LIAE conducts a study in cooperation with TalTech on the reconstruction of historical lake conditions in the Baltic States

PhD student Anna Lanka is currently studying at Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) and investigating the relationship between water flea remains preserved in the upper sediment layer of a lake, and lake parameters (transparency, pH, electrical conductivity, total phosphorus concentration, etc.). These relationships will be examined to build a model for reconstruction of historical lake conditions. This will lead to a better understanding of what the Baltic lakes looked like in the past and how anthropogenic activities and presence have affected the lakes and water quality.

LIAE conducts a study in cooperation with TalTech on the reconstruction of historical lake conditions in the Baltic States

PhD student Anna Lanka is currently studying at Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) and investigating the relationship between water flea remains preserved in the upper sediment layer of a lake, and lake parameters (transparency, pH, electrical conductivity, total phosphorus concentration, etc.). These relationships will be examined to build a model for reconstruction of historical lake conditions. This will lead to a better understanding of what the Baltic lakes looked like in the past and how anthropogenic activities and presence have affected the lakes and water quality.

Cladocerans, or water fleas, are microscopic crustaceans that spend their entire lives in water. Like all crustaceans, cladocerans have a hard outer shell that remains in the lake sediments after they die. From these shell remains it is possible to determine which species a particular individual belonged to. This group includes many species with different ecological requirements.

Using Cladoceran remains and other paleolimnological techniques, it is possible to get a glimpse of what lakes might have been like before the first written sources appeared and even before humans were around. How lakes changed as the forests around them were cleared and farmlands around them were cultivated. How different historical events, such as the economic policies of the Soviet Union and the expansion of human settlements, affected lake ecosystems at a time when water quality and species protection were not deemed essential.

This is the first time that a study of this scale has been carried out in Latvian lakes, the material has been collected from more than 70 lakes covering all three Baltic States. The project leader from LIAE is Researcher Inta Dimante-Deimantoviča and the methodology used in the study is from project 1.1.1.2/16/I/001, research application number 1.1.1.2/VIAA/2/18/359.

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