The status of whitefish population from Chuna Lake in the Lapland Biosphere Reserve Russia



The current state of whitefish population and their organisms have been investigated in subarctic Lake Chuna exposed to long-term air pollution from copper-nickel industry. Both annual and long-term heavy metals and acid oxides loads on the lake have been determined. A qualitative assessment has been made for water and bottom sediments. The investigation results have been compared with those of the archived data (the 1950s -1960s studies) to reveal a number of changes. The lifetime of whitefish has shortened, with early maturity and spawning. Pathological changes of whitefish inner organs occur more frequently. Assessment was made for the Cu and Ni concentrations in whitefish organs and tissues, the seasonal dynamics and peculiarities of metal accumulation in two different species. The revealed changes of the biological constituent of the lake ecosystem alongside with hydro-chemical indices of air-borne load is suggestive of adverse impact of longterm air-borne pollution on the Lake Chuna ecosystem.