Tatiana Drozdenko, Sergei Mikhalap, Larisa Nikolskaya, Anna Chernova

Last modified: 05.06.2017


The basis of the existence of freshwater ecosystems is phytoplankton, which produces most of the primary biological production, participates in repair processes and provides a wide range of ecosystem services. The short life cycle and high speed metabolism of microalgae  make them ideal objects for ecological monitoring.

The aim of the present study is to research the ecological state of the Velikaya river delta based on the species composition of phytoplankton community and some hydrochemical parameters.

The sample collection for phytoplankton study and physicochemical measurements was carried out in summer 2016 at five stations representing different ecological locations of the Velikaya river delta.

One hundred sixty five species taxa of microalgae belonging to 8 phylums were identified during the research: Bacillariophyta (37%), Chlorophyta (33.9%), Cyanophyta/Cyanobacteria (9.7%), Chrysophyta (6.1%), Euglenophyta (6.1%), Cryptophyta (3%), Dinophyta (3%), Xanthophyta (1.2%).

The values ​​of Shannon index indicate the average complexity of the microalgae communities structure. Values of Margalef index ​​characterize the Velikaya river delta as an area of ​​high species richness. Compared to the previous studies, a significant increase in the level of information diversity is observed, indicating an increase in the number of possible flows of substance and energy in the ecosystem. Dynamics of biogen substances in the water shows a slight increase of their concentrations.

Ecological and geographical analysis proves that absolute dominance of cosmopolitan freshwater forms is typical for the algoflora of the Velikaya river delta. In relation to the pH-reaction inhabitants of neutral and slightly alkaline water dominate. Pantle–Buck saprobity index is applied for water quality assessment, which shows beta-mesosaprobic water quality in the ecosystem. Thus, the water of the Velikaya river delta could be referred to the category of moderately polluted water (class II of water quality). This is confirmed by the data of hydrochemical analysis.



phytoplankton; species diversity; ecological monitoring; algae; ecological assessment; Velikaya river delta


[1]        Stefano Pagiola, Elías Ramírez, José Gobbi, Cees de Haan, Muhammad Ibrahim, Enrique Murgueitio, Juan Pablo Ruíz. Paying for the environmental services of silvopastoral practices in Nicaragua // ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS 64 (2007) P. 374-385. Available at: DOI 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2007.04.014.[Accessed: Feb. 27, 2017].

[2]        Nathanial Matthews. People and Fresh Water Ecosystems: Pressures, Responses and Resilience // Aquatic Procedia. Volume 6, August 2016, Pages 99–105. Available at: DOI 10.1016/j.aqpro.2016.06.012. [Accessed: Feb. 27, 2017].

[3]        Junguo Liu, Giri Kattel, Hans Peter H. Arp, Hong Yang. Towards threshold-based management of freshwater ecosystems in the context of climate change // Ecological Modelling, Volume 318, 24 December 2015, Pages 265-274. Available at: DOI 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2014.09.010. [Accessed: Feb. 27, 2017].

[4]        Millenium Ecosystem Assessment Series. Ecosystems and human well-being : wetlands and water synthesis. Washington, D.C. : Island Press, 2005. 63 p.

[5]        Environmental monitoring of the Velikaya river delta. Part I / ed. O.A. Lebedeva. Pskov. PSPI, 2003. 156 p.

[6]        Shitikov V.K. Zinchenko T.D., Rosenberg G.S. Macroecology of river community: concepts, methods, models. Togliatti: Cassandra, 2011. 255 p.

[7]        GOST 31957-2012 Water. Methods for determination of alkalinity and mass concentration of carbonates and bicarbonates. Moscow, 2013. 25 p.

[8]        GOST 31861-2012 Water. General requirements for sampling. Moscow, 2014. 63 p.


[9]        Environmental normative document (Federal)14.1:2:4.3-95 Methods of measurement of mass concentration of nitrite ions in drinking water, surface water and sewage of photometric method with Griess reagent. Moscow, 1995 (edition 2011). 17 p.

