Evaluation of sedimentation role of DREISSENA molluscs' population in the process of water quality control in Kakhovka Main Channel (Kherson Region)

  • D. V. Lukashov
  • L. K. Khokhlova
Keywords: amelioration and irrigation systems, bivalve molluscs, sedimentation, heavy metals


Ukraine has a unique natural resources potential and is one of the world's richest agricultural countries in terms of soil composition and land bioproductivity. More than 2/5 of its agricultural land is located within the steppe zone – a zone of unstable and insufficient humidification. The production of agricultural products under arid conditions largely depends on solving the problem of agricultural land artificial irrigation. Due to this, since the 1960s large-scale construction of amelioration facilities took place in Southern Ukraine, including construction of the Kakhovka Reservoir and the Kakhovka Irrigation System, the largest one in Europe. The quality of water intended for irrigation depends on a water source and internal physicochemical/biological processes observed in the amelioration system. The attached bivalve molluscs present an important biotic component of hydrotechnical amelioration systems. They form dense settlements on solid artificial substrates and are usually considered as a source of biological barriers that should be constantly fought against. However, their filtration and sedimentation role can exert influence on the processes of water self-purification. The study aims at evaluating the role of filtering molluscs fouling process when it comes to treatment of irrigation water from suspensions and removal of some heavy metals from the water column. The research is based on the results of field analysis of deposits sedimentation processes in the water column with the help of sedimentation traps at 5 stations along Kakhovka Main Channel. It was found that the total biomass of settlements of attached bivalve molluscs Dreissena polymorpha and Dreissena bugensis that are present in the channel constitutes about 370 – 463 tons and they contribute to precipitation of 11.6 – 27.5 tons of suspended matter to the bottom sediments during summer months. This process is manifested in a decrease of suspended matter concentration in the water along the channel. Together with suspended matter 1.8 – 3.9 kg of Cr, 0.3 – 0.6 kg of Ni, 0.09 – 0.24 kg of Co, 0.08 – 0.18 kg of Pb, 0.088 – 0,144 kg of Cd also join the bottom sediments every month. Thus, the settlements of molluscs attached to the hydraulic structures can be considered as biological amelioration agents contributing to the improvement of irrigation water quality.


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How to Cite
Lukashov, D. V., & Khokhlova, L. K. (2021). Evaluation of sedimentation role of DREISSENA molluscs’ population in the process of water quality control in Kakhovka Main Channel (Kherson Region). Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Journal, (27), 76-85. https://doi.org/10.31481/uhmj.27.2021.08
Environmental Aspects of Nature Management