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Robarts R.D.,UNEP GEMS Water Programme | Zhulidov A.V.,South Russian Regional Center for Preparation and Imp. of International Projects Ltd S | Pavlov D.F.,Russian Academy of Sciences
Aquatic Sciences | Year: 2013

About two-thirds of Russia's land area are flat lands, which contributes to the development of conditions favouring wetland formation. Wetlands cover vast areas, especially in the north. Wetlands in the former Soviet Union were not recognized as separate or distinct ecosystems and this is still the situation in Russia today. Bogs are one of the most abundant and typical wetlands and were treated as worthless wastelands. Beginning in the 17th century and continuing under the Soviet government there was an enforced policy to drain wetlands and reclaim the land, mainly for farming. After the collapse of the USSR, this practice was discontinued along with the Soviet model of agriculture and an end to the forced and unnecessary use of pesticides and fertilizers with the result that the toxic load on Russian aquatic systems decreased drastically. Industrial production was also greatly curtailed. While it is now recovering, many of these are turning to environmentally-friendly technologies. The intensity of land-use related impacts upon Russian wetlands is negligible compared to that in more densely populated countries and therefore the environmental conservation of wetlands in Russia may not currently be an urgent problem. There is currently no consensus on what the overall direct and indirect impacts of climate change on the number of Russian wetlands will be-in some areas they may increase but decrease in others. In Russia, the most urgent issue is not the preservation of wetlands but the development of proper wetland management practices. For effective plans, data and information on wetland status, trends and characteristics are required that are not currently available. © 2011 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada.

Zhulidov A.V.,Implementation of International Projects Ltd | Robarts R.D.,UNEP GEMS Water Programme | Pavlov D.F.,Russian Academy of Sciences | Kamari J.,Finnish Environment Institute | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment | Year: 2011

The Norilsk industrial ore smelting complex (Taymyr Peninsula, Russian Federation) has significantly impacted many components of local terrestrial and aquatic environments.Whether it has had a major impact on the wider Russian Arctic remains controversial as studies are scarce. From 1986 to 2004, data on heavy metal (Cu, Ni, Zn, Hg, Cd and Hg) concentrations in fish (burbot), moss, lichens, periphyton, hydric soils and snow in and around Norilsk and the most northern parts of the Taymyr Peninsula were analysed. Very high concentrations of Cu (203 μg L -1± 51 μg L -1) and Ni (113 μg L -1± 15 μg L -1) were found in the water of the Schuchya River close to Norilsk. Heavy metal concentrations in burbot liver were highest in Lake Pyasino near Norilsk compared to other study regions that were >100 km distant. From 1989-1996, Cu (121 μg L -1± 39 μg L -1 SD), Zn (150 μg L -1± 70 μg L -1) and Ni (149 μg L -1± 72 μg L -1) snow concentrations were greatest in Norilsk, but were low elsewhere. By 2004, these concentrations had dropped significantly, especially for Cu-74 μg L -1 (±18.7 μg L -1 SD), Zn- 81.7 μg L -1 (±31.3 μg L -1 SD) and Ni-80 μg L -1 (±18.0 μg L -1 SD). Norilsk and its surroundings are subject to heavy pollution from the Norilsk metallurgical industry but these are absent from the greater Arctic region due to the prevailing winds and the Byrranga Mountains. Pollution abatement measures have been made so further investigations are necessary in order to assess their efficiency. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010.

Rickwood C.J.,UNEP GEMS Water Programme | Hes E.M.A.,UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education | Al-Zu'bi Y.,Al - Balqa Applied University | Dube M.G.,University of Saskatchewan
Ecohydrology and Hydrobiology | Year: 2010

Ecohydrology has the potential to make a significant contribution to the global need for improved water resources management.An investigation was conducted into educational and capacity building activities related to ecohydrology in an effort to better integrate understanding,promote awareness of existing activities,and to recommend action for global knowledge translation.Based on a survey of key partners and a review of the literature,three key observations were made:1)consistency in the use of the definition and key concepts behind ecohydrology must be achieved,2) development of a framework for courses in ecohydrology be developed for application on a regional and global scale and 3)there may be existing educational materials on ecohydrology but they are not well publicized or accessible even to seasoned practitioners.These recommendations are currently being implemented with the development and testing of three pilot courses.

Junk W.J.,Federal University of Mato Grosso | An S.,Nanjing University | Finlayson C.M.,Charles Sturt University | Gopal B.,National Institute of Technology Tiruchirappalli | And 5 more authors.
Aquatic Sciences | Year: 2013

Wetlands cover at least 6 % of the Earth's surface. They play a key role in hydrological and biogeochemical cycles, harbour a large part of the world's biodiversity, and provide multiple services to humankind. However, pressure in the form of land reclamation, intense resource exploitation, changes in hydrology, and pollution threaten wetlands on all continents. Depending on the region, 30-90 % of the world's wetlands have already been destroyed or strongly modified in many countries with no sign of abatement. Climate change scenarios predict additional stresses on wetlands, mainly because of changes in hydrology, temperature increases, and a rise in sea level. Yet, intact wetlands play a key role as buffers in the hydrological cycle and as sinks for organic carbon, counteracting the effects of the increase in atmospheric CO2. Eight chapters comprising this volume of Aquatic Sciences analyze the current ecological situation and the use of the wetlands in major regions of the world in the context of global climate change. This final chapter provides a synthesis of the findings and recommendations for the sustainable use and protection of these important ecosystems. © 2012 Springer Basel.

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