Paleolimnological survey for the adaptive management in conservation biology: a case study of Popradské pleso lake (High Tatra Mountains, Slovakia)

 Daniela DOBRÍKOVÁ1, Lucia SOCHULIAKOVÁ1, Jaroslav STOKLASA1, Ladislav HAMERLÍK1,2 & Peter BITUŠÍK1

1 Katedra biológie a ekológie Fakulty prírodných vied UMB, Tajovského 40, SK-974 01 Banská Bystrica, e-mail: 
2 Institute of Geological Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences, Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warsaw, Poland


Lake sediments are high-resolution archives of environmental changes. Using remains of aquatic organisms, such as chironomids, diatoms and cladocerans preserved in the lake sediment we can track back the history of lakes and their catchments and determine the milestones of their development. Mountain lakes are especially sensitive to both natural and anthropic disturbances. In the present study we analysed the sediments of Popradské pleso lake representing the last ca 200 years to show what happened with its ecosystem under a human pressure and to compare responses of different bioindicators used in paleolimnology. A total of 37 chironomid, 11 cladoceran and 124 diatom taxa were recorded in the 10 cm long sediment sequence. The most significant changes occurred in all three groups simultaneously when the lake became a subject to severe organic pollution, even though the response time differed for particular groups. Interestingly, the chironomid composition returned to the original stage after the source of pollution has been removed, while that of cladocerans and diatoms remained the same. Beside the common response, each group has its specific response on community level that was not accompanied by changes in the other two groups. These responses together with the ecological knowledge of the group could bring extra information on the character of the environmental change.

Key words: paleolimnology, Chironomidae, Cladocera, Bacillariophyceae, mountain lakes, cultural eutrophication, Tatra Mountains

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