#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Nornickel and the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SB RAS) summed up the results of the Large Scientific Expedition (BSE), a large-scale study of biodiversity in the territories where the company’s operating enterprises are located.
The main goals of the expedition were to determine the company’s influence area and assess the state of biodiversity, identify protected and indicator species, critical habitats, buffer zones of key biotopes. The results will form the basis of long-term divisional programs for the conservation and monitoring of biodiversity.
Dozens of scientists collected materials on a total area of more than 71,300 square kilometers during 2022. This is comparable to the area of Ireland.
One of the main results of the research was the identification of the company’s impact zones.
“Scientists have noted an interesting thing: the zone of significant impact practically coincides with the boundaries of the sanitary protection zone”, the SB RAS said.
The researchers also collected a large amount of information on the Northern Sea Route, both in the warm and cold seasons. The specialists spent more than 200 hours of visual observations on the way from Dudinka to Murmansk and back.
Scientists paid special attention to freshwater objects. The researchers confirmed the data that the anthropogenic impact on the Arctic lakes causes the effect of increasing the microalgae biomass and other parts of the food chain. Therefore, the level of anthropogenic impact on Arctic water bodies should be assessed not by biomass indicators, and even less by its decrease, but by species, or rather by indicator species diversity.
For all the studied areas (divisions), scientists have identified indicators of significant impact, the presence of which indicates an unfavorable environmental situation that requires taking measures.
This data will enable all companies that do business in the Arctic to monitor the impact on the biodiversity of aquatic ecosystems.
“Collecting such a large amount of information and not showing it to anyone is just a crime. So, first of all, these data will be available to a wide range of scientists and companies that work in the Arctic, and in a processed popular form, also to the public”, said Stanislav Seleznev, Nornickel’s vice president.
Recall that during the expedition, scientists found out that Taimyr is the territory with the highest alpha diversity of lake plankton in the world. The Academy of Sciences emphasized that Nornickel’s participation in the study of biodiversity is a unique experience for Russia. The unprecedented project of the SB RAS scientists and Nornickel will be continued.
This Is Taimyr also reported that near Norilsk, the BNE found a unique Ice Age ecosystem.
Text: Anzhelika Stepanova, Photo: Nornickel press service