The (re)birth of Lake Karla, Greece
Department of Ichthyology and Acquatic Environment, University of Thessaly
This study focused on the investigation of planktic microorganisms during the first year of Lake Karla’s reconstruction, Greece. This lake was dried up in 1962 and the refilling of ca. 1/3 of its initial surface area started in late 2009. The planktic microorganisms are able to respond quickly to the prevailing environmental conditions of an ecosystem.
By combining light and electron microscopy for the identification and quantification of cyanobacteria and microscopic eukaryotes with their molecular identification, the most important groups of cyanobacteria, microalgae, protists and fungi were identified. During the first year of the lake’s reconstruction, its plankton is dominated by potentially toxic cyanobacteria which occurred in each month. Amongst the microalgae, some are considered typical of highly eutrophic ecosystems. Finally, some of the found microscopic eukaryotes are either parasitic or toxic to other aquatic organisms.
The described planktic communities are rather unstable and are shaped by the quality of the inflowing water from the nearby Pinios River. Since the environmental conditions in the lake are constantly varying, the ongoing monitoring of the lake’s plankton is required in order to detect whether the prevailing ecological quality of the lake is improved.
Website created as a result of the project:
sites.google.com/site/lakekarla/ (in Greek)
Konstantinos Kormas, Associate Professor, Department of Ichthyology and Acquatic Environment, University of Thessaly
Maria Moustaka-Gouni, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Ifigeneia Kagalou, Assistant Professor, Department of Ichthyology and Acquatic Environment, University of Thessaly
Panagiotis Berillis, Lecturer, Department of Ichthyology and Acquatic Environment, University of Thessaly
Hera Karayanni, Lecturer, Department of Biological Applications and Technology, University of Ioannina