Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences
Using publication of Eugeniusz Andrulewicz and Jan Marcin Węsławski entitled “An illustrative framework for assessing biological diversity of the Gulf of Gdańsk applying ICES/BSRP SGEH priority indicators” we prepared our own present study on the Russian part of Gulf of Finland.
In the paper about Gulf of Gdansk both authors from Poland from the list of about 24 SGEH biodiversity indicators (ICES/BSRP SGEH 2005), after assessing them with the US EPA selection criteria (US EPA 2002), only seven indicators had been recommended as priority/operational indicators. They are related to: phytobenthos, zoobenthos, alien species, fish, birds, mammals and the status of the Baltic Sea Protected Areas.
In our study we apply practically the same indicators as our distinguished Polish colleagues. Besides that we distinguished for the whole Baltic Sea 5 main types of Baltic Sea ecosystems regarding salinity factor: freshwater ecosystems, transitional freshwater-brackishwater ecosystems, brackishwater ecosystems, transitional brackishwater-marine ecosystems and marine ecosystems.
We also analyzed changing of the species number following salinity gradient starting with publication of A. Remane and following those of J. Välikangas, S. Segersträle, O. Kinne, V. Khlebovich, A. Jarvekulg, B.-O. Jansson and some other well known scientists, that showed decreasing of marine species biodiversity following decreasing of Baltic Sea salinity.
In our present study we analyzed number of fishes, free-living invertebrates and plants without micro-Metazoa, Protozoa and Bacteria. We did this analysis not only for Gulf of Finland but also for Baltic Sea Proper, Bay of Bothnia, Bothnian Sea, Gulf of Riga and Kattegat. We also calculated number of species using acad. A. Alimov formula (n=199.21*S0.155). Number of species received from scientific literature or by expert evaluation was the same only for Gulf of Finland, Bay of Bothnia, Bothnian Sea and Gulf of Riga. Number of species in Baltic Sea Proper is twice lower but in Kattegat it is 4 times higher than according this formula. We are concluding that formula could be used only for freshwater ecosystems and transitional freshwater-brackishwater ecosystems. Thus this formula is fully applicable to Russian part of Gulf of Finland.
Gulf of Finland is narrow water basin. Length from the West to the East 410 km. Total length of the coastline in Russian Federation >512 km. Coastline of island about 170 km. Run-off from Neva River is about 80 km3/year and significantly influence on the salinity. Surface water in the Neva estuary is practically fresh. At Gogland Island water salinity is 3-5‰ at the surface and 7-8‰ at the bottom.
In our presentation following publications of different authors and one of the last publication (Pogrebov, Sagitov, 2006) we are giving the following information: zoning of Russian part of Gulf of Finland; distribution of planktonic Cyanobacteria in spring; distribution of main dominating species complexes of zooplankton in summer; distribution of macro-zoobenthos in summer.
After analysis of this data we are concluding with published information on ichthyofauna. In the Gulf of Finland there are about 70 species of marine, diadromous and freshwater fishes. The most significant for fishery is Baltic herring – 72% of the catches. Other fishes in the catches: sprat (Sprattus sprattus) – 8.2%, smelt (Osmerus eperlanus) – 8.1%, ruff (Gymnocephalus cernua) – 6.9%, roach (Rutilus rutilus) – 1.%, zander (Stizostedion lucioperca) – 0.6%, bream (Abramis brama) – 0.8%, perch (Perca fluviatilis) – 0.5%, lamprey (Lampetra fluviatilis) – 0.2%, whitefish (Coregonus albula) – 0.2%, cisco (Coregonus lavaretus lavaretus) – 0.04%, salmon (Salmo salar) – 0.03%.
We discussed available published data (Pogrebov, Sagitov, 2006) on distribution of Baltic herring (Clupea harengus membras) in summer and distribution of smelt (Osmerus eperlanus).
We also continue our assessment using published information on avifauna. In the Gulf of Finland there are following species of birds: Gavia arctica, G. stellata, G. adamsi, Podiceps nigricollis, P. ruficollis, P. auritus, P. griseigena, P. cristatus, Phalacrocorax carbo, Cygnus olor, Anser anser, Branta leucopsis, Tadorna tadorna, Melanitta fusca, Clangula hyemalis, Aythya marina, A. fuligula, A. ferina, Fulica atra, Calidris alpina shinzii, Arenaria interpres, Heamatopus ostralegus, Tringa totanus, Calidris spp., Charadrius spp., Limosa spp., Tringa spp., Larus fuscus, L. marinus, L. minutus, Sterna paradisaea, S. caspia, S. sandwicensis, Cepphus grylle, Alca torda, Motacilla alba, Oenanthe oenanthe, Acrocephalus spp., Emberiza sheniclus.
Key ornithological areas (IBAs) of the worldwide and European significance were shown for the Russian part of Gulf of Finland.
In the Gulf of Finland there are following species of marine mammals: Baltic seal (Phoca hispida hispida), Grey seal (Halichoerus grypus). Both species of seals are in the Red Books. In the beginning of XX century both species were numerous, but since the middle of century their number has decreased catastrophically not only due to hunting but due to pollution with pesticides.
Distribution of Baltic seal (Phoca hispida botnica) in spring was shown.
After discussing above mentioned data we analyzed protected areas: wetlands, preserves and natural monuments.
Specially was indicated that some above reported data has some serious disagreements with results obtained in Zoological Institute RAS. At present under leadership of Acad. A. Alimov and Dr. S. Golubkov a special presentation on Eastern part of Gulf of Finland is under preparation. It will be published soon in Internet in the Zoological Institute RAS web-site http://www.zin.ru The present study is concluded by a huge list of publications on the Gulf of Finland published by scientists from Zoological Institute as evidence that forthcoming projects on Gulf of Finland ecological assessment should have participants from above mentioned institute.