|Subtidal Investigations in Amursky Bay
According to the APN project schedule, Russian team conducted
field-works in the Razdolnaya (Suifun) River mouth and adjacent
areas of Amursky Bay. On the first stage, on June 6-13, 2005, a
research expedition into the mouth area of the Razdolnaya River
took place. A small research vessel "Professor Nasonov" was used
to take samples of sediments, water, benthic invertebrate
organisms, phyto- and zooplankton in accordance with the program
developed by researchers from the Institute of Marine Biology
FEB RAS. The main objective of the program was to study the
influence of the Razdolnaya River runoff on the estuarine
ecosystem. The research team consisted of 11 specialists from
the Institute of Marine Biology and the Far Eastern Regional
Hydrometeorological Research Institute, including 3 junior
researchers, and 2 students from Far East State Technical
University of Fisheries.
A map shows sampling sites in the mouth area of the
Razdolnaya River. Water and phytoplankton samples were taken at
a depth of 0 to 18 m using 5-liter batometers, and sea water
temperature was measured. Quantitative samples of macrobenthos
were collected with van-Veen grab (0.05 m2) and scuba-diver’s
core samplers, and microbenthic infauna was taken with 20 ml
plastic syringes. 5-cm surface bottom sediments were sampled for
chemical analysis. Zooplankton was collected with a Juday net.
Sea water samples were analyzed to determine the following
parameters: - Salinity; - Density; - pH; - dissolved oxygen; -
concentrations of nutrients (phosphates, nitrites, nitrates, and
Sediment samples were analyzed to determine the following
parameters: - granulometric composition; - concentration of
organic carbon; - concentrations of pollutants (phenols, oil
hydrocarbons, organochlorine pesticides DDT and
hexachlorocyclohexane, and heavy metals Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Pb, Cr,
Ni, Co, Cd).
Qualitative and quantitative analysis of macrobenthic and
microbenthic infauna will be performed in order to study their
diversity, biomass, abundance, and the species structure of
Qualitative and quantitative analysis of phyto- and
zooplankton will be performed in order to study species
composition and density.
Comparison of results with available literature data will
allow us to make conclusions as to how the Razdolnaya River
runoff affects the estuarine ecosystem and to predict long-term
changes in the state of biota and environment in the area
Schematic map showing sampling sites in the mouth area of the
Razdolnaya River. The next kinds of work have been done: 1-
water samples were taken for hydrological and hydrochemical
analysis; 2 - zooplankton was sampled; 3 - phytoplankton was
sampled; 4 - additional samples of ostracodes were taken; 5 -
asterisks denote monitoring stations of the State System Control
where bottom sediments and benthos were sampled for comparison
of available long-term data; 6 - sediment samples for
determination of granulometric composition and pollutant
contents and micro- and macrobenthos samples were taken.
|Intertidal Collecting in Amursky Bay
Intertidal group of the Amursky Bay expedition worked in
estuarine zone of the bay from August 16 to September 21, 2005.
In the tidal zone, 15 hydrobiological sections were made, 51
quantitative and about 20 qualitative samples of macrobenthos,
and 49 quantitative samples of meiobenthos were collected. In
Amursky Bay, the following areas were examined: Ugolny Cape,
Tikhaya Lagoon, Tavrichansky Estuary in the area of Rechnoy
Cape, Rechnoy Cape, Deviaty Val, De-Freez Peninsula, five points
in Uglovoy Bight, the area of railway stations Vesenniaya,
Okeanskaya, and Chaika (see the map). The following parameters
were estimated on the studied area during the period of work:
salinity in the range from 1‰ (Tikhaya Lagoon) to 29‰
(Tavrichanka Coast), water temperature from 16ºC (Ugolny Cape,
September 21) to 30ºC (Tikhaya Lagoon, August 22). The collected
material is treated by specialists in various taxonomic groups.
At present, 11 Bivalvia species, 10 Gastropoda, 7 Decapoda
species, 5 Polychaeta species, 4 Isopoda species, 2 Cirripedia
species and 2 Pisces species have been identified. The found
benthic species are typical for low-boreal region of the
Far-Eastern seas of Russia.
The map of intertidal collecting sites in Amursky Bay.
