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Flora and fauna of Imandra lake

Imandra is a real subarctic lake located in the center of the Kola peninsula. But its location in cold northern longitudes does not imply that there is no fish in the lake. Imandra’s fisheries comprise of 14 species: char, whitefish, lake trout and arctic salmon, vendace, pike, freshwater cod, lake smelt, nine-spined tickleback, minnow, orfe, lake herring, perch and flounder. It is quite big amount as on the enire Kola Peninsula there are twenty eight species.

Flora and fauna of Imandra lake

The last glaciation of the northern Europe has strong impact on tertiary fauna. Part of it ddisspeared, others- migrate to the south. So animal distribution that were not impacted by catastrophic changes of the nature took place under cold arctic seas free of glacier. Close neighbouring to Scandinavia region had significant influence on fauna structure, geographic and zoological belonging of specific groups that can get accustomed to such cold areas. Age of today’s lake inhabitants is about 10 thousand years.

Main factors of original water fauna formation of the Kola peninsula and Imandra Lake in particular, are the following: late glacial retreat from potential habitat, scanty biogenes, low development of bottom sedimentation or its absence and unfavorable environment reaction. Here typical species for northern zone and cosmopolites prevail. There are no stenophagous and vermins in Imandra waters as they feed by special food and they can’t survive under lack of food.

Local water is inhabited by polyphagia, primarily by types that can stop their life cycle at any stage. This biological specific nature is characteristic of most of invertebrates of the northern area. Adaptation of animals to existence on the edge of life and death with peculiar aspects of the northern lake – low temperature, short vegetation period, feed deficit - slows down metamorphosis development. Therefore, the same species that live in the southern latitudes are different from northern ones. The latter has more prolonged life cycle (2-3 years) and low productivity but more sensitive to insignificant improvements of environmental state for reproduction and completing all cycles. Of all migrating groups those groups still remain who has loyal food spectrum and high ability of ecological-physiological adaptation to various ecotopes.

Fisheries have been formed during postglacial period when representatives of Baltic zoogeographical area got in this water entity. Up to 1960s its volume exceeded 5 thousand hundredweight per year. Main species for fishing both amateur and at industrial scale are lake herring, salmon trout, white fish, vendace and lake smelt.

Limnological studies in Imandra lake started in 1930s. It revealed abundant flora for such a northern lake. It is represented by unicellular algae that included in benthic and planktonic groups of aquatic life. Long-years studies of Imandra lake gave possibility to reveal many species of diatomic algae. Approximate number of species and types revelaed is 270 in plankton and 230 at sea crust (benthosperiphyton).

Life of aquatic ingabitants in the late waters is stipulated by subarctic aspect, local ecological situation, complicated geological structure being impacted by glacial period. At the lake bottom and in its waters there are fish (nektons) and various invertebrates. All groups are presented by several tens of species: entomostracans, infusoria, roundworms, rotifers and maggots (zooplankton). Such groups of invertebrates as mollusc, aquatic mites, leech, roundworms and other (zoobenthos) are typical inhabitants of continental water entities. There are small amount of it in Imandra. It is peculiar of all water entities of the Artctic and Subarctic.

Severe climate of this area, little warming of water during summer season and short ice-free period, relatively small level of peat in soils do not prevent flora and fauna to plant and inhabit Imandra subarctic water areas. In lake waters white fish, salmon, vendace, char and pike can be found. Therefore, use of spinning, fishing tackle or other one can fish both in lake and lake shore and from boat. Besides, the area strikes by fascinating nature and beautiful landscape. In summer water surface of Imandra is clear. The only thing that can disturb fishermen is a lake bottom covered by numerous sunken logs as the most of lake shore is covered by unthick pine forest. In this tundra forest there are wild animals as martens, hares, wolverines, wolves, brown bears, elks, northern reindeers. During autumn period there is abundant amount of berries that can be an excellent compliment to successful fishing.

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