Laboratory of water quality, stability of water ecosystems and ecotoxicology has been created in 2010 in Tyumen state university with the state support of scientific research conducted under the guidance of leading scientists in higher educational institutions of Russia. Leading scientist - Doctor of Biological Sciences, professor, an associate member of the RAS Tatiana Ivanovna Moiseenko. Grant No. 11G34.31.0036 (2010-2012).
The project Formation of water quality and ecosystems in conditions of environmental and climatic change in Western Siberia (WS) got support.
Study of patterns of formation of water quality in Western Siberia under the conditions of anthropogenic load and climatic change, assessment of environmental impact of pollutant inflow (including oil products) to water systems; elaboration of measures and technologies for decrease of negative impact of anthropogenic activities on land waters.
1. Development of principles and modern integration methods of research aimed at detection of anthropogenic changes of water quality and ecosystems along the climatic gradient (from Arctic to steppe regions).
2. Study of factors, conditions and mechanisms of development of eutrophication, acidification, toxic pollution (oil products, metals, organochloride hydrocarbons etc.) in waters of Ob-Irtysh basin different in chemical composition. Assessment of ecotoxicological consequences of water pollution.
3. Based on combination of neo- and paleoecological methods, determination of anthropogenic changes and climatic variations in historical past as a scientific basis for the development of scenarios of their future changes at climate warming.
4. Study of molecular, genetic and cellular abnormalities in living organisms, adaptive alterations of populations and cenosis under the influence of ecotoxicants.
5. Justification of criteria and methods foe assessment of water quality and early diagnostics of abnormalities in ecosystems for practical monitoring considering regional specificity of pollution and natural conditions of the region.
6. Development of recommendations on a strategy of water consumption in industrial centers of oil and gas production and preservation of high water quality in the system of sustainment of the region; new technologies of cleaning of polluted waters considering ecological requirements.
Understanding of transformations of water quality and evolution of water ecosystems under the influence of anthropogenic loads and climate change in Western Siberia, ecotoxicological consequences of water pollution including cellular and genotoxic effects has been provided. Obtained results will allow justifying safe living conditions, preventing degradation of water bioresources and maintaining high quality of waters in conditions of development of industrial oil-and-gas-bearing region of Siberia.
3 sectors were distinguished in the laboratory structure proceeding from objectives of the multisubject research:
1. Sector of water quality and biogeochemical processes. Ecogeographical research of patterns of formation of water quality; research of physico-chemical processes on the watershed, inside the basin, on the interface water-bed; migration and circulation of ecotoxicants in natural environments; paleoreconstruction of climatic variations during the Holocene and anthropogenic load.
2. Sector of ecotoxicological research. Research of pollutant exposure on organisms, populations and cenosis in natural environments, mechanisms of adaptation and stability of ecosystems; development of a system of diagnostics and bioindication of pollution. Experimental works on ecotoxicant impact on cellular, biochemical and genetic levels.
3. Sector of water purification technologies and recovery of disrupted areas. Development of technologies of water and soil purification from oil pollution, recultivation of disrupted areas in sites of commercial production including methods of biodegradation of oil pollution, methods of entrapping and decontamination of ecotoxicants.
A multisubject approach (scheme) was a conceptual breakthrough of the project under development allowing integration of results at release of two research systems: 1) territorial scale research along the climatic gradient aimed at detection of variability of chemical composition of waters and ecosystems in the context of zone and landscape-geographical differentiation; 2) in-depth research on model watersheds aimed at detection of cause-effect relations between abiotic (including pollution) and biotic factors. Research was directed at clarification of phenomena and understanding of laws of anthropogenic transformation of ecosystems of Western Siberia (WS); development of theory of critical load on the biosphere and its elements; recovery of disrupted landscapes, preservation of key functions of ecosystems.
More than 40 specialists are members of the Laboratory: 8 Doctors of Science, 14 PhDs, 7 research associates, 7 research students and more than 7 students. The Laboratory has been fitted with up-to-date equipment for the period of project implementation for conduction of environmental research: chemical composition of waters and soils, concentrations of ecotoxicants (heavy metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, PAH, OCP) in natural environments and living organisms, cellular, biochemical and genetic parameters
Content of the research
The laboratory is conducting research of factors and mechanisms of formation of water quality and ecosystem variability in modern conditions of anthropogenic load and climatic change in Western Siberia. New approaches and original methods of study of spatial nonuniformity of chemical composition of waters along the climatic gradient “north-south”, assessment of ecological consequences of development of oil and gas industry based on integrated results of study of genetic, molecular and pathophysiological biomarkers of toxic pollution in field conditions and as part of experimental design are being developed. Theory of critical anthropogenic load is being in progress as a scientific basis of to draw up recommendations for limitation of negative impacts and recultivation of disrupted territories in sites of hydrocarbon production. Technologies of induction of self-cleaning potential of water ecosystems to control oil pollution on the principle of bioconveyor using fibrous synthetic slick bars are being developed. A repository of hydrocarbon-oxidizing microflora of the Western-Siberian region is being created as a basis for new hydrocarbon-oxidizing bacterial preparations.
Synthesis of new facts and notions for explanation of new phenomena and laws of anthropogenic transformations in the biosphere, understanding of patterns of formation of water quality and their variability under the influence of anthropogenic load of local and global kind; biogeochemical cycles of ecotoxicants, anthropogenic evolution of water ecosystems will be the result of multisubject research. The theory of critical loads has been developed as a basis for reasonable limitation of man impact on natural environments.
Provisioning science with key knowledge on laws of anthropogenic transformations of land water quality will allow to adjust differences in perspective – on the one hand - between technical progress of the mankind, necessity of product supply and on the other hand– maintenance of safe living conditions; efforts shall be directed to acceleration of processes of recovery and preservation of key functions of ecosystems and the biosphere in general.