From July 6 to 26 a group of specialists of the Institute of
Marine Biology went on an expedition on the R/V "Professor
Gagarinsky". They explored: the shallow-water Amur River
estuary, the Tatar Strait of the Sea of Japan, and Sakhalin Bay
of the Sea of Okhotsk. The expedition’s main task was to make
comprehensive analysis of the present state of the Sea of Japan
and Sea of Okhotsk coastal marine ecosystems locating in the
areas subject to the Amur River run-off.
Over the last several years environmental situation in the Amur
River catchment-basin has been critical as a result of an
uncontrolled and inappropriate nature management, mainly in
China and Russia. This situation initiated new ecological
problems in the region and aggravated the existing ones.
There are biogeochemical barriers on a boundary between a river
and a sea. These zones are known as marginal filters. A whole
range of processes take place here: river flow slows down, big
fractions of suspended materials settle out, clay particles
coagulate, river and sea water mix and dilute each other,
substances interact physically and chemically (flocculation and
coagulation of organic substances and metals, sorption and
desorption), and biological processes intensify. All these
processes are exposed to the effects of climatic and
anthropogenic changes in a river run-off. They also depend on
density structure of water and on hydrodynamic conditions.
Dynamics and correlations between different barriers make a
paramount impact on marine ecosystems functioning.
Taking into consideration that the anthropogenic effect on the
Amur River ecosystem has increased and the environment changed
owing to diminution of water discharge in the river-bed, it
seems reasonable to try to estimate the ability of the Amur
River estuary to make changes in the Amur River run-off, as well
as the estuary’s influence on the adjacent sea waters.
In this connection the expedition faced the tasks:
To investigate the spatial variability of hydrological
and hydrochemical parameters in the zones where river and sea
water mix: the Amur River, Amur River estuary, Sakhalin Bay of
the Sea of Okhotsk, and the Tatar Strait of the Sea of Japan.
To study the peculiarities of the distribution of biogenic
elements (mineral forms of phosphorous, ammonia and nitrate
nitrogen, silicon and calcium) in areas with different
hydrological conditions. An amount of chlorophyll a in the water
surface layer was adopted as an index of productivity in the
To determine species composition, density
(cells/liter), and biomass (mg/m3) of phyto- and
zooplankton in the investigated areas.
To study quantitative and qualitative characteristics of
To collect samples of suspended materials from the water
surface layer for the purpose of determining its amount and
chemical composition. This enables us to draw conclusions on the
removal of various substances with the river run-off, on the
intensity of sedimentation and production processes, as well as
to make assessment of possible anthropogenic effect.
To make granulometric and chemical analysis of all types of
grounds and bottom sediments to determine pathways of transport
of matter discharged by the river and possible anthropogenic
effect on different water areas.
To evaluate the effect of economical activity in the Amur
River catchment-basin on the concentration and distribution of
dissolved and suspended forms of metals (Pb, Cd, Cu, Zn, Fe, Mn,
Ni) in the adjacent sea waters.
To determine the peculiarities of microelement composition of
water surface layer plankton in connection with the kinds and
concentration of metals in the environment.
Research Manager of the project: the Academician Kasyanov, V.L.,
Director of the IMB, FEB RAS; the Leader of the Expedition:
Nekrasov, D.A., Cand.Sc. (Biol.), Researcher of the IMB.
The expedition was organized in cooperation and with
A group of researchers from the Pacific Oceanological
Institute, FEB RAS, who conducted investigations of hydrological
characteristics of the terrigenous run-off and evaluated its
effect on the Far Eastern seas ecosystems, and
A group of researchers from the Pacific Institute of
Geography, FEB RAS, who studied the biogeochemical
transformations of heavy metals in the coastal waters.
The Executives-In-Charge and the main participants of the
project: Shulkin, V.M., Cand.Sc. (Geog.), Head of the Laboratory
of the PIG, and Zhabin, I.A., Cand.Sc. (Geol.-Min.), Senior
Researcher of the POI.
The research staff of the expedition comprised 8 members of the
Institute of Marine Biology, 5 members of the Pacific
Oceanological Institute and 2 members of the Pacific Institute
of Geography - 15 people in all, including 5 Candidates of
Hydrological, hydrochemical, geochemical, and
hydrobiological work was made in the open-sea areas and in
coastal zones. The researchers of the expedition were divided
into three groups.
