, Volume 541, Issue 1, pp 189–203 | Cite as

Biological and ecological features of saline lakes in northern Tibet, China

  • Zhao Wen
  • Zheng Mian-ping
  • Xu Xian-zhong
  • Liu Xi-Fang
  • Guo Gan-lin
  • He Zhi-hui
Primary Research Paper


In May and July 2001, the biological and ecological features of 22 salt lakes in northern Tibet , China, were investigated.Their salinity ranged from 1 to 390 g l−1. One hundred and thirty two samples were collected. Ninty five taxa of phytoplankton and 42 taxa of zooplankton were recorded. The dominant cation was sodium, with magnesium generally sub-dominant; CO 3 2− was the dominant anion in low salinity, chloride was the dominant anion with increasing salinity. Major species were Gloeothece linearis, Oscillatoria tenuis, Chroococcus minutus (blue-green algae); Navicula spp, Cymbella pusilla, Diatoma elongatum(diatoms); Dunaliella salina, Chlorella vulgarisand Ulothrix tenerrima (green algae). Major zooplankton included: Vorticella campanula, Epistylis daphniae (Protista); Keratella quadrata, Brachionus plicatilis (Rotifera); Artemiaspp. (Anostraca); Daphniopsis tibetana (Cladocera); Cletocamptus dertersiand Cyclops vicinus (Copepoda). Ten species were recorded in hypersaline waters; apart from those metioned above, they included CyclidiumsppLitonotus fasciola, Euplotes terricola, Strombilidium viride, Brachionus variabilis, Colurella adriatica, Keratella cochlearis, Colurella adriatica, and Cyclops sp. Seven taxa of benthic macroinvertebrates are recorded, represented by Cyprissp. (Ostracoda), Gammarus sp. (Amphipoda), Radixsp. and Hippeutis sp. (Mollusca); chiroonomids Tendipus group salinarius (Diptera), Nematoda, Trochophora and Ephrdra sp. At present, there are fishes only in Bangong Co., and no fishes recorded in other salt lakes. The total number of plankton species has a significantly negative correlation with the salinity, and decreased with increasing altitude, but not significant.


