Western Siberia is a unique natural mega-installation that regulates the Earth’s climate to a considerable degree, being easily accessible for researchers and attracting the world scientific community. BIO-GEO-CLIM’s research aims to identify physicochemical and biological factors controlling the evolution of landscape components in response to the changes in climate parameters in Western Siberian ecosystems.
Our main tasks are solved by means of a coordinated interdisciplinary study of the evolution of natural ecosystems in the climate and permafrost gradients of Western Siberia. There are here basic research sites corresponding to various types of permafrost (continuous, discontinuous and sporadic). The research in the transfer of carbon and conjugate elements was done in a unique mega-profile 2,500 km long located along a latitudinal transect of three areas with the similar lithology and vegetation but with different mean annual temperatures, thickness and degree of permafrost covering.
Our project is devoted to solving the key problem of the arctic and subarctic regions’ environment: how far the climate warming in these vast areas of Russia is going to effect the functioning of natural ecosystems and basic biogeochemical cycles, human activity and economics. We have revealed some new tendencies in Subarctic ecosystem regimes such as an increase in the soil temperature and active layer thickness; a higher frequency of fires as a result of more frequent short-term droughts; a shortening of the snow cover duration; appearance of small thermokarst lakes and sinkholes; and others. Most of these tendencies are developing simultaneously which makes it impossible to define controlling factors and assess the impact of these processes on ecosystems by means of the conventional field studies and complex expeditions.
The BIO-GEO-CLIM laboratory carries out the project "Biogeochemical cycles of Arctic bog and lake landscapes of Western Siberia as an indicator of global climatic changes and the foundation for rational nature management in the region" granted by the Russian Government. As a result of the project, we will be able to provide recommendations and instructions on the refinement of surface waters (thermokarst lakes) and tundra landscapes of Northern Western Siberia in the context of climate change and discontinuous permafrost distribution for nature protection services in the area and RF Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology.
Studying the hydrochemical parameters of rivers and the processes taking place in their watersheds allowed revealing the main environmental factors controlling the transportation of dissolved components in the rivers in Western Siberia. In 2,000-kilometer latitudinal mega-profile the research of more than a hundred small and large rivers with various watershed areas was done for the period of three years (since 2012). The samples were taken in winter, spring, summer and autumn.
The project’s main goal for 2016–2017 is to assess and predict the complex response of the environment to the current global climate change and to control the landscape components of the northern parts of Western Siberia.
Our project takes a complex multidisciplinary approach to understanding of the present-day evolution of the chemical and biological components of subarctic landscape. It includes field experiments, laboratory experimental simulation and reconstruction of landscape evolution in the past.
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Head of the Laboratory
Senior Research Scientist at Observatoire Midi Pyrénées, candidate of geological and mineralogical sciences
PhD, Professor, Director of the centre of excellence "BioClimLand"