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Prediction of Lake Baikal ecosystem behaviour using an ecosystem disturbance model

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This paper combines predictions of the effects of anthropogenic impacts on the plankton of Lake Baikal with models of ecosystem disturbance. Increases in mineralization, non-toxic organic matter, nutrients, phenolic compounds, oil products and heavy metals were simulated. Significantly higher sensitivity of the community below the ice to external influences was demonstrated compared to the summer–autumn community, when there was no ice layer. Models of the distribution of aquatic pollutants demonstrate the occurrence of deviations from ecosystem state parameters in the bottom layer under the influence of pollutant input with precipitation and the distribution of perturbations over greater (up to 500 km) distances. Simulation of pollutant input at present levels shows that Lake Baikal is already perturbed. This is indicated by increases in bacterial and summer phytoplankton biomass and nutrient concentration, and by fluctuations in the zooplankton biomass.

Keywords: Lake Baikal; anthropogenic impact; chemical pollution; disturbance models; ecological prognosis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Scientific Research Institute of Biology at Irkutsk State University, 664003, Irkutsk-3, PO Box 24, Russia, 2: Computing Centre, 664033, Irkutsk, Lermontova 134, Russian Academy of Sciences, 664033, Irkutsk, Russia and 3: Physical and Chemical Biology, Urkutsk State University, 664003, Irkutsk, Karl Marx Street, 1, Russia

Publication date: 2001-03-01

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