Long-Term Scientific Investigations Program at the Station of IBP SB RAS at Lake Shira
The hydrobiological aspects of such water bodies as salt lakes are insufficiently explored. Many salt lakes are situated in the south of Siberia . A group of salt lakes located in Shirinsky Region of the Republic of Khakassia are of particular interest both from the scientific and practical points of view. In this region 167 lakes are registered with the area of more than 1 hectare which differ by salinity and salt composition. The water and muds of some of these lakes have medicinal properties and are applied in medicine. The shore of Lake Shira is a place for a famous Siberian health resort " Lake Shira ". The majority of the regional lakes are used for recreation. Some lakes are used for fishery . Meanwhile, a series of lakes possess unique properties which allow to use them as model ecosystems for understanding of the general principles of the structure of water ecosystems and as a scientific "polygon" for ecosystem and biosphere research.
The investigation program at the lakes of Shirinsky Region for the next several years includes the work aimed at studying of the functioning of cycles of the basic biogenic elements (carbon, nitrogen, phosphor, sulphur) in salt lakes. At present these works are financed by the grants of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), Ministry of Education, Krasnoyarsk Regional Scientific Foundation, and the Basic Research Program Project of Russian Academy of Sciences.
One of the most remarkable peculiarities of meromectic lakes (lakes Shira and Shunet belong to meromectic lakes) is the presence of a transitional zone between oxygen and hydrosulphuric (chemocline) layers. In this zone a special subtly stratified community of planktonic organisms is formed, and studying of this community is one of the urgent tasks of the present-day hydroecology. Lakes Shira and Shunet are the sites for interdisciplinary studies of chemocline ecology supported by RFBR grants.
On the basis of the field station of IBP SB RAS at Lake Shira the complex program " Expertise, monitoring and prognosis of the quality of water and the state of the salt lake ecosystems of Shirinsky Region " is being realized. In different years the program was supported by the grants of RFBR (1999-2001, 2003-2005), Federal Target-Specific Program "Integratsia" (1997-2001, 2003-2006), INTAS (1999-2001), expedition grants of SB RAS.
Within the framework of the long-term project "Fundamentals of Ecologization of Education and Technologies ", supported by CRDF and Ministry of Education of Russian Federation in cooperation with REC "Yenisey" (Krasnoyarsk State University), on the basis of the station one of the parts of this project is being realized: " Mathematical Modeling of the Dynamics of Water Ecosystems (the Yenisey River, Lake Shira) ". The works in the sphere of mathematical modeling of water ecosystems in 2005 were supported by the joint grant of RFBR- NWO ( Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research).
Salt lake ecosystems, as a rule, possess low biodiversity as compared to other water and land ecosystems. At the same time, a stable biotic cycle requires a certain minimal level of biodiversity. That is why salt lakes are, perhaps, the examples of ecosystems having biodiversity which is almost as low as possible for stable functioning of biotic cycle. The investigations aimed at the estimation of microbial biodiversity in lakes Shira and Shunet are included into the long-term research program of Siberian Brunch of Russian Academy of Sciences ( The integration project of SB RAS).
From the Russian part, the following participants are involved in the investigations at the field station:
The Institute of Biophysics of SB RAS,
The Institute of Computational Modeling of SB RAS,
The Institute of Microbiology of RAS,
The Institute for Biology of Inland Waters of RAS,
Krasnoyarsk State University ,
Tomsk State University ,
Khakassia State University
University of Madrid ( Spain ),
Institute of Ecology ( Amsterdam , Netherlands ),
Limnological Station ( Zurich , Switzerland ).
and special program of the Presidium of Siberian Branch of Russia an Academy of Sciences.
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