number of well-trained bryologists or lichenologists and some other countries (Spain, Italy) have meagre possibilities to carry ou high-standard research due to lack of facilities. Of the above-mentioned countries, the Facility has had visitors from Sweden, France, Portugal and Spain; further ones are coming.
Quantity of access being offered and number of users who may benefit: 36 man-months. The number of users may vary, but it is at least 20.