Today is Ülo´s 45th birthday. Congrats!
By all standards he is still rather young for a scientist (the formal standard can be up to 52!). But already achieved a lot. One of the reasons behind his success is probably the fact that he started early.
Although Web of Science claims Ülo published his first “real” scientific paper in June 1996 in Vegetatio (nowadays Plant Ecology) titled “Plant Growth-Form Alters the Relationship between Foliar Morphology and SpeciesShade-Tolerance Ranking in Temperate Woody Taxa” (link to full text), it´s actually not the first one. There are at least couple of papers from the first half of the 90s, the earliest probably is from 1993 in Tree Physiology together with his PhD supervisor Olevi Kull, titled: “Variations in leaf morphometry and nitrogen concentration in Betula pendula Roth., Corylus avellana L. and Lonicera xylosteum L.” (link to full text)
But! If you´d read the Methods sections of his earlier papers, it appears that the fieldwork was often done already in the 80s. For example, excerpt from that 1993 Vegetatio paper: “Leaves of 88 natural and naturalised woody taxa, comprising 83% of Estonian native woody flora, were sampled during the summer months in 1986-1988 from 21 stands…” Indeed, his CV states that he started working as Research Assistant in the Department of Ecophysiology of the Institute of Zoology and Botany of the Estonian Academy of Sciences already in 1986, which is 29 years ago.
So I did a little search in the library of Botanical department in Estonian University of Life Sciences and found couple of Ülo´s studies in manuscript form, which date back to 1986. Ülo carried out comprehensive surveys of the flora, but also the fauna of some oxbow lakes in Estonia. Here are just one map (by far the smallest, which did not require A1 size scanner – the other maps are huge!) from one of the studies that describes the vegetation near the oxbow lakes of Emajõgi, ca 20 km from Tartu. The legend is also included. If all the “historical” ecological data would have such detail…
The title is: “Vegetation of the oxbow lakes of the Kärevere region of Võhandu and Emajõe rivers”
This is one of the maps describing the vegetation, species-by-species, of EMajõe river oxbow lakes. Markings indicate different plant species (see the legend below).