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Multiple indicators of human impacts on the environment in the Pechora Basin, north-eastern European Russia
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2009 (English)In: Ecological Indicators, ISSN 1470-160X, E-ISSN 1872-7034, Vol. 9, no 4, 765-779 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Pechora Region (PR) has extensive natural resources supporting forestry, oil and gas industries. The objective of this integrated study was to identify if local and long range pollution and biodiversity impacts were detectable on a regional scale using multi-indicators by selecting paired sites, close to industrial/forestry activities and in 'reference' areas (remote from any industrial centers, settlements or commercial activities). Chemistry of lichens, topsoil, lake water and sediments, plus diversity of lichens, birds and aquatic indicators along with landscape analysis were measured at eight sites in the PR to assess local impacts of oil/gas and forestry operations. Furthermore, an analysis of water and sediment chemistry was made at river stations and sites within the Pechora Delta. Local areas around industrial towns of Vorkuta and Usinsk showed increased pollution and decreased biodiversity. Among remote areas, subtle changes in pollution and biodiversity were detected close to oil/gas operations on the Kolva and Ortina Rivers, indicating early signs of environmental impact. Delta analyses showed limited impacts and most other sites remained unmodified reflecting low ecological impacts. Changes in forest landscape structure over large areas were apparently too small to cause significant negative impacts on bird diversity. This was the first attempt showing how multi-indicators can be used over broad spatial scales to assess environmental impacts in the PR. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 9, no 4, 765-779 p.
Keyword [en]
Environmental chemistry, Biodiversity, Oil and gas industries, Forestry, Pechora Region, Russian Arctic
National Category
Ecology Natural Sciences Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-60400DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2008.09.008ISI: 000263395500015OAI: diva2:434699
authorCount :16Available from: 2011-08-16 Created: 2011-08-16 Last updated: 2011-08-16Bibliographically approved

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Kuhry, Peter
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Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology (INK)
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