Belousova A.P., Rudenko E.E., Vlasov K.G. Use of a Numerical Experiment in Studying the Migration of Different Pollutants in the Groundwater of the Kaluga Region in the Area of the Radioactive Trace // Ecosystems: ecology and dynamics. No 2. 2023. P. 40-72. | Abstract | PDF | Reference
The purpose of this article was to use a mathematical modeling in order to study the migration of various pollutants, including radionuclides, from poorly sorbed to highly sorbed ones that travel from groundwater to pressure groundwater through a separating layer, an aquiclude, and has varying permeability. Among others, the field of hydrogeological researches performs search and exploration of groundwater deposits. Search is the first stage which is carried out in unexplored territories, followed by exploration, the second stage, which is performed in the promising territories that were revealed during the first stage.
Our studies follow the first stage, because the territories of our choice, located in the Kaluga Region and affected by the Chernobyl accident, were unexplored. We focused on studying the migration of pollutants from groundwater through the aquiclude of the pressure waters. The direction of our search was determined by the aquiclude’s ability to let the pollutants through, which is considered the most unfavorable conditions for groundwater, or its ability to keep the pollutants out, which is considered a favorable condition. However, both of these stages do not exist separately in natural and artificial conditions, because they simply merge together, but, in order to study that, a thorough geological and hydrogeological knowledge of the territory is needed, which we do not possess for the study area. Therefore, our research was carried for both stages: in the first one, the aquiclude was assumed to be permeable, while in the second one it was assumed impermeable.
For each stage, exploratory numerical experiments were carried out using mathematical modeling. The object of those studies was the part of the Kaluga Region, most affected by the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Studies concerning the first stage have been already completed and published by our crew (Belousova, Rudenko, 2021a, 2021b), while the results of the second stage and generalizing results of both studies are presented in this article. We studied the migration of various pollutants, including radionuclides, from groundwater through an impermeable aquiclude to the confined aquifer. We used the same profiles that were studied in the first stage, but applied slightly modified scenarios and used different coefficients of pollutant sorption distribution (Kd).
Numerical experiments of the second stage were carried out according to the following scenarios: 1 – (1-3-1), 2 – (1-6-1), 3 – (1-10-1), 4 – (6-60-6), 5 – (26-260-26), 6 – (100-1000-100). The first digit is the Kd value (l/kg) in the 1st layer, the second digit – 2nd layer, the third digit – 3rd layer. This selection of coefficients was determined by the fact that their values were assigned to be higher in the aquiclude than in the upper and lower aquifers.
Each scenario was applied for two conditions: with and without radioactive decay. The starting condition was the contamination degree of groundwater, just like the contamination degree of the ground in the radioactive trace zone of the study area. However, such a spread of contamination by either radionuclides or other pollutants is not actually (in natural conditions) observed in the groundwater of this territory. Pollutant concentrations can be specified in g/l, maximum permissible concentration (MPC) and background concentrations, but we used MPC. Kd of various pollutants were selected from the known values for the Bryansk Region (Belousova, Rudenko, 2021a, 2021b); regarding radionuclides, the Kd values mainly refer to the unsaturated zone of contamination.
We established that the main factors forming the pollutant migration are the radioactive decay of the said pollutants, their sorption properties, and the hydrodynamic dispersion of groundwater flow, which, in turn, depends on the geological and hydrogeological conditions of the study area and the aquiclude permeability. The studied situation proves that aquicludes cannot ensure a full protection of pressure groundwater from pollution.
Keywords: groundwater, underground confined waters, modeling of migration processes, pollutant, radionuclides, sorption, radioactive decay.
Acknowledgments. We would like to thank Yu.V. Minyaeva who prepared materials for this article before her saddening demise.
Funding. This work was carried out for the Water Problems Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, No. FMWZ-2022-0002 “Research of Geoecological Processes in Hydrological Systems of Land, Formation of the Quality of Surface and Ground Waters, Problems of Water Resources Management and Water Use under Conditions of Climate Change and Anthropogenic Impacts”.
Recent trends in the development of aquatic culture suggest that marine aquaculture is one of the foundations of the fishery in Russia. Here, the scale of fish production and trade is increasing. Like any other human activity that takes place in natural waters, industrial aquaculture has an impact on the surrounding environment, especially coastal waters. Possible certification of aquaculture is an effective tool to minimize any negative effects on the environment, as well as increase the trust of potential consumers. In the future, the existence of spontaneous aquaculture without any environmental certification of production may seriously limit the development of this industry in Russia. In this regard, the analysis of international experience in the field of aquaculture farms certification of Aquaculture Stewardship Council is relevant for Russia as well and can help with updating and developing the existing regulatory framework.