biological resources species composition diversity index environmental factors northern Tibetan saline lakes 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abatzopoulos, T., Bo Zhang, J., Sorgeloos, P. 1998Artemia tibetiana: preliminary characterization of a new Artemia species found in Tibet (People’s Republic of China)International Study on Artemia. LIX. Int. International Journal of Salt Lake Research74144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alonso, M. 1990Anostraca, Cladocera, Copepoda of Spanish saline lakesHydrobiologia197221231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bayly, I. A. E. 1972Salinity tolerance and osmotic behaviour of animal in athalasic saline and marine hypersaline watersAnnual Review of Ecology and Systematics3223268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beadle, L.C. 1981The Inland Waters of Tropical Africa2LangmanLondon and New York212Google Scholar
  5. Belk, D., Brtek, J. 1997Supplement to ‘Checklist of the Anostraca’Hydrobiologia359243245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cai, Y. N. 1988A new species of brine shrimp (Artemia sinica)Artemia Newsletter104041Google Scholar
  7. Comin, F. I., Alonso, M. 1988Spanish salt lakes: their chemistry and biotaHydrobiologia158237245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Colburn, E. A. 1988Factors influencing species diversity in saline water of Death Valley, USAHydrobiologia158215226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Day, J. R.,  et al. 1989Estuarine EcologyJohn Wiley & SonsNew York232Google Scholar
  10. Du, Y. 1985BiostatisticsHigh Education PressBeijing380(In Chinese)Google Scholar
  11. Ehrlich A., Dor F. (1985). Photosynthetic microorganisms of the Gavish Sabkha. Ecological Studies, 53, Hypersaline Ecosystems: The Gavish Sabkha. In: Friedman G.M., Krumbein W.E. (eds) Spinger-verlay, Berlin: 296–321 pp.Google Scholar
  12. Fott, B., 1971. Algenkunde. VEB Gustav Ficher Verlag, 475pp.Google Scholar
  13. Geddes, M. C., Deckker, P., Williams, W. D., Morton, D. W., Topping, M. 1981On the chemistry and biota of some saline lakes in Western AustraliaHydrobiologia82201222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Goulden C.E. (1968). The systematics and evolution of the Moinidae.Transaction of the American Philosophical Society held at Philadalphia, New Series 58(part 6): 1–101.Google Scholar
  15. Green, J., Mengestou, S. 1991Specific diversity and community structure of Rotifera in a salinity series of Ethiopia inland watersHydrobiologia20995106Google Scholar
  16. Gong, X.J. 1983Rotifera of Tibetan PlateauJiang X., Zh eds. Aquatic Invertebrates of the Tibetan Plateau. Series of the Scientific Expedition to Qinghai-Xizang plateauAcademia SinicaBeijing492(In Chinese)Google Scholar
  17. Hammer, U. T., Shamess, J. S., Hayness, R. C. 1983The distribution and abundance of algae in saline lakes of Saskatchewan, CanadaHydrobiologia105126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hammer, U. T., 1986. Saline Lake Ecosystem of the World. Junk, Dordrecht. 330pp.Google Scholar
  19. Hammer, U. T., Sheard, J. S., Kranabetter, J. 1990Distribution and abundance of littoral benthic fauna in Canadian prairie saline lakesHydrobiologia197173192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Huang, X. F., Chen, W. M., Cai, Q. M. 1999Survey, Observation and Analysis of Lake EcologyStandards Press of ChinaBeijing247(In Chinese)Google Scholar
  21. He Zh., H., Xie, Z., Lei, Y. 1981Studies on the hydrochemistry and hydrobiologia of Da-Li LakeActa Hydrobiologia Sinica7341357(In Chinese)Google Scholar
  22. He Zh., H., Qin, J., Wang, H., Wang, Z.H., Xia, X. 1989Studies on the saline and hypersaline zooplankton from Jinnan and Yinchuan regionsActa Hydrobiologia Sinica132438(In Chinese)Google Scholar
  23. He Zh., H., Qin, K. J., Wang, Y., Zhao, W. 1993Biological resources in inland saline water from Southern Shanxi, ChinaPart I Lake Xiao hi. Journal of Dalian Fisheries University8116(In Chinese)Google Scholar
  24. He Zh., H., Qin K., J., Wang, Y., Zhao, W. 1994Biological resources in inland saline water from Southern Shanxi, ChinaPart II. Lake Bei Mentan. Journal of Dalian Fisheries University9116(In Chinese)Google Scholar
  25. Hu, H.J., Wei, Y.X. 1981The characteristics of the green algal flora of Xizang and the unheaval of the plateau in relation to certain endemic speciesAnon,  eds. Geological and Ecological Studies of Qing-Xiang Plateau. Proceedings of Symposium on Qinghai-Xizang (Tibet) Plateau(Beijing, China)Science Press Beijing & Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, Inc.NYGoogle Scholar
  26. Jakher, G. R., Bhargava, S. C., Sinha, R. K. 1990Comparative limnology of Sambhar and Didwana lakes (Rajasthan, N.W. India)Hydrobiologia197245256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Jiang X., Zh., Shen, Y.F., Gong, X.J. 1983Aquatic Invertebrates of the Tibetan Plateau. Series of the Scientific Expedition to Qinghai-Xizang plateauAcademia SinicaBeijing452(In Chinese)Google Scholar
  28. Kost W. 1978. Rotatoria, volum 2. Berlin, 500pp.Google Scholar
  29. Lei Y., Zh., Dong, S. L., Shen, C. G. 1985Study on the toxicity of carbonate-alkaline to fishesJournal of Fisheries of China9171183(In Chinese)Google Scholar
  30. Lloyd, M., Zar, J. H., Karr, J. R. 1968On the calculation of information theoretical measures of diversityAmerican Midland Naturalist79257272Google Scholar
  31. Ma, Zh. 1995Preliminary studies on algae in salt pans and saline lakes of Northern ChinaOceanologia et Limnologia Sinica26317322(In Chinese)Google Scholar
  32. Ren, M. L., Quo, Y., Wang, J. L., Su, R., Li, H., Ren, B. 1996Survey of Artemia Ecology and Resources in Inland Salt Lakes in Northwest ChinaHeilongjiang Science and Technology PressHarbin260(In Chinese)Google Scholar
  33. Remane, A., Schlieper, C. 1971Biology of Brackish WaterSchweitzeerbartscheStuttgart268Google Scholar
  34. Servant-Vilday, S., Roux, M. 1990Multivariate analysis of diatoms and water chemistry in Bolivian saline lakesHydrobiologia197267290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Shi, W. L. 1981On the adaptability of some Chinese fishes to the carbonate brackish water of Da-Li LakeActa Hydrobiologia Sinica7359369(In Chinese)Google Scholar
  36. Stephens, D. W. 1990Changes in lake level, salinity and the biological community of Greate Salt Lake (Utah, USA), 1847–1987Hydrobiologia197139196Google Scholar
  37. Shen, J. R.,  et al. 1979Fuuna Sinica: Crustacea (Freshwater Copepoda)Science PressBeijing450(In Chinese)Google Scholar
  38. Shen, Y. 1983Protozoa of Tibetan PlateauJiang X., Zh. eds. Aquatic Invertebrates of the Tibetan Plateau. Series of the Scientific Expedition to Qinghai-Xizang plateauAcademia SinicaBeijing452(In Chinese)Google Scholar
  39. Wang, J. J. 1977Protozoa from some districts of Tibetan PlateauArta Zoologica Sinica23131150(In Chinese)Google Scholar
  40. Williams, W. D. 1964A contribution to lake typology in Victoria, Australia, VerhInternational Verein Limnology15158163Google Scholar
  41. Williams, W. D. 1981The limnology of saline lakes in Western VictoriaHydrobiologia82233359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Williams, W. D. 1983Life in Inland WatersBlackwell Scientific PublicationsMelbourne252