Trends in development of diatom flora from sub-recent lake sediments of the Lake Bolshoy Kharbey (Bolshezemelskaya tundra, Russia)

  • Olga Palagushkina Kazan (Volga Region) Federal University, Kremlyovskaya Str., 18, Kazan, 420008, Russian Federation
  • Larisa Nazarova Kazan (Volga Region) Federal University, Kremlyovskaya Str., 18, Kazan, 420008, Russian Federation; University of Potsdam, Institute of Geosciences, Karl-Liebknecht-Str., 24–25, Potsdam-Golm, 14476, Germany; Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Telegrafenberg A43, Potsdam, 14473, Germany
  • Larisa Frolova Kazan (Volga Region) Federal University, Kremlyovskaya Str., 18, Kazan, 420008, Russian Federation


We studied diatom assemblages of the proglacial arctic lake Bolshoy Kharbey (Bolshezemelskaya tundra, Russian Arctic) from a short sediments core covering the last ca. 200 years. In total, 121 taxa from 2 classes, 5 orders, 18 families, and 50 genera were identified. The diatom flora included species with mainly cosmopolitan distribution. The assemblages were dominated by alkaliphilic benthic diatoms preferring standing — flowing waters, indifferent to salinity and moderate temperature conditions. The main changes in diatom assemblages took place in ca. 1870 and 1980. After 1870, which can be attributed to the end of the Little Ice Age, the species richness rose, especially of planktonic centric and small penate diatoms. This rise of diatom diversity took place most probably in response to climate warming, related to it prolongation of the growing season and period of open water. A negative trend in the evenness of the diatom assemblages during the last decades can be seen as an early-warning signal indicating a decrease of stability of the lake ecosystem.


diatoms, Lake Bolshoy Kharbey, Russian Arctic, climate change


Download data is not yet available.


ACIA 2005. Impacts of Warming Arctic: Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. Cambridge University Press.

Barinova, S. S., Medvedeva, L. A., and Anisimova, O. V. 2006. Biological diversity of algae-environmental indicators. 498 pp. Pilies Studio, Tel Aviv. (In Russian)

Barinova, S. S., Medvedeva, L. A., and Anisimova, O. V. 2006. Biodiversity of algae-indicators of the environment. Pilies Studio, Tel Aviv. (In Russian)

Battarbee, R. W. 1986. Diatom analysis: pp. 527–570 in B. E. Berglund (ed.), Handbook of Holocene Paleoecology and Paleohydrology, Wiley, Sons, London.

Baturina, M. A., Loskutova, O. A., Fefilova, E. B., and Khokhlova, L. G. 2012. Zoobenthos of Bolshoy Harbey Lake (Bolshezemelskaya tundra): current status and analysis of retrospective data. Bulletin of the Komi Scientific Center, Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences 4:21–29. (In Russian)

Blaauw, M. and Christen, J. A. 2011. Flexible paleoclimate age-depth models using an autoregressive gamma process. Bayesian Analysis 6(3):457–474.

Davydova, N. N. 1985. Diatoms as indicators of natural conditions of water bodies in Holocene. 244 pp. Nauka, Leningrad. (In Russian)

Douglas, M. S. V., Smol, J. P., and Blake, W. 1994. Marked post-18th century environmental change in high Arctic ecosystems. Science 266:416–419.

European Diatom Database

Fallu, M. A., Allaire, N., and Pienitz, R. 2000. Freshwater diatoms from northern Québec and Labrador (Canada). Bibliotheca Diatomologica. Gebr. Borntraeger, Berlin 45:1–200.

Fefilova, E. 2006. Zooplankton and meiobenthic crustaceans of Kharbey Lakes. Bulletin of Institute of Biology 10:7–11. (In Russian)

Fritz, M., Wolter, J., Rudaya, N., Palagushkina, O., Nazarova, L., Obu, J., Rethemeyer, J., Lantuit, H., and Wetterich, S. 2016. Holocene ice-wedge polygon development in the northern Yukon, Canada. Quaternary Science Reviews 147:279–297.

