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Long-term changes (1979-2015) in the nematode fauna in Sivash Bay (Sea of Azov), Russia, worldwide the largest hypersaline lagoon, during salinity transformations

In: Nematology
Authors:
Nelli G. SergeevaThe A.O. Kovalevsky Institute of Marine Biological Research, Russian Academy of Sciences, Nakhimov Avenue, 299011 Sevastopol, Russia

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Nickolai V. ShadrinThe A.O. Kovalevsky Institute of Marine Biological Research, Russian Academy of Sciences, Nakhimov Avenue, 299011 Sevastopol, Russia

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Elena V. AnufriievaThe A.O. Kovalevsky Institute of Marine Biological Research, Russian Academy of Sciences, Nakhimov Avenue, 299011 Sevastopol, Russia

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Summary

Sivash Bay is the largest hypersaline lagoon in the world. In 1963-1975 the North Crimean Canal was constructed, with water from the River Dnieper and discharge of drainage water collected from agricultural lands into Sivash Bay. Salinity in Sivash Bay began to drop, resulting in a new brackish water ecosystem. The political decision to stop supplying water from the River Dnieper to the Canal was made in 2014, and the discharge of fresh water into the lagoon ended, resulting in an increase in salinity up to 60-75 g l−1. This study showed that the abundance of meiobenthos increased, with Nematoda dominating. The composition of nematode species in the lagoon has not previously been studied. Using samples from 1979, 2013 and 2015, 50 nematode species and forms were identified in 1979, 32 in 2013 and 21 in 2015. The species composition of nematodes at different periods was significantly different. The average abundance of nematodes was 134 198 ind. m−2 in 2013 and 606 660 ind. m−2 in 2015.

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