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International Journal of Ecology
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 6058082, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/6058082
Research Article

Lake Baikal Ecosystem Faces the Threat of Eutrophication

Institute of Biology at Irkutsk State University, Irkutsk State University, Irkutsk 664003, Russia

Received 18 October 2015; Revised 15 February 2016; Accepted 30 March 2016

Academic Editor: Ram Chander Sihag

Copyright © 2016 Galina I. Kobanova et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Recently there have been reports about large accumulations of algae on the beaches of Lake Baikal, the oldest and deepest freshwater body on earth, near major population centers and in areas with large concentrations of tourists and tourism infrastructure. To evaluate the observations indicating the ongoing process of eutrophication of Lake Baikal, a field study in July 2012 in the two largest bays of Lake Baikal, Barguzinsky and Chivyrkuisky, was organized. The study of phytoplankton using the sedimentary method and quantitative records of accumulations of macrophytes in the surf zone was made. In Chivyrkuisky Bay, we found the massive growth of colorless flagellates and cryptomonads as well as the aggregations of Elodea canadensis along the sandy shoreline (up to 26 kg/m2). Barguzinsky Bay registered abundantly cyanobacterial Anabaena species, cryptomonads, and extremely high biomass of Spirogyra species (up to 70 kg/m3). The results show the presence of local but significant eutrophication of investigated bays. To prevent further extensions of this process in unique ecosystem of Lake Baikal, the detailed study and monitoring of the coastal zone, the identification of the sources of eutrophication, and the development of measures to reduce nutrient inputs in the waters are urgently needed.