Ecological assessment of wetland ecosystems of northern Kazakhstan on the basis of hydrochemistry and algal biodiversity

Sophia S. Barinova, Eibi Nevo, Tatiana M. Bragina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We studied diversity of algae and cyanobacteria in the wetlands of protected natural lakes with salinity ranging from 0.19 up to 32.7 in the arid/semiarid regions of Northern Kazakhstan. In plankton and periphyton of 34 lakes, we found 254 species belonging to 113 genera of 8 algal divisions. The diversity in arid regions is represented by widespread species of diatoms, green algae, and cyanobacteria in similar proportions. Alkaliphiles, among the indicators of acidification, and betamesosaprobionts, among the indicators of saprobity, predominated. The indices of saprobity in lakes varied from 1.47 to 2.7, reflecting low-trophic and low anthropogenically disturbed wetlands. Oligohalobes--indifferents are most common. Highly diverse algal communities were found irrespective of various levels of mineralization. As a consequence of aridization, salinity increase suppressed algal diversity. The mineralization was the most important variable defining the diversity levels, irrespective of the type and location of wetland lakes in the arid regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-244
Number of pages30
JournalActa Botanica Croatica
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank E. A. BRAGIN, N. N. BEREZOVIKOV, S. N. EROKHOV, V. S. VILKOV and V. I. DROBOVTSEV for help in the sampling trips as well as A. G. KARLSEN and A. SOLOVIEVA for help in laboratory analysis. This work was partly supported by the Israeli Ministry of Absorption.


  • Algae
  • Aridization
  • Cyanobacteria
  • Diversity
  • Kazakhstan
  • Salinity
  • Water quality
  • Wetland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science


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