Effects of climate change and industrialization on Lake Bolshoe Toko, eastern Siberia

Boris.Biskaborn [ at ] awi.de


Industrialization in the Northern Hemisphere has led to warming and pollution of natural ecosystems. We used paleolimnological methods to explore whether recent climate change and/or pollution had affected a very remote lake ecosystem, i.e. one without nearby direct human influence. We compared sediment samples that date from before and after the onset of industrialization in the mid-nineteenth century, from four short cores taken at water depths between 12.1 and 68.3 m in Lake Bolshoe Toko, eastern Siberia. We analyzed diatom assemblage changes, including diversity estimates, in all four cores and geochemical changes (mercury, nitrogen, organic carbon) from one core taken at an intermediate water depth. Chronologies for two cores were established using 210Pb and 137Cs. Sedimentation rates were 0.018 and 0.033 cm year−1 at the shallow- and deep-water sites, respectively. We discovered an increase in light planktonic diatoms (Cyclotella) and a decrease in heavily silicified euplanktonic Aulacoseira through time at deep-water sites, related to more recent warmer air temperatures and shorter periods of lake-ice cover, which led to pronounced thermal stratification. Diatom beta diversity in shallow-water communities changed significantly because of the development of new habitats associated with macrophyte growth. Mercury concentrations increased by a factor of 1.6 since the mid-nineteenth century as a result of atmospheric fallout. Recent increases in the chrysophyte Mallomonas in all cores suggested an acidification trend. We conclude that even remote boreal lakes are susceptible to the effects of climate change and human-induced pollution.

Item Type
Primary Division
Primary Topic
Helmholtz Cross Cutting Activity (2021-2027)
Publication Status
Eprint ID
DOI 10.1007/s10933-021-00175-z

Cite as
Biskaborn, B. K. , Narancic, B. , Stoof-Leichsenring, K. R. , Pestryakova, L. A. , Appleby, P. G. , Piliposian, G. T. and Diekmann, B. (2021): Effects of climate change and industrialization on Lake Bolshoe Toko, eastern Siberia , Journal of Paleolimnology, 65 (3), pp. 335-352 . doi: 10.1007/s10933-021-00175-z

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Arctic Land Expeditions > RU-Land_2013_Yakutia

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