According to the Environmental Protection Law, botanical gardens are required to conduct scientific research. The Silesian Botanical Garden, being one the youngest gardens in Poland, develops its scientific profile with the aim of studying the lack of balance of contemporary civilization and the adaptive processes active in natural and man-made systems in response to the dynamically changing natural environment. Several detailed questions out of a wide array of issues are researched in the Silesian Botanical Garden:
Active forms of biodiversity conservation
The Silesian Botanical Garden conducts research and performs actions related to active forms of biodiversity conservation on a local and regional scale. The following areas of study may be described:
creation of replacement habitats for specific parts of ecosystems, habitats, populations and specimens that are threatened with destruction, that enable the preservation of their vitality, and, in particular, the generative reproduction of the most valuable plant populations;
reintroduction of species threatened with extinction in a local, regional or national scale;
creation of seed banks for species threatened with extinction in a local, regional or national scale
creation of preservation cultures of local and regional varieties of fruit trees and other cultivars;
creation of scientific collections.
The Silesian Botanical Garden is also active in:
diagnosing the causes of biodiversity decline;
gathering environmental data;
modeling environmental change.
Dendrochronology (Institute of Plant Structure of the Polish Academy of Sciences)
Dendrochronological studies allow analyzing past environmental conditions going back many hundreds or even thousands of years. It is not possible to obtain these data without an advanced knowledge of tree growth and development. The central part of that theory is an osmomechanical model of tree growth and development which treats the cambium not as a generative tissue (the classical approach), but as an adaptive tissue which allows the tree to adapt its growth rate and its structure to internal and external conditions. This theory is developed by a team of dendrologists at the Polish Academy of Sciences Botanical Garden’s Center for Biological Diversity Conservation in Warsaw-Powsin that is located at the SiBG. The research is conducted with cooperation of the SiBG and the Institute of Plant Structure with the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Silesia in Katowice and other scientific institutions in Poland. The results of this cooperation program include scientific conferences and joint research articles.
Education for sustainable development (Department of Ecological and Environmental Education)
The education conducted at the Silesian Botanical Garden is shaped by several influences. One of them is classical natural science education which stresses field classes and direct observation of natural phenomena. The second is education whose goal is to perform a joint search for the nature of phenomena being studied and which attempts to uncover their broadest cognitive contexts. The third is psychological education which allows the participants to contact the world of direct experience and the emotional sphere.