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Traditionally, the main research foci at the WSBS are:
- ecology and life cycles of fish and invertebrates;
- seasonal and long-term changes in populations and communities of the White Sea plankton and benthic organisms;
- studies of fouling communities and blue mussel aquaculture;
- studies of parasites of birds, fish and invertebrates;
- stress, aging and adaptations to the environmental factors in the White Sea organisms.
Some projects are performed in a framework of special programs of the Russian Academy of Sciences, while others are supported by national (RFBR) and international (Copernicus, INTAS) funding agencies or private companies.
Prey-predator interactions by the example of gastropod mollusk Amauropsis islandica and intertidal bivalves (Aristov)
Mechanisms of salinity and temperature adaptations in marine invertebrates (Berger)
Biological resources and productivity of the White Sea (Berger)
Distribution of particulate organic matter in the White Sea (Berger)
Larval development of bivalve mollusks (Flyachinskaya, Lezin)
3-D imaging and computer modeling of bivalve mollusks and their larvae; taxonomic database of 3D images of bivalve mollusks (Flyachinskaya, Lezin)
Morphology of the nervous system in nemertines using layer-by-layer vital modeling (Zaytseva – Zoological Institute, Flyachinskaya)
Interactions between hosts and parasites in Palaearctic coastal ecosystems: interpretation and modeling of the mussel/bird predator system. (Galaktionov, Sukhotin, Nikolaev)
Seasonal and long-term changes in composition of component populations of trematodes in the White Sea intertidal mollusks (Galaktionov, Nikolaev)
Biology and behaviour of free-living larvae (cercaria) of trematodes from the coastal ecosystems in Northern seas (Galaktionov)
Fauna and ecology of helminthes in marine birds of Palaearctic (Galaktionov)
Long-term changes in population structure and parasite dynamics of periwinkles Littorina and mussels The role of ecologically “aggressive” species in fouling communities trough the example of a sponge Halichondria panicea (Pallas, 1766) from the White Sea Mytilus (Galaktionov, Nikolaev, Kozminsky)
Allelopathic interactions between organisms in fouling communities (Khalaman, Komendantov)
The role of ecologically “aggressive” species in fouling communities trough the example of a sponge Halichondria panicea (Pallas, 1766) from the White Sea (Khalaman, Komendantov)
Longevity, reproduction and growth in an ascidian Molgula citrina (Khalaman, Komendantov, Shaposhnikova - St.Petersburg State University)
Long-term effect of some fouling organisms on the biochemical status of tissues of the mussel Mytilus edulis (Khalaman, Komendantov, Fokina, Skidchenko - Institute of Biology KRC)
Sibling species in the White Sea (Flyachinskaya, Lezin)
Capacity and resistance adaptations to salinity in marine invertebrates (Komendantov)
Formation and inheritance of shell coloration in mollusks (Kozminsky)
Long-term and seasonal succession of planktonic communities in the White Sea (Kutcheva, Usov, Martynova)
Effect of zooplankton abundance on feeding and development of herring (Clupea harengus) fry (Kutcheva)
Spatial organization and formation of blue mussels settlements, and mussel behavior (Lezin)
Microhydrodynamics, filtration and feeding in bryozoans (Shunatova, Tamberg – St.Petersburg State University,Lezin)
Mussel behaviour: movements and byssus formation (Lezin)
Pelagic ecosystems of the White Sea: Scoop-like bays as a micromodel of the White Sea (Naumov, Martynova)
Water exchange between the White Sea and Polar Ocean (Naumov)
Long-term and seasonal changes and their mechanisms in populations and communities on the soft bottom intertidal zone (Naumov, Aristov, Bijagov)
Creation and maintaining of database of benthos in the White Sea (Naumov)
Effect of trematodes metacercaria on blue mussels’ physiology and behaviour (Nikolaev, Galaktionov)
Ecological and parasitological studies of three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus L. in the White Sea (Shatskikh, Galaktionov, Lajus - St.Petersburg State University)
Metabolic rate in the course of aging in animals with asymptotic growth (Sukhotin)
Oxidative stress and antioxidants in mollusks with different longevity (Sukhotin)
Seasonal variations in growth, biochemical composition and caloric value of mussels from sub-Arctic populations (Sukhotin)
Long-term and seasonal changes in population structure of intertidal mussel populations (Sukhotin)
Population structure, growth, feeding and reproduction in key benthic fish species (sea scorpions, eel-pouts, wolffish, cod, three-spined stickleback) (Yershov).
