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Intentional introduction of Artemia sinica (Anostraca) in the high-altitude Tibetan lake Dangxiong Co: the new population and consequences for the environment and for humans

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An Erratum to this article was published on 01 January 2016

Abstract

The imbalance between supply and demand of Artemia cysts in China and around the world is increasing now. Salt lakes in Tibet may contribute to the solution of the problem. In Northern Tibet there are 26 saline lakes whose salinity and temperature may support Artemia survival at an altitude of 4 000–5 100 m. We found Artemia in 15 of these lakes. The saline lakes with Artemia populations mainly belong to the shallow basin lakes, and the majority of these lakes are small in area. The total area of lakes without Artemia is more than 1 000 km2. Lake Dangxiong Co (Co means lake in Tibet) was chosen for the intentional introduction of Artemia sinica. In 2004, 850 g of A. sinica cysts, originating from Qinghai, were introduced in the lake. Surveys in 2006–2014 showed that the average abundance of Artemia adults in the lake gradually increased from 20 ind./m3 in 2006 to 1950 ind./m3 in 2013. We assume that two subpopulations of A. sinica, separated by depth, may exist in the lake. The new Artemia population caused an increase in the number of species of phytoplankton and heterotrophic protozoa with a decrease of their total abundance. Water transparency also increased. Dominance in phytoplankton passed from cyanobacteria to diatoms. Changes occurred not only in the lake ecosystem; the number of water birds using the lakes also dramatically increased. Preliminary calculations showed that is it possible to harvest at least about 150 t cysts per year from the lake as well as 3.2 thousand tons of frozen or 350 t of dried biomass of adult Artemia.

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Correspondence to Nickolai Shadrin.

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Jia, Q., Anufriieva, E., Liu, X. et al. Intentional introduction of Artemia sinica (Anostraca) in the high-altitude Tibetan lake Dangxiong Co: the new population and consequences for the environment and for humans. Chin. J. Ocean. Limnol. 33, 1451–1460 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00343-015-4371-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00343-015-4371-8

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