On the 5th of October youngsters from Burtnieki Auseklis Secondary School and Rencēni Elementary School alongside scientists from the Institute for Environmental Solutions (IES) and Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology (LIAE) will explore the world of Lake Burtnieks, by analysing its food-chain and learning how climate change can bring negative effects on lake’s ecosystem.
For sake of their own health, people should take care about the environment around them. In Burtnieki municipality the lake is one of the most valuable natural resource, however, its ecological condition has been impacted by global climate change, as well as nutrient flow from agriculture lands and households. Concerning that, in the future, these processes may not only bring negative effects on the lake’s ecology, but also on locals’ health, scientists together with Burtnieki Municipality started detailed survey of Lake Burtnieks, aiming to develop a wise lake’s management strategy. In 2015 scientists started to investigate climate change effects on Lake Burtnieks ecosystem, by analysing its food-chain. For educational purposes we wanted to give an opportunity for local youngsters to be a part of the research process.
We can say that the food-chain is lake's backbone. Its structure and health condition is majorly responsible for ecological quality of the lake. Consequently, to determine the causes of increased algae blooming or coastal overgrowing in Lake Burtnieks, as well as assess if the lake’s ecological condition can cause the harm to locals’ health, scientists carry out a detailed survey of Lake Burtnieks food-chain. There are six stages of the survey: phytoplankton (algae) and zooplankton research through microscopes; analysis of shellfish behaviour and habits; fish sampling; sample weighing and measuring; and analysis of content of fish stomachs.
As a part of the Project CyCLE, scientists will carry out research in Lake Burtnieks and the Alūksne Lake until May, 2016. Research results will be publicly available on Project website and in municipalities’ offices. The Project is supported by European Economic Area (EEA) financial mechanism and co-financed by the Institute for Environmental Solutions and Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology.
More about the project