The article “Baikal is under the Threat to Lose its Uniqueness” by Olga Rusanovskaya, a research fellow of the ISU Research Institute of Biology, has been published in a new issue of the popular science journal “Science and Life”. The article presents the current problems lake Baikal is suffering from and negative trends marked in the course of the 70-year-monitoring conducted by the ISU Research Institute of Biology.
Lake Baikal is considered to be a unique one. Scientists tend to speak of Baikal as a place characterized with endemics variety (both animals and plants), biodiversity and spring phytoplankton bloom under transparent Baikal ice that permits much light to penetrate. However, the uniqueness of Baikal world is under the threat due to a number of reasons.
In her article Olga Rusanovskaya reveals some significant factors threatening Baikal: human impact (expanding tourism and the growth in biogeneous elements: phosphorus and nitrogen), an intensive economical activity, and the prevalence of unrepresentative water-plants. There are also changes in food chains that, in its turn, cause transformation of species complex. As a result, unique endemic species are replaced with ones that can be found in other continental lakes.
At present, the preserving of Baikal uniqueness is of high importance. At least, it is necessary to keep on lake monitoring and diminish human impact on Baikal ecosystem. We are intimately responsible for preserving Baikal to be the cleanest reservoir of fresh water on the Earth.