A group of hydrology and hydrochemistry made
physical mensuration of water mass and collection of water
samples for the purpose of evaluation hydrological and
hydrochemical characteristics of marine environment in the areas
studied. A geochemical group collected water and bottom sediment
samples to study them and to analyze heavy metal concentrations
in the ship and institute laboratories. The group also evaluated
the range of suspended materials sedimentation.
A hydrobiological group collected benthic fauna
samples from the board using dredgers and drags. SCUBA-divers
carried out sampling of sea flora and fauna in coastal water
areas. They collected water samples at different depths using
bathometers, and fixed the samples to make qualitative and
quantitative analysis of phytoplankton. They also carried out
sampling of mero- and zooplankton with plankton nets. All the
collected materials were sorted out and analyzed in the ship
laboratory. The researchers made observations of sea mammals,
The information obtained in course of the
1) Main physical and chemical characteristics of
marine ecosystems in the areas adjacent to the estuaries of big
2) Data on the species composition, number,
biomass and distribution of pelagic and benthic communities of
marine organisms in relation to climatic and oceanological
3) Evaluation of the effect of the Amur River
run-off on biological communities;
4) Data on the connection between the
biodiversity of coastal flora and fauna and intensity and
character of the river run-off and anthropogenic effect;
5) Data on the biota reaction to the terrigenous
run-off and contaminants, transported by the river run-off.
The expedition worked in the southern part of
Sakhalin Bay (Sea of Okhotsk), in the Amur River estuary, the
Tatar Strait and in the areas adjacent to the estuaries of the
Tumnin and Koppi Rivers (Sea of Japan). The total length of rout
was 1937 nautical miles. The voyage duration was 21 days.
36 sea stations for combined research to a depth
of 30 m and 3 river stations were carried out. Water samples
were collected at these stations to further determine the
concentrations of dissolved and suspended forms of metals. 40
profiles of temperature and salinity were obtained. 107 water
samples including river water samples from the Amur, Tumnin and
Koppi Rivers were analyzed to assess the amount of biogenic
elements. 118 marine water samples were analyzed to determine
carbonate parameters (pH, alkalinity), and equal number of
samples were preserved for further analysis in the laboratories
on shore to estimate calcium, magnesium, humic substances, and
chlorophyll a concentrations.
More than 100 samples of macrobenthos, 99
quantitative and 34 qualitative samples of meiobenthos were
collected. 35 bottom sediment samples were collected to
determine granulometric composition of grounds, and equal number
of samples was collected to determine the amount of organic
substances and to evaluate the ratio of carbon C12/C13 stable
isotopes. 98 bathometric, 37 plankton net and 30 bottom samples
of phytoplankton, as well as 104 samples of zooplankton were
collected and mounted for further analysis.
Diving equipment, dredgers, automatic hydrologic
probes, bathometers, plankton nets, meiobenthos drag, cold
stores, binocular microscopes, personal computers, VHF radio
stations, appliances for chemical analysis, chemicals,
laboratory glassware, as well as an outboard motorboat and life
saving equipment were in the disposal of the expedition.
All kinds of work were done in accordance with
generally adopted methods.
The information obtained as a result of the
expedition will make it possible to understand the spatial
variability of hydrochemical, hydrological and hydrobiological
parameters, processes of destruction and production of organic
matter in the zone where river and sea water mix in the Amur
River estuary, as well as in the adjacent water areas of the Sea
of Okhotsk (Sakhalin Bay) and the Sea of Japan (Tatar Strait).
Reconnaissance work was done in the estuaries of the Tumnin and
Koppi Rivers, which are the largest rivers in the south of
Khabarovsky Krai flowing into the Sea of Japan.
The material results of the expedition are: the
preserved benthic and plankton samples, electron tables and
notes in a research log-book. Data obtained will be worked up
and realized as a scientific report and scientific publications
in authoritative Russian and foreign journals.
All the scheduled programs of the expedition
were performed. The unique hydrological, hydrochemical and
hydrobiological information was collected on the effect of the
Amur River run-off on the adjacent waters of the Sea of Okhotsk
and Sea of Japan in relation to natural and anthropogenic
environmental factors and climatic changes.