[10]      Environmental normative document (Federal)14.1:2:4.4-95 Methods of measurement of mass concentration of nitrate ions in drinking water, surface water and sewage of photometric method with salicylic acid. Moscow, 1995 (edition 2011). 13 p.

[11]      Environmental normative document (Federal) 14.1:2:4.50-96 Methods of measuring the total mass concentration of total iron in drinking water, surface water and sewage of photometric method with sulfosalicylic acid. Moscow, 1996 (edition 2011). 17 p.

[12]      Environmental normative document (Federal) 14.1:2:4.112-97 Methods of measurement of mass concentration of phosphate ions in drinking water, surface water and sewage by the photometric method with ammonium molybdate. Moscow, 1997 (edition 2011). 13 p.

[13]      Environmental normative document (Federal)14.1:2:3:4.123-97 Methods of measurement of the biochemical oxygen demand after the n-days of incubation (BOD full) in surface freshwater, groundwater , drinking water, sewage and effluent sewage. Moscow, 1997 (2004 edition.) 34 p.

[14]      Environmental normative document (Federal) 14.1:2:4.276-2013 Methods of measurement of the mass concentration of ammonia and ammonium ions in drinking water, natural water and sewage by photometric method with Nessler reagent. M., 2013. 14 p.

[15]      Algae. Handbook / Wasser S.P., Kondratieff N.V., Masuk N.P. Kiev, "Nauk. Dumka", 1989. 608 p.

[16]      Masuk N.P. Methods of collecting and study of algae / N.P. Masuk, M.I. Radchenko // Algae: Guide. By ed. S.P. Wasser. Kiev "Nauk. Dumka", 1989, pp. 170-188.

[17]      Methods of study of inland waters ecosystems. / By ed. F.D. Mordukhay-Baltovski. Moscow. Nauka. 1975. 240 p.

[18]      Carenko P.M. Summary determinant Chlorococcaceae algae of Ukrainian SSR / USSR Academy of Sciences. Institute of Botany named N.G. Kholodny. By ed. G.M. Palamar-Mordvintseva. Kiev, "Nauk. Dumka", 1990. 208 p.

[19]      Komárek J., Anagnostidis K. Cyanoprokaryota 1. Teil: Chroococcales // Süsswasserflora von Mitteleuropa. Bd. 19/1. Jena; Stuttgart; Lübeck; Ulm. 1998. 548 s.

[20]      Krammer K., Lange-Bertalot H. Bacillariophyceae. Teil 3. Centrales, Fragilariaceae, Eunotiaceae // Ibid. Stuttgart. 1991. Bd. 2/3. S. 1–576.

[21]      Krammer K., Lange-Bertalot H. Bacillariophyceae. Teil 1. Naviculaceae // Die Süsswasserflora von Mitteleuropa. Stuttgart. 1986. Bd. 2/1. S. 1–876.

[22]      Komárek J., Anagnostidis K. Cyanoprokaryota. 2 Teil: Oscillatoriales // Süsswasserflora von Mitteleuropa. Bd. 19/2. München. 2005. 759 s.

[23]      Sadchikov A.P. Methods of studying freshwater phytoplankton: guide. Moscow, "University and school", 2003. 157 p.

[24]      Barinova S.S., Medvedev A.L., Anisimova O.V. Biodiversity of algae-indicators. Tel Aviv, 2006. 498 p.

[25]      Sudnitsyna D.N. Algae of waterbodies Pskov region. Pskov, "LOGOS Plus", 2012. 224 p.

[26]      Sládeček V. System of water quality from biological point of view // Arch. Hydrobiol. Ergebn. Limnol. 1973. 7. P. 1-218.

[27]      Schmidt V.M. Statistical methods in comparative floristry. Leningrad,  1980. 176 p.

[28]      Khalafyan A.A. STATISTICA 6. Statistical data analysis: textbook. 3rd ed. Moscow, Binom, 2007. 512 p.

[29]      Trifonova I.S. Ekology and lake phytoplankton succession. Leningrad, 1990. 184 p.

[30]      Assessment of ecological status of Lake Ladoga basin by hydrochemical parameters and structure hydrobiocenoses / By ed. I.S. Trifonova. Sankt-Petersburg., 2006. 130 p.