Frolova, L., Nazarova, L., Pestryakova, L., and Herzschuh, U. 2013. Analysis of the effects of climate-dependent factors on the formation of zooplankton communities that inhabit arctic lakes in the Anabar River Basin. Contemporary Problems of Ecology 6(1):1–11.

Frolova, L. A., Ibragimova A. G., Ulrich M., and Wetterich S. 2017a. Reconstruction of the history of a thermokarst lake in the Mid-Holocene based on an analysis of subfossil Cladocera (Siberia, Central Yakutia). Contemporary Problems of Ecology 10(4):423–430.

Frolova, L., Nazarova, L., Zinnatova, E., Frolova A., and Herzschuh, U. 2017b. Cladocera remains from sediments of thermokarst lakes of north-central Siberia (Russia). 17th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2017, Conference Proceedings 17(51):211–218.

Frolova, L. A. 2018. Cladocera from bottom deposits as an indicator of changes in climate and ecological conditions. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science 107(1): 012084.

Frolova, L. A., Nigmatullin N. M., Frolova A. A., and Nazarova L. B. 2019. Findings of Phreatalona protzi (Hartwig, 1900) (Cladocera: Anomopoda: Chydoridae) in Russia. Invertebrate Zoology 16(2):200–210.

Genkal, S. I., Kulikovsky, M. S., Mikheeva, T. M., Kuznetsova, I. V., and Lukyanova, E. V. 2013. Diatoms of plankton of Svisloch River and its reservoirs. 236 pp. Scientific World, Moscow. (In Russian)

Glezer, Z. I., Karaeva, N. I., Makarova, I. V. et al. 1988. Classification of diatoms. In Diatoms of the USSR (fossil and modern) Leningrad. 2(1):31–35. (In Russian)

Guiry, M. D. and Guiry, G. M. 2015. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway

Guiry, M. D. and Guiry, G. M. 2019. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway.

Hammer, Ø., Harper, D. A. T., and Raan, P. D. 2001. PAST: Palaeontological statistics software package for education and data analysis. Palaeontologia electronica 41:9.

Hoff, U., Biskaborn, B. K., Dirksen, V., Dirksen, O., Kuhn, G., Meyer, H., Nazarova, L., Roth, A., and Diekmann, B. 2015. Holocene environment of Central Kamchatka, Russia: Implications from a multi-proxy record of Two-Yurts Lake. Global and Planetary Change 134:101–117.

Ibragimova, A. G., Frolova, L. A., and Grekov, I. M. 2016. Results of subfossil Cladocera (Branchiopoda, Crustacea) analyses from bottom deposits of Lake Antyukh-Lambina (Kola Peninsula, Murmansk region). Research Journal of Pharmaceutical, Biological and Chemical Sciences 7(6):3201–3206.

Juggins, S. 2007. C2 Version 1.5 User guide. Software for ecological and palaeoecological data analysis and visualisation. Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Krammer, K. and Lange-Bertalot, H. 1986. Bacillariophyceae. 1. Teil: Naviculaceae: Suesswasserflora von Mitteleuropa. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart, Jena, 976 pp.

Krammer, K. and Lange-Bertalot, H. 1988. Bacillariophyceae. 2. Teil: Bacillariaceae, Epitemiaceae, Surirellaceae: Suesswasserflora von Mitteleuropa. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart, Jena, 596 pp.

Krammer, K. and Lange-Bertalot, H. 1991. Bacillariophyceae. 3. Teil: Centrales, Fragilariaceae, Eunotiaceae: Suesswasserflora von Mitteleuropa. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart, Jena, 576 pp.

Kumke, T., Kienel, U., Weckström, J., Korhola, A., and Hubberten, H. W. 2004. Inferred Holocene palaeotemperatures from diatoms at Lake Lama, Central Siberia. Arctic Antarctic and Alpine Research 36:626–636.;2

Mukhin, N. I., Petrakova, V. M., and Shevchenko, A. I. 1964. Climatic characteristics of the Pechora coal basin. In Geocryological conditions of the Pechora coal basin. pp. 20–28 Moscow. (In Russian)

Nazarova L., Semenov V. F., Sabirov R. M., and Efimov I. Y. 2004. The state of bentic communities and water quality of Cheboksar Water reservoir. Water Resources 31(3):347–353.