Keywords: aquaculture, aquaculture certification, monitoring.
Funding. This work was carried put as part of the state task No. FMWZ-2022-0002 for the Water Problems Institute of the Russian Academy of Science “ Study of Geoecological Processes in Hydrological Systems of Land, Formation of the Quality of Surface and Ground Waters and Issues of Water Resources Management and Use under the Climate Change and Anthropogenic Impacts”.
Gamova N.S., Faronovа E.A., Korotkov Yu.N., Koshovskii T.S., Yazrikova Т.Е. Early Stages of a Long-term Post-Fire Vegetation Change in Siberian Fir Forests of Southern Baikal Region (Baikal Nature Reserve) // Ecosystems: ecology and dynamics. No 2. 2023. P. 113-136. | Abstract | PDF | Reference
In this article we analyzed the early stages of long-term post-fire vegetation change in a burnt area of a Siberian fir forest. The study area is typical for the middle altitudes of the northern slope of Khamar-Daban Ridge; the wild fire was of a natural origin. We registered the post-fire changes in the floral composition and in the structure of the forest plant community. As a result of the fire, the structure of forest layers simplified, and the total number of species, as well as the species diversity of coenotic (eco-coenotic) groups of species decreased in the first years after the fire. We compared a post-fire forest plant community with an undisturbed one, and evaluated the participation of rare and Red Data Book plant species in the burnt area.
We established that wild fires in fir forests lead first to the complete death of a tree stand, and then to the restorative vegetation change, which, in our case, caused a change of conifer tree species to secondary small-leaved deciduous species. In the first years after the fire, the similarity coefficient of the floristic composition between the plant community of the burnt area and of the undisturbed forest did not exceed 0.5. The ranges of eco-coenotic groups of species also changed, making the Br group (taiga small herbs) dominant in all years. At the same time, some plant species of the burnt area were not recorded in the undisturbed forest, while the abundance of some rare plant species increased. The structure of the plant community in the burnt area became simpler as the number of layers, and their closeness / projective cover reduced. Within 5 years after the fire, the herb-dwarf shrub layer restored the general projective cover to the values typical for the undisturbed forest; projective cover of raspberry increased sharply; and the tree layer, formed with new growth, and the moss layer finally began to recover.
It is concluded that a single case of wild fire in a dark coniferous forest with a relatively small area of the burnt area does not cause irreversible degradation of the forest plant community. Taiga ecosystems retain the potential for restoration sufficient for a further proper and successful vegetation change.
Keywords: Khamar-Daban ridge, forest fires, Siberian fir forests, post-fire vegetation changes, rare plant species, coenotic (eco-coenotic) groups.
Acknowledgements. The authors are grateful to the staff of the Baikal Nature Reserve for their help with the field work.
Funding. The preparation of this article for the Moscow State University was carried out by N.S. Gamova for the research project No. 121032500090-7 “Plant Biodiversity of Russia and Adjacent Countries. Scientific Approach to Processing of Collections of the Herbarium of Moscow State University as a Basis for the Study of Regional Floras”; and her field work was carried out for the Baikal Nature Reserve on the topic “Chronicles of Nature”; the data was analyzed by T.S. Koshovsky as part of the state task “Anthropogenic and Geochemical Transformation of the Landscape Components”, No. 121051400083-1 of the Center for Information Technologies and Systems of Executive Authorities
Zinchenko T.D., Abrosimova E.V., Gorokhova O.G., Golovatyuk L.V., Kuznetsova R.S., Bolotov S.E. Condition of Plankton and Bottom Communities of the Lowland Usa River (Basin of the Middle Volga River, Kuybyshev Reservoir) under Climate Changes // Ecosystems: ecology and dynamics. No 2. 2023. P. 137-175. | Abstract | PDF | Reference
We studied the specific features of spatial and structural variability of plankton and bottom communities of the small lowland river Usa, a tributary of the Kuibyshev Reservoir, as part of comprehensive studies of the ecological condition and water quality of the river. Based on the results of 2017-2018 studies, we established the type of spatial distribution of phytoplankton, zooplankton and macrozoobenthos community species along the longitudinal profile of the river with regard to hydrochemical indicators.
A comparative analysis of changes in the species richness of plankton and bottom communities and assessments of the ecological state of river with regard to the spatial variability of species diversity and quantitative characteristics was carried out. Based on the results of changes in the number and biomass of the main taxonomic groups using different methodological approaches to study the dynamics of hydrobiological indicators, their non-stationarity and the existence of regular trends depending on hydrological and hydrochemical factors were established.
