Planktonic invertebrates in the assessment of long-term change in water quality of the sorbulak wastewater disposal system (Kazakhstan)

Elena Krupa, Sophia Barinova, Sophia Romanova, Moldir Aubakirova, Nazia Ainabaeva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The multicomponent composition of wastewater makes it challenging to assess its quality objectively, but the last one is a prerequisite for the safe re-use of wastewater. The solution to this problem should be aimed at finding criteria that make it possible to increase the objectivity of assessing the water quality of reservoirs with multicomponent pollution. This work analyzes the water quality of the Sorbulak wastewater disposal system in the summer of 2017, based on chemical variables and zooplankton structure and assess the long-term changes in the water quality of Sorbulak. According to the Kruskal–Wallis test, in 2017, the differences between the studied water bodies in the content of nutrients and heavy metals were mostly insignificant. From 2000–2002 to 2017, nitrate, nitrite nitrogen, and heavy metals in Sorbulak significantly decreased. Zooplankton communities consisted of a relatively small number of eurybiontic species resistant to environmental factors. The variability of the quantitative variables of zooplankton was associated with the nutrients. Males dominated the population of the cyclopoid copepods Acanthocyclops trajani. In 2000–2002 individuals with morphological anomalies were found in cyclopoid copepods populations, but were absent in 2017. The appearance of individuals with morphological anomalies was associated with copper or lead. The chemical data and structure of zooplankton communities indicated that the toxic pollution of Sorbulak decreased by 2017 compared to 2000–2002. Our results demonstrate that the structural variables of zooplankton communities could be successfully used to assess the water quality of water bodies with mixed pollution. We recommend using not only the traditional set of biological variables (abundance, biomass, diversity indices, and the average mass of an individual), but also data on the structure of species dominance, the sex structure of copepod populations, and the presence of individuals with morphological anomalies for monitoring of water bodies with mixed pollution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3409
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Morphologic abnormalities
  • Sex ratio
  • Wastewater
  • Zooplankton structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Biochemistry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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