Nazarova, L., Lüpfert, H., Subetto, D., Pestryakova, L., and Diekmann, B., 2013. Holocene climate conditions in Central Yakutia (North-Eastern Siberia) inferred from sediment composition and fossil chironomids of Lake Temje. Quaternary International 290–291:264–274.

Nazarova, L., Bleibtreu, A., Hoff, U., Dirksen, V., and Diekmann, B. 2017a. Changes in temperature and water depth of a small mountain lake during the past 3000 years in Central Kamchatka reflected by chironomid record. Quaternary International 447:46–58.

Nazarova, L. B., Self, А. E., Brooks, S. J., Solovieva, N., Syrykh, L. S., and Dauvalter, V. А. 2017b. Chironomid fauna of the lakes from the Pechora River basin (East of European part of Russian Arctic): ecology and reconstruction of recent ecological changes in the region. Contemporary Problems of Ecology 10(4):350–362.

Palagushkina, O. V., Nazarova, L. B., Wetterich, S., and Shirrmaister, L. 2012. Diatoms of modern bottom sediments in Siberian Arctic. Contemporary Problems of Ecology 5(4):413–422.

Palagushkina, O., Wetterich, S., Schirrmeister, L., and Nazarova, L. 2017a. Modern and fossil diatom assemblages from Bol'shoy Lyakhovsky Island (New Siberian Archipelago, Arctic Siberia). Contemporary problems of Ecology 10(4):380–394.

Palagushkina, O., Wetterich, S., Biskaborn, B., Nazarova, L., Lenz, J., Schwamborn, G., Schirrmeister, L., and Grosse, G. 2017b. Diatom records and tephra mineralogy in pingo deposits of Seward Peninsula, Alaska. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 479:1–15.

Pielou, E. C. 1966. The measurement of diversity in different types of biological collections. Journal of theoretical biology 13:131–144.

Plikk, A., Engels, S., Luoto, T., Nazarova, L., Salonen, J. S., and Helmens, K. F. 2019. Chironomid-based temperature reconstruction for the Eemian Interglacial (MIS 5e) at Sokli, northeast Finland. Journal of Paleolimnology 61(3):355–371.

Puusepp, L. and Kangur, M. 2010. Linking diatom community dynamics to changes in terrestrial vegetation: a palaeolimnological case study of Lake Ķūzi, Vidzeme Heights (Central Latvia). Estonian Journal of Ecology 59(4):259–280.

R Core Team. 2012. R Development Core Team, 2012. R: a Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria.

Reynolds, C. S. 2003. The development of perceptions of aquatic eutrophication and its control. Ecohydrology Hydrobiologe 3(2):149–163.

Rouillard, A., Michelutti, N., Rosén, P., Douglas, M. S. V., and Smol, J. P. 2012. Using paleolimnology to track Holocene climate fluctuations and aquatic ontogeny in poorly buffered High Arctic lakes. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 321–322:1–15.

Rühland, K. and Smol, J. P. 2005. Diatom shifts as evidence for recent Subarctic warming in remote tundra lake, NWT, Canada. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 226(1–2):1–16.

Shannon, C. E. and Weaver, W. 1963. The mathematical theory of communication. Urbana: University of Illinois Press 117 pp.

Smol, J. P., Wolfe, A. P., Birks, H. J. B., Douglas, M. S. V., Jones, V. J., Korhola, A., Pienitz, R., Rühland, K, Sorvari, S, Antoniades, D., Brooks, S. J., Fallu, M.-A., Hughes, M, Keatley, B., Laing, T., Michelutti, N., Nazarova, L., Nyman, M., Paterson, A. M, Perren, B., Quinlan, R., Rautio, M., Saulnier-Talbot, É., Siitonen, S., Solovieva, and N., Weckström, J. 2005. Climate-driven regime shifts in the biological communities of Arctic lakes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 102(12):4397–4402.

