Sylwia Wierzcholska

Sylwia Wierzcholska

I was born in Wroclaw (Poland). As a child I spent a lot of time in the mountains, a place where I always felt very comfortable. With my younger sister we actively spent every spare moment on hiking trips, always close to nature. This made the choice of a field of study obvious to me. So I became a botanist fascinated by the bryophyte flora. I did both my bachelor’s and master’s studies at the University of Wroclaw. The next step after graduation was a Ph.D. (University of Wroclaw). I learnt new methods, travelled a lot, participated in nature conservation, and so a few years passed without notice.

During my bryological research, I could always count on the help of experienced researcher Prof. Richard Ochyra, who helped me in my struggles and was also my PhD thesis reviewer. He always supported me and motivated me to work through the hard times. For which I am very grateful.

A breakthrough stage was a postdoctoral position in Bialowieza (primary forest, University of Warsaw, Bialowieza Geobotanical Station), in Prof. Bogdan Jaroszewicz’s Laboratory, where I established numerous collaborations and learnt about a new type of research, long-term studies, and research on the influence of climate on the distribution of bryophytes. Here, I initiated the most fruitful cooperation with many enthusiasts, with whom we still share our thoughts and concepts today. Together, we take on new challenges.

My interests are mainly in the environmental aspects of what biotic and abiotic elements are responsible for species richness. What is the response of the various habitats studied to the richness of the bryophyte flora. And how will climate affect forest bryophytes?

I was fortunate that my commitment and dedication to my work was recognised, and to this day I am still able to work and exchange ideas with extremely interesting people.

Today I am an assistant professor at the Wroc?aw University of Environmental and Life Sciences.  I serve as chairman of the Polish Botanical Society branch in Wroc?aw, where I manage scientific seminars and invite interesting researchers to present their scientific achievements. I supervise the Scientific Circle and support young researchers who, like me before, are passionate about nature and want to support the conservation of its resources.

Selected publications

Sylwia Wierzcholska, Anna ?ubek, Marcin K. Dyderski, Pawe? Horodecki, Mateusz Rawlik, Andrzej M. Jagodzi?ski. 2024. Light availability and phorophyte identity drive epiphyte species richness and composition in mountain temperate forests, Ecological Informatics, 80, 102475.

Wysocki, A., Czortek, P., Konowalik, K., Pro?ków, J., & Wierzcholska, S. 2023. Opposite effects of host tree species on the realised niche of Dicranum viride–A model species belonging to the group of endangered epiphytes. Forest Ecology and Management, 545, 121303.

Wierzcholska, Sylwia, Marcin K. Dyderski, and Andrzej M. Jagodzi?ski. 2020. Potential distribution of an epiphytic bryophyte depends on climate and forest continuity. Global and planetary change 193: 103270.

Jagodzi?ski, A. M., Wierzcholska, S., Dyderski, M. K., Horodecki, P., Rusi?ska, A., Gdula, A. K., & Kasprowicz, M. 2018) Tree species effects on bryophyte guilds on a reclaimed post-mining site. Ecological Engineering, 110, 117-127.

Wierzcholska, S., Dyderski, M. K., Pielech, R., Gazda, A., Smoczyk, M., Malicki, M., … & Jagodzi?ski, A. M. 201). Natural forest remnants as refugia for bryophyte diversity in a transformed mountain river valley landscape. Science of the Total Environment, 640, 954-964.

Weso?owski, Tomasz, and Sylwia Wierzcholska. 2018. Tits as bryologists: patterns of bryophyte use in nests of three species cohabiting a primeval forest.” Journal of Ornithology 159: 733-745.