The biodiversity of summer plankton algocenoses of the Usa River depending on hydrological conditions, anthropogenic influence, and changes in the content of biogenic substances was assessed for the first time. 201 algoflora taxons ranked below genus from 7 algae divisions have been identified. The dominant ones are Bacillariophyta (56% of the composition) and Chlorophyta (28%). In the limnoplankton of the Usinsk Bay the species ratio in the composition of algae divisions changes in the direction of increasing share of green algae – Chlorophyta (45%). The proportion of Cyanoprokaryota varies from 4% in the Usa River to 12% in the Usinsk Bay.
It was found that the spatial dynamics of algocenosis structure in the Usa River is characterized by an increase in species diversity, abundance, biomass, chlorophyll-«a» content from the source to the mouth. Correlation analysis revealed reliable relations (P ≤ 0.05) between flow velocity, chlorophyll-«a» concentration, abundance, specific number of species, biomass (r = -0.65, r = -0.69, r = -0.82, r = -0.79, respectively). In terms of biomass and chlorophyll-«a» concentration, the trophic state of rivers in the upper and middle reaches is oligotrophic, in the estuaries – oligo-mesotrophic, in the Usinsk Bay water masses correspond to mesotrophic type. The main pollutant throughout the river is the concentration of total P (7-18 MAC), which is accompanied by an increase in the proportion of myxotrophic phytoflagellates – indicators of organic pollution. The increase in the number and biomass of phytoplankton in 2017 is due to the high content of biogenic elements (N, P).
Zooplankton of the Usa River water system includes 45 species, of which there are 28 Rotifera, 13 Copepoda and 4 Cladocera. Composition of zooplankton is typical for Volga basin water bodies and is represented by phytophilic and planktonic rotifers, planktobenthic crustaceans of Alona genus. For the first time in zooplankton of the mouth zone of the Usa River an invasive species, rotifer Kellicottia bostoniensis (Rousselet, 1908) – inhabitant of water bodies of northern latitudes was registered. The highest values of zooplankton abundance were recorded in the deep-water section of the “river – reservoir”, where the number and biomass of zooplankton reached 0.4 thousand ex/m3 and 5.4 g/m3 with predominance of holarctic Daphnia galeata (G.O. Sars, 1864). Dynamism of hydrophysical and hydrological parameters determines longitudinal distribution of quantitative and structural indicators of planktonic organisms communities by ecocline type in conditions of inhabiting meso-eutrophic water masses.
The spatial variability of plankton and bottom communities has been established, taking into account local biotopic variability determined by the landscape geomorphology features and the regular trend of quantitative indicators of biotic communities taxocenes.
Assessment of water quality and ecological state of the watercourse was performed using integral methods and metrics. The obtained results of the water quality assessment of the Usa River can be used as a reference for calculating the multi-metric indicators of the ecological state of typologically similar small plain rivers.
Keywords: Usa river, small rivers, plankton and bottom communities, taxonomic diversity, abiotic factors, spatial distribution, ecological state, water quality, the basin of the Kuibyshev reservoir (Middle Volga Basin, Russia).
Funding. This work was carried out for the state task No. АААА-А17-117112040040-3 “Assessment of Modern Biodiversity and Forecast of Its Change for the Ecosystems of the Volga Basin under the Conditions of their Natural and Anthropogenic Transformation”, №121051100109-1 “Systematics, diversity, biology and ecology of aquatic and semiaquatic invertebrates, structure of populations and communities in continental waters”, and supported financially by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (17-04-00135; 17- 44-63019) “Ecosystem Diversity of Lowland Rivers in the Middle Volga Basin under Current Conditions of Climate Change and Anthropogenic Impact”.
On April 5, 2023, Teleport.RF (2023) cited the Russian News Agency TASS that reported about RusHydro’s decision to build the Selemdzha and Lower Zeya Hydroelectric Power Plants in the Amur Region. After several settlements in the Far East were flooded, the federal authorities ordered hydroconstructors “to design and create hydraulic structures in the Amur River basin to protect the local population from floods”. An exact fulfillment of this order can lead to an ecological catastrophe for the entire Amur Region.
The Amur River and its tributaries have extremely high (up to 270 times) natural fluctuations in runoff, from 150 to 40,000 m3/sec, the maximal volume for this country. The creation of large reservoirs with the necessary flood protection tanks will be followed by many negative environmental and social consequences.
The construction of Selemdzha and Lower Zeya Plants cannot control the floods, but it will guarantee many critical problems in the future. The Selemdzha Dam will cause several large settlements, a section of the Baikal–Amur Mainline and regional highways disappear under water. The final water area will be about 800 km2. Violating the Russian law on specially protected nature areas, Selemdzha Reservoir will flood most of the Nora Nature Reserve, while irreparably damaging the remaining protected terrestrial ecosystems. These wetlands provide valuable habitats for at least 29 rare and protected bird species, for some of which the seasonally flooded habitats are of major regional and sometimes global importance. For example, the black stork has a uniquely high population density there, about 1 ind. per 100 km2, while the Oriental stork and the red-crowned crane use it for their northernmost nesting site. Additionally, it’s the habitat of a large and isolated nesting group of the hooded crane and the only stable group of Blakiston’s fish owl in the Amur Region.
The future location of the Selemdzha and Lower Zeya dams, while amplifying the negative impacts of both reservoirs, will have an inevitable and severe cumulative effect on local ecosystems. First of all, this will destroy the last large migratory groups of the Siberian roe deer, contrary to the Russian law on wildlife, and cause a sharp drop in the biodiversity of the north part of the Amur Region. The Selemdzha Reservoir will make the main breeding grounds inaccessible, while the Lower Zeya Reservoir will block the paths leading roe deer to their wintering sites. Simultaneous flooding of valley biotopes in the middle reaches of the Zeya and Selemdzha Rivers will block the main ecological corridors, therefore destroying the habitats of many rare species of both animals and plants.
The danger of these projects has already been confirmed by expert’s researches and opinions. Thus, the Selemdzha (Dagmar) Hydroelectric Power Plant project was rejected by the USSR environmental review; the environmental hazard of the Lower Zeya Plant was proven in a report provided as part of the program “Russian Ministry of Natural Resources – United Nations Development Program/Global Environment Facility”. The optimal solution to this problem is to consider the construction of new hydroelectric facilities not as a universal measure, but as a part of the presented comprehensive program to prevent negative social consequences from floods. In the Amur Region the hydropower plants can be placed in a way that fully complies with such approach: e.g. Ekimchan (upper reaches of the Selemdzha River) and Upper Ninam (upper reaches of the Niman River, left tributary of the Bureya River) promising sites where the construction of hydroelectric plants would require the lowest social and ecological costs. An objective analysis shows that the decision to build the Selemdzha and Lower Zeya Plants meets only the departmental interests of hydro and power engineers. This one-sided approach cannot be allowed, because it will cause enormous environmental and socio-ecological damage to the region. Among other things, the positive idea of the federal authorities about effective assistance provided to the locals will be pretty much discredited. On the other hand, the choice of optimal sites and the rejection of the most environmentally hazardous ones, as well as an integrated approach to preventing the negative consequences of floods, will make it possible to take a step towards the environmentally sustainable development of the Amur Region.
Keywords: flood control, Selemdzha and Lower Zeya Hydroelectric Power Plants, environmental hazard, disrupted migrations, Siberian roe deer, rare bird species, biodiversity decline.
Funding. This work was carried out for the Water Problems Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, topic No. FMWZ-2022-0002 “Research of Geoecological Processes in Hydrological Land Systems, in Formation of the Quality of Surface and Ground Water, Problems of Water Resources Management and Water Use under Climate Change and Anthropogenic Impacts”, as well as for the Zeya State Nature Reserve, State Order No. 051-00007-22-00 “Dynamics of Phenomena and Processes in the Ecosystems of the Zeya Reserve and Tokinsko-Stanovoy National Park”.
The article is devoted to the scientific and life path of the Associate Professor of the Department of Biogeography of the Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov Elena Germanovna Suslova. The whole life of Elena Germanovna is connected with the department. She graduated from the department in 1974 and stayed there to work – first as an assistant, then, for many years, as an assistant professor. In 1996 she defended her PhD thesis. For many years of work at the department, Elena Germanovna brought up several generations of biogeographers, conducting classes at the department, in the Museum of Earth Science. She paid much attention to practices: she was engaged in the development of practices in Satino, conducted long-distance practices in many regions of Russia, and developed methodological manuals. Elena Germanovna was a brilliant connoisseur of the flora of European Russia and the Caucasus, and her contribution to the study and protection of rare plants cannot be overestimated. For many years, Elena Germanovna collaborated with the Verkhovye Nature Protection Fund in the field of monitoring rare plant species in the Moscow Region and creating specially protected natural areas. She made a huge contribution to the creation of the Red Book of the Moscow Region. Elena Germanovna was an outstanding teacher who trained many highly qualified specialists.
Keywords: Elena Germanovna Suslova, connoisseur of flora, teacher, protection of rare plant species.