Solovieva, N., Jones, V. J., Nazarova, L., Brooks, S. J., Birks, H. J. B., Grytnes, J.-A., Appleby, P. G., Kauppila, T., Kondratenok, B., Renerg, I., and Ponomarev V. 2005. Paleolimnological evidence for recent climatic change in lakes from the northern Urals, arctic Russia. Journal of Paleolimnology 33(4):463–482.

Solovieva, N., Jones, V. J., Birks, J. H. B., Appleby, P., and Nazarova, L. 2008. Diatom responses to 20th century climate warming in lakes from the northern Urals, Russia. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 259(2–3):96–106.

Solovieva, N., Klimaschewski, A., Self, A. E., Jones, V. J., Andrén, E., Andreev, A. A., Hammarlund, D., Lepskaya, E. V., and Nazarova, L. 2015. Holocene environmental history of a small coastal lake from north-eastern Kamchatka Peninsula. Global and Planetary Change 134:55–66.

Stenina, A. S. and Gezen, M. I. 1975. Diatoms in the plankton of tundra Harbey Lakes (Komi Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic). Botanical Journal 60(6):1178–1183. (In Russian)

Stenina, A. S. 1978. Features of the flora of the eastern part of the Bolshezemelskaya tundra. Diatoms. pp. 21–26. In: Flora and fauna of reservoirs of the European North. Science, Leningrad. (In Russian)

Stenina, A. S. 2009. Diatoms in the lakes of the east of the Bolshezemelskaya tundra. 174 pp. Syktyvkar. (In Russian)

Subetto, D. A, Nazarova, L. B., Pestryakova, L. A., Syrykh, L. S., Andronikov, A. V., Biskaborn, B., Diekmann, B., Kuznetsov, D. D., Sapelko, T. V., and Grekov, I. М. 2017. Palaeolimnological studies in Russian Northern Eurasia: A review. Contemporary problems of Ecology 10(4):327–335.

Syrykh, L. S., Nazarova, L. B., Herzschuh, U., Subetto, D. A., and Grekov, I. M. 2017. Reconstruction of palaeoecological and palaeoclimatic conditions of the Holocene in the south of Taimyr according to the analysis of lake sediments. Contemporary problems of Ecology 10(4):363–369.

Teteryuk, B. Yu. 2012. Flora of ancient lakes of the European northeast of Russia. Proceedings of the Samara Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences 14(1):82–90. (In Russian)

Trifonova, I. S. and Afanasyeva, A. L. 2008. Long-term changes in the phytoplankton of Lake Krasnoye. In Long-term changes in the biological communities of the mesotrophic lake under climatic fluctuations and eutrophication. 246 pp. LEMA Publishing House, St. Petersburg. (In Russian)

Van Dam, H., Mertens, A., and Sinkeldam, J. 1994. A coded checklist and ecological indicator values of freshwater diatoms from the Netherlands. Aquatic Ecology 28(1):117–133.

Vlasova, T. A. 1976. Hydrological and hydrochemical conditions of biological production in the lakes of Harbey system. In Productivity of the lakes of the eastern part of the Bolshezemelskaya tundra. pp. 6–32. Science, Leningrad. (In Russian)

Weckstrom, J., Korhola, A., and Blom, T. 1997. Diatoms as quantitative indicators of pH and water temperature in subarctic Fenoscandian lakes. Hydrobiologia 347(1–2):171–184.

Wetterich, S., Schirrmeister, L., Nazarova, L., Palagushkina, O., Bobrov, A., Pogosyan, L., Savelieva, L., Syrykh, L., Matthes, H., Fritz, M., Gunther, F., and Opel, T. 2018. Holocene thermokarst and pingo development in the Kolyma Lowland 1 (NE Siberia). Permafrost and Periglacial Processes 29(3):182–198.

How to Cite
Palagushkina, O., Nazarova, L., & Frolova, L. (2020). Trends in development of diatom flora from sub-recent lake sediments of the Lake Bolshoy Kharbey (Bolshezemelskaya tundra, Russia). Biological Communications, 64(4), 244–251.
Full communications