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Article

Geoenvironmental Implications and Biocenosis of Freshwater Lakes in the Arid Zone of East Kazakhstan

1
Department of Physical and Economic Geography, Faculty of Natural Sciences, L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University, Nur-Sultan 010010, Kazakhstan
2
Higher School of Natural Sciences, Astana International University, Nur-Sultan 010000, Kazakhstan
3
Environmental Research Centre, Nerudova 2181, 686 03 Stare Mesto, Czech Republic
4
Department of Geomorphology, Institute of Geoecology and Geoinformation, A. Mickiewicz University, 61-680 Poznań, Poland
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Altai Branch of LLP «Fisheries Research and Production Center», Ust-Kamenogorsk 070004, Kazakhstan
6
Anthropocene Research Unit, Institute of Geoecology and Geoinformation, Adam Mickiewicz University, 61-680 Poznań, Poland
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Konstantinos Stefanidis and Elias Dimitriou
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5756; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105756
Received: 23 January 2021 / Revised: 19 April 2021 / Accepted: 20 April 2021 / Published: 20 May 2021
Steppe and semi-desert lakes of Central Asia represent unique and still poorly known aquatic ecosystems. The paper provides summaries of multi-proxy environmental and biological investigations of the previously unexplored ground of Sibe lakes in the naturally pristine zone of East Kazakhstan, and of their contributions to people. Data on the taxonomic composition of zooplankton and zoobenthos of these freshwater lacustrine basins are presented in terms of the species’ frequency of occurrence; the abundance of the aquatic biomass and the analyzed water geochemical variables insofar as they are dependent and correlative. The qualitative and quantitative records display variability in the biocenosis diversity due to the lakes’ geochemistry and hydrology differences—some lakes being oligotrophic and others being moderately trophic. In the latter case, the lakes characterized by an increased macrozoobenthos biomass are favourable for local ichthyofauna. Sapro-biological analysis reveals the predominance of β-saprobic species in the zooplankton composition pointing to slight or moderate pollution of surface waters due to natural biotic substances. This observation is in agreement with differences in the water quality of solitary lakes. The uneven distributions of benthic invertebrates (in terms of taxonomy and species populations) in the water bodies suggest specific hydro-ecological conditions that predetermine the structure of the lakes’ biocenosis. The littoral part of the lakes is characterized by the highest abundance of zooplankton and benthic fauna. The Sibe lakes are an example of an autonomous functioning of the lacustrine basins in the upland arid steppe zone, which is characterized by pronounced climate “continentality” and a high level of the sub-aquatic flora and fauna endemism. The present results are relevant to the understanding of the ecosystems’ dynamics and the modern anthropogenic impacts upon the pristine parkland-steppe landscapes of Central Asia, with implications for regional nature protection and sustainable eco-recreation. View Full-Text
Keywords: East Kazakhstan; lakes; hydrogeology; aquatic ecosystems; macrozoobenthos; sustainable water management; environmental conservation East Kazakhstan; lakes; hydrogeology; aquatic ecosystems; macrozoobenthos; sustainable water management; environmental conservation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Samarkhanov, T.N.; Myrzagaliyeva, A.B.; Chlachula, J.; Kushnikova, L.B.; Czerniawska, J.; Nigmetzhanov, S.B. Geoenvironmental Implications and Biocenosis of Freshwater Lakes in the Arid Zone of East Kazakhstan. Sustainability 2021, 13, 5756. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105756

AMA Style

Samarkhanov TN, Myrzagaliyeva AB, Chlachula J, Kushnikova LB, Czerniawska J, Nigmetzhanov SB. Geoenvironmental Implications and Biocenosis of Freshwater Lakes in the Arid Zone of East Kazakhstan. Sustainability. 2021; 13(10):5756. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105756

Chicago/Turabian Style

Samarkhanov, Talant N., Anar B. Myrzagaliyeva, Jiri Chlachula, Ludmila B. Kushnikova, Jolanta Czerniawska, and Sayan B. Nigmetzhanov 2021. "Geoenvironmental Implications and Biocenosis of Freshwater Lakes in the Arid Zone of East Kazakhstan" Sustainability 13, no. 10: 5756. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105756

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