Influence of tidal and permanent (residual) currents on the zooplankton in Chupa Inlet (the White Sea) (Usov, R. May, R. Smagin – St.Petersburg State University)
- During several years after the foundation of the biological station (1949 - 1957) the field surveys were focused in the Kandalaksha and Onega bays of the White Sea. More than 100 species were added to the list of species from the western part of the White Sea. The researchers detected the sites of commercial concentrations and spawning aggregations of herring, smelt and flatfishes and described their feeding spectra. The main fish stocks were assessed and the fisheries map of the Onega Bay was drawn.
Materials for the integrated study of the White Sea. Issue 1. 1957. (ed. Y.I. Polyansky), No.2 1963. (ed. Z.G. Palenichko).
- For 50 years since 1957 a year-round monitoring of the hydrologic parameters and plankton was carried out on the "decadal" DI station located in the mouth of the Chupa Bay. A computer database was created. The research revealed seasonal and long-term trends in major changes in hydrological parameters (temperature and salinity), species composition, indices of abundance (biomass and density) of zooplankton in general and of individual dominant species of planktonic organisms, their life cycles were studied in detail.
Berger V.Ja., Naumov A.D., Usov N.V., Zubaha M.A., Smolyar I., Tatusko R., Levitus S. 36-Years Time-Series (1963-1998) of Zooplankton, Temperature and Salinity in the White Sea. St. Petersburg-Silver Spring. 2003. 362 pđ.
Fig. 1a. Long-term changes of sea surface summer temperatures (°Ń) close to the WSBS (From: Primakov, 2004). Fig. 1b. Long-term changes of annnual average salinity (‰) close to the WSBS (by I.M. Primakov). Fig. 2. Seasonal changes in zooplankton community (From: Prygunkova, 1974).
Y-axis - Density of plankton (ind./cubic m).
- V.V. Khlebovitch (1974) developed the concept of the "critical salinity". He shown that the salinity of the external and internal environment of about 5-8 ‰ is a universal barrier, across which a number of significant features changes at different levels of biological integration. This was indicated by the distribution of the main aquatic phyla, by responses to changes in salinity of free-living and parasitic organisms, as well as individual cells, tissues and biochemical structures. The critical nature of the salinity of about 5-8 ‰ is determined by the properties of sea water and fluids of the internal environment. The concept of "critical salinity" allows to interpret some aspects of organic evolution, namely the passage of the several stages of the biopoesis in the oceans, the development of osmotic regulation and freshwater adaptations of animal reproductive traits.
Khlebovich V.V. Critical salinity of biological processes. L. 1974: Science. 236 pp.
Fig. 3. Changes of species number in the waters of different salinity (From: Khlebovich, 1962).
- Ichthyologists and parasitologists from the White Sea Biological Station conducted the long-term comprehensive study of the population structure of the White Sea herring. They showed the presence of local stocks of herring in the different parts of the White Sea, with the use of tagging, morphological analysis, indicator-species of parasites, karyological analysis and other methods.
Khlebovich V.V., Kulachkova V.G. (eds.). Biology of the White Sea herring .. L.: Nauka. 1974. 312 pp.
- The gametogenesis, sex and spawning cycles were studied in detail for 55 species of the White Sea invertebrates, belonging to 14 classes of 8 phyla. The dependence of the morphological and biochemical processes during the gametogenesis on the temperature conditions was studied. It was shown that the prevalence of fat accumulation during the vitellogenesis in the oocytes of the studied White Sea invertebrates is their adaptation to low temperature environment.
Kaufman Z.S. Peculiarities of sexual cycles of the White Sea invertebrates. L.: Nauka. 1977. 265 pp.
