Around Lake Baikal 28 May - 12 June, 2017 RV “G. Titov”
The expedition was carried out within the state projects “Molecular ecology and evolution of living systems… (headed by S. Belikov) and “Complex study of evolutionary processes in benthic organisms…” (headed by D. Sherbakov).
The expedition continued a series of fieldworks around Baikal to assess the state in the shallow zone of the lake involving divers-researchers. It was aimed at assessing the biomass of sponges at reference polygons for monitoring, mapping bottom communities, collecting samples for laboratory analyses and obtaining live cell cultures of sponges.
Tasks of the expedition included:
- quantification of sponges and their diversity by areal mapping at the transects (polygons) set up in June 2015 in various shallow areas of Lake Baikal, and sampling;
- visual assessment of affection degree of sponges in the fieldwork areas;
- collection of material for studying species composition and morphology of cyanobacteria and their genetic diversity, as well as search for potentially toxic forms;
- analysis of bacterial and eukaryotic communities in healthy and diseased sponges;
- studying biogenic elements (dissolved oxygen, silicon, nitrogen, and phosphorus) as well as physical parameters (conductivity, temperature, pH, and illumination) in the photic zone of the lake at the sampling sites, reference polygons and stations, depending on the depth.