Ecologists unravel mysteries of nature

Scientists discover rare purple sulphur bacteria in Lake Glubelka, at Narochansky National Park

By Olga Neverova

Investigations at Glubelka show that it is rare in having clearly divided layers, which don’t intermix; the deeper layers are an oxygen-free environment, developing rare organisms, such as purple sulphur bacteria. “It has long been known that these live in Belarusian lakes. However, such volumes are rare, so are of great scientific interest,” notes Tatiana Zhukova, Director of the BSU’s Naroch Biological Station. Scientists now plan to thoroughly study the habitat of purple sulphur bacteria in the lake, looking at their organic secretions.

At the same time, research of lake eco-systems is expanding within Narochansky National Park. Scientists have already studied volumes, species composition and the oxygen regime of such lakes as Glublya, Yachmenek and Mertvoe. This year, investigations will continue at Lake Bolduk — Belarus’ fifth deepest lake (39.7m), which occupies 78 hectares. Ecologists hope to find rare whitebait fish. Specialists will assess water transparency, noting oxygen content and electrical conductivity, while studying species composition and volumes of phyto- and zooplankton.

 

The MT reference:

Narochansky National Park spans the Minsk, Vitebsk and Grodno regions, occupying over 97,000 hectares. It is home to 30 rare and endangered plant species, registered in the Red Book of Belarus. Many corners remain in their natural state, including the Golubye Ozera (Blue Lakes) — where rare and endangered saw grass grows, belonging to the first category of protection. The park also boasts wild gladioli, orchids and European globeflowers, which are rarely seen on the European continent.

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