- V.Ya.Berger developed the idea of the two relatively independent systems of adaptation of marine molluscs to extreme and moderate changes in salinity. He showed that tolerance and resistance to salinity are determined by different mechanisms, realized at the molecular, cellular and organismal levels of organization of biological systems. The regulation the inorganic ion concentration plays important role in the cell volume regulation and osmoregulation. During the phenotypic adaptation of mollusks the intensity of RNA and protein synthesis change reversibly and the new multiple molecular forms of some enzymes emerge. Ecological and morpho-functional aspects of adaptation of mollusks to changes in salinity were identified in different ranges of the factor. The two systems of adaptation play differing role in the formation of malacofauna in the water bodies with different salinity regimes.
Berger V.Ya. Adaptations of marine molluscs to changes in environmental salinity. L.: Nauka. 1986. 214 pp.
- The typology of mussel assemblages was developed based on the study of the distribution, dynamics and structure of the mussel settlements in the White Sea. It was found that stocks of mussels in the large mussel assemblages are about 2.1 million tons Structural and functional characteristics of mussel assemblages undergo cyclic changes, in which the biomass can vary by several orders of magnitude. Most of the sparse littoral assemblages are subject to the seasonal changes due to the changes in reproduction and settlement of molluscs which are affected by the changes in temperature, salinity and other abiotic characteristics. Cyclical changes in the dense subtidal assemblages of mussels ("mussel beds") are determined by the combined effect of external and internal factors. The emergence of the assemblages is regulated by external factors, whereas its cyclical selfregulatory changes,are determined by internal factors. A predictive model of the dynamics of mussel beds is developed.
Lukanin V.V., Naumov A.D., Fedyakov V.V. Cyclical development of assemblages of Mytilus edulis L. in the White Sea. Proceedings of the USSR Academy of Sciences. 1986. P. 1274 - 1277.
- After the mass death of the seagrass Zostera in 1960, the former main spawning substrate for the White Sea herring, the spawn deposited on intertidal algae perished almost completely (95-100%). O. F. Ivanchenko (White Sea Biological station) together with the researchers from Polar Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography (PINRO) developed and successfully tested in situ the artificial spawning grounds for the White Sea herring made of nylon mesh with small mesh size. The artificial spawning grounds significantly increased the efficiency of reproduction of herring: the survival rate of eggs reached 95 - 98%. The concentration of herring larvae also significantly increased at the sites where the artificial spawning grounds were installed. Provided large-scale implementation, the method can ensure the herring stock restoration, undermined by unsustainable fishing and various natural and anthropogenic disturbances of its reproduction.
Ivanchenko O.F. Fundamentals of aquaculture of the White Sea herring. L.: "Nauka". 1983. 40 pp.
Fig. 4. Herring spawn on the artificial substrate.
- A group of researchers from the White Sea Biological Station (E.E. Kulakovskij, B. L. Kunin, O.L. Saranchova, A.A. Sukhotin, V.V. Khalaman and others) developed a biotechnology of mussel cultivation on the basis of detailed studies of the life cycle and ecology of the bivalve Mytilus edulis L. The use of the original method of "moving substrates" has made it possible to optimize the cultivation of shellfish and secure the clearing of substrates from the predatory starfishes. In the Kandalaksha Bay 32 hectares of the mussel cultivation facilities were organized in collaboration with the researches from the White Sea State Fisheries Base. The yield made up from 100 to 300 tons per hectare of aquaculture facilities after 3-4 cycle of mussel cultivation.
Kulakovskij E.E. Biological basis of mussel aquacultire in the White Sea. St. Petersburg: Zoological Institute RAS. 2000. 168 pp.
Fig. 5. Cultured blue mussels in Kandalaksha Bay of the White Sea.
- Y.A. Labas et al. developed a technique for separation of obelin the luminescent protein from hydroid Obelia longissima. The isolated protein retains the luminescence ability in the presence of the calcium ions. Obelin can be used for visualization and recording of various Ca-dependent processes in the cell because of high sensitivity to extremely low concentrations of calcium ions.
- Based on analysis of the currents, thermohaline characteristics and distribution of benthic organisms in the "funnel", in the "throat" and Mezenski Bay, the oceanographic limit of the White Sea was defined. It has the form S-shaped line stretching from the southwestern tip of the "funnel" to the middle of its eastern shore. It agrees well with the location of salinity front and divides the equal volumes of the waters of the Barents Sea and White Sea origin and the benthic fauna.
