ISSN 1067-4136, Russian Journal of Ecology, 2008, Vol. 39, No. 3, pp. 198–204. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2008.
Original Russian Text © V.V. Parfenova, V.V. Mal’nik, S.M. Boiko, N.G. Sheveleva, N.F. Logacheva, T.D. Evstigneeva, A.N. Suturin, O.A. Timoshkin, 2008, published in
Ekologiya, 2008, No. 3, pp. 211–216.
It is known that rocks contain a variety of chemical
elements, providing an unlimited supply of them for the
ﬂora and fauna (Vernadsky, 2001). Rocks consist of
minerals whose diverse combinations determine their
density; hardness; and, consequently, different degrees
of stability to destruction (erosion on land and aqualy-
sis in the aquatic environment). Erosion or aqualysis is
inﬂuenced not only by physical and chemical but also
by biological factors, as biological communities
formed on the rock surface play an important role in
these processes (Kuznetsov et al., 1962; Yakhontova
and Zvereva, 2000: Koronovskii and Yakushova, 1991).
In water bodies, complex aggregations of microorgan-
isms named bioﬁlms are formed at the rock–water
interface. Most microorganisms on the Earth live in
such aggregations (Costerton et al., 1987).
Bacterial oxidation is a complex process involving
adsorption of microorganisms on the surface of a min-
eral or a rock, destruction of the crystal lattice, transport
of mineral elements into the cell, and their intracellular
oxidation (Razzell and Trussell, 1963). Consequently,
microorganisms participate in decomposition of miner-
als not only by extracting from them essential chemical
elements (P, S, K, Ca, Mg, Na, B, Sr, Fe, Si, etc.) but
also by delivering them into the aquatic environment.
The available literature on marine fouling of ships, heat
exchange systems, and other technical objects is fairly
extensive (Flemming, 2002; Melo and Bott, 1997),
especially that on fouling by phytobenthos (Milchak-
ova et al., 2002; Belyakova, 1975; Kalugina-Gunik,
1975). This study of the development of microphyto-
benthos on natural substrates such as plates of different
rocks is the ﬁrst of its kind.
Our research began on the test site near Cape Bere-
zovyi, Lake Baikal, in 2000 (Timoshkin et al., 2003).
For the ﬁrst time in Baikal, we observed distinct selec-
tiveness in colonization of different rock types by dif-
ferent groups of benthic organisms. Two dominant
groups of the Baikal benthos (crust sponges and gastro-
pods) showed a preference for stony substrates of
eroded and crumbled granitoids, gastropods preferred
granitoid stones with abundant carbonate and mica
veins, while sponges preferred granitoids with micro-
cline and garnet inclusions (Timoshkin et al., 2003).
Abrasive processes on Baikal shores supply the littoral
zone with approximately 1550000 m
of rock material
(Agafonov, 2002), which is an inexhaustible source of
biogenic elements for the lake ecosystem (Suturin et al.,
2003). Stones falling in the water are ﬁrst of all popu-
lated by microbes and microphytobenthos, which form
bioﬁlms, and then by invertebrates and macrophytes.
The formation of hydrobiont communities on geologi-
cally different rocks has not been studied previously in
Lake Baikal. The purpose of this study was to analyze
communities of hydrobionts developing on plates of
different rock types under conditions of experiment in
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Plates 16–24 cm
in area were made of granite,
amphibolite, and marble stones collected in the littoral
Communities of Hydrobionts Developing at the Water–Rock
Interface in Lake Baikal
V. V. Parfenova, V. V. Mal’nik, S. M. Boiko, N. G. Sheveleva, N. F. Logacheva,
T. D. Evstigneeva, A. N. Suturin, and O. A. Timoshkin
Limnological Institute, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences,
ul. Ulan-Batorskaya 3, Irkutsk, 664033 Russia
Received January 15, 2007
—Development of benthic communities on rocks from the interdisciplinary test site near Cape Bere-
zovyi (southern Baikal) is analyzed. Rock plates were placed on the bottom in the shallow-water zone of Baikal
for six months, and a community consisting of microorganisms, microphytobenthos, and meiobenthos devel-
oped on them. The development and activity of hydrobionts depended on the chemical composition and struc-
ture of the rock. Marble and granite plates were populated by them more selectively than amphibolite plates.
It is supposed that the biota plays an important role in destruction of rocks in the shallow-water zone of Baikal.
: bioﬁlm, microphytobenthos, meiozoobenthos, microorganisms, rock, Baikal, periphyton.