Alkaline soda Lake Velika Rusanda (Serbia): the first insight into diatom diversity of this extreme saline lake
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Alkaline soda lakes are unique habitats found in specific geographic regions, usually with dry climate. The Carpathian Basin is one of those regions very important for habitat and biodiversity conservation in Europe, with natural soda lakes found in Austria, Hungary and Serbia. In comparison to other two countries from Central Europe, algal biodiversity studies of saline soda lakes in Serbia are scarce. Lake Velika Rusanda has the highest measured salinity of all saline lakes in the Carpathian Basin and there were no reports of its diatom species richness and diversity till now. We conducted 2-year investigation programme to study biodiversity and seasonal dynamics of diatoms in this lake. A total of 27 diatom taxa were found, almost all of them attached to reed and much less in benthos and plankton. Five new diatom species for Serbia were recorded, Craticula halopannonica, Navicymbula pusilla, Hantzschia weyprechtii, Nitzschia thermaloides and Navicula staffordiae. The last me...ntioned is new for Europe as well. Lake Velika Rusanda is inhabited mostly by alkaliphilous and halophilic diatoms. Since diatoms are used as bioindicators in soda lakes, our results will improve their further application in ecological status assessment of these fragile habitats in the Carpathian Basin.
Keywords:The Carpathian Basin / Soda waters / Velika Rusanda / saline lakes / salinity
Source:Extremophiles, 2019, 23, 3, 347-357
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