Naumov, A.D. The bivalves of the White Sea. An attempt of the eco-faunistic analysis. - SPb.: ZIN RAS, 2006. 367 c.
Fig. 6. Proportion of waters of different origin and oceanographic boundary of the White Sea.
Numbers indicate the proportion of the Barents Sea waters.
- L.P. Flyachinskaya and P.A. Lezin developed an implementation of the method of computer simulation of microscopic objects. This technique is a low-cost alternative to traditionally used in such studies as scanning microscopy. The method of computer modeling allows to create highly reliable 3D-images of the object. It is possible to use the models to carry out any measurements and manipulations. Such models can easily be used as teaching aids, illustrations to electronic identification keys and databases. The method was used in the early development studies of the pelagic larvae of the main phyla of the White Sea mollusks. The new data on the species composition of bivalve mollusks in the White Sea were obtained. Several new species not previously noted in this region were found during the analysis of larval material.
Flyachinskaya L.P., Lezin P. A. Using 3D reconstruction method in the investigations of Bivalvia larval development (by the example of Hiatella arctica L.) Proc. Zool. Inst. Russ. Acad. Sci. 2006. Vol. 310. pp. 45-50.
- V.Ya. Berger calculated the production and consumption of matter and energy at different levels of food chains in the White Sea. He showed that the herring, being the main zooplanktivorous fish, consumes during a year the amount of food, which is roughly equivalent to 1% of annual zooplankton production. Predatory epibenthic fishes during a year consume the number of benthic animals equivalent to less than 1% of macrozoobenthic production. Thus, the stocks of the White Sea fish are not limited by the production and they could be at least an order of magnitude more than at present. Consequently, the extremely low stocks and long-term catch reduction are determined by unsustainable fishing and the other anthropogenic impacts, but not by the level of sea productivity.
Berger V.Ya. On the potential productivity of the White Sea. St. Petersburg: ZIN RAS. 2007. 292 pp.
|Fig. 7. Larval shell development of Modiolus modiolus.|
The WSBS serves as a permanent expedition centre for most other departments of the Zoological Institut of Russian Academy of Sciences. Besides that, the WSBS actively maintains scientific contacts and collaborations with numerous national and foreign research institutions and universities.
Russian Research Institutions and Universities
Saint-Petersburg State University (Saint-Petersburg)
Institute of Cytology of Russian Academy of Sciences (Saint-Petersburg)
Institute of Evolutionary Physiology and Biochemistry named after I.M. Sechenov of Russian Academy of Sciences (Saint-Petersburg)
Institute of the Developmental Biology named after N.K. Koltsov of Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow)
Institute of Oceanology named after P.P. Shirshov of Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow)
Institute for Information Transmission Problems named after Kharkevitch of Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow)
Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov (Moscow)
All-Russia Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (Moscow)
Institute of Biology of Karelian Scientific Centre of Russian Academy of Sciences (Petrozavodsk)
Institute of Water Problems of Karelian Scientific Centre of Russian Academy of Sciences (Petrozavodsk)
Petrozavodsk State University (Petrozavodsk)
Petrozavodsk Institute of Education (Petrozavodsk)
Murmansk Marine Biology Institute of Kola Scientific Centre of Russian Academy of Sciences (Murmansk)
Polar Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (Murmansk)
Murmansk Marine Technical University (Murmansk)
North Department of Polar Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (Archangel’sk)
Institute of Marine Biology named after A.V. Zhirmunsky of Far East Department of Russian Academy of Sciences (Vladivostok)
Pskov State University of Education (Pskov)
Kazan’ State University (Kazan’)
Institute of Biological Problems of the North of Far East Department of Russian Academy of Sciences (Magadan)
Foreign Research Institutions and Universities
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (Bremerhaven, Germany)
Netherlands Institute of Ecology (Yerseke, The Netherlands)
University of Florence (Firenze, Italy)
University of Helsinki (Helsinki, Finland)
University of North Carolina at Charlotte (Charlotte, USA)
National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (Washington, USA)
Akvaplan-Niva AS (Tromso, Norway)
Norwegian Polar Institute (Tromso, Norway)
University of Tromso (Tromso, Norway)
University of Ulster (Northern Ireland, UK)
Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland)
University of Iceland (Keldur, Iceland)