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Spatial-temporal variability of the structure of benthic communities and the ecosystem state of the Lower Don River

Published in «Water: chemistry and ecology» № 4-6 / 2018 , p. 36-44.
Heading:

 

Reshetnyak O.S.

Summary:
There are water quality deterioration, pollution of aquatic ecosystems and violation of their ecological state in modern conditions of anthropogenic impact. There is a transformation of the state of aquatic ecosystems due to the variability of the water composition and community structures. A universal indicator of the anthropogenic changes occurring in the ecosystem can be the response of individual communities of aquatic organisms to a drastic change in their habitat. Benthic communities are sensitive indicators of pollution of aquatic ecosystems, and their structural and functional characteristics are an important element of ecological monitoring of surface waters.
The results of the estimation of the spatiotemporal variability of the benthic communities indices and the state of aquatic ecosystems in various parts of the Lower Don are presents in the paper. An analysis of interannual variability of the development level of benthic showed that the number of species varies mainly from 1 to 4, less often reaches 5-6. The variability of the total abundance values is very high from 200 ind /m2 to the values of 10200 and 11360 ind/m2, which were observed in the estuary of the Don River. The dominant community complex is represented by Сhironomidae and Oligochaeta, the mass development of the latter is an indicator of the aquatic ecosystems pollution.
About half of the studied river sites are in a transition state from "natural or equilibrium" to "crisis" and water quality corresponds to II-IV classes ("clean", "moderately polluted" or "contaminated" waters). Ecosystems of the second half of the river sites - in a transitional state from "equilibrium or crisis" to "critical" condition and water quality corresponds to III-IV classes.
The obtained results are of great practical importance and acquire special relevance for the solution of a number of issues related to the assessment of the ecological prosperity of water bodies and the forecasting of water quality.

Keywords: benthic communities, dominant species, lower stream of the Don River, state of river ecosystems, water quality, Оligochaeta

Bibliographic link:
Reshetnyak O.S. Spatial-temporal variability of the structure of benthic communities and the ecosystem state of the Lower Don River // Water: chemistry and ecology. — 2018. — № 4-6. — c. 36-44. — http://watchemec.ru/en/article/28923/

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