Siberian scientists propose Arctic lakes restoration method

Siberian scientists propose Arctic lakes restoration method

December 07, 2021

Guanotrophication can be a salvation for northern reservoirs.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The Russian Academy of Sciences’ Siberian Branch’s (SB RAS) Institute of Biophysics scientists have proposed a way to restore the ecosystems of Arctic lakes, which have been subjected to industrial pollution for decades, using guanotrophication.

This method of applying natural fertilizer obtained from birds was proposed to be tested on the Taimyr lakes, heavily polluted by industrial enterprises for decades of work on the territory.

Lake Pyasino in Taimyr

“Even after the complete cessation of wastewater discharges, Arctic reservoirs cannot return to their original natural state for several decades”, said corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, hydrobiologist Mikhail Gladyshev at a meeting of the Arctic Development Project Office (PORA). “Studies have shown that artificial increase in the productivity of such reservoirs due to the introduction of mineral fertilizers carries the danger of disrupting the ecosystem balance – ‘blooming’ of water. With such phenomena, reservoirs look unaesthetic and moreover, many valuable species of fish disappear from them”.

Artificial guanotrophication can be considered as an environmentally friendly technology for restoring water quality in reservoirs such as lake Pyasino. The technique can increase the number of valuable commercial fish species, since it directly depends on the quantity and quality of the primary production of microalgae.

Employees of the SB RAS Institute of Biophysics, together with colleagues from the RAS’s Institute of Ecology and Evolution and the RAS’s Institute of Biology of Inland Waters, Siberian Federal University, handed over to PORA a phased program of research work to test the improvement of water quality and fish productivity of Arctic lakes due to artificial guanotrophication.

Successful experience in regulation in this area has already been accumulated in the reservoirs of central Russia, scientists are interested in the possibility of using such technologies for the Arctic.

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Text: Denis Kozhevnikov, Photo: author

December 07, 2021

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