Effect of Salinity on Biodiversity

As salt concentration increases, however, biodiversity and species richness tends to decrease. At highest salinities, therefore, food webs become simplified. In highly saline Lake Nakuru, Kenya (TDS 10.0-120.0 g l_1), for example, the food web consists of a top predator (the lesser flamingo - Phoeniconaias minor), one cyanobacterial species (Oscillatoria spp.), two zooplankton species (one copepod and one rotifer) and one introduced fish species. Salinity in the Chany Lake complex of Siberia ranges from 0.8 g l_1, where two rivers enter the lake, to 6.5 g l_1 at the point furthest from the river mouths. Along the same salinity gradient the number of aquatic vascular plant species declined from 16 to 12, phytoplankton species from 98 to 52 and zooplankton from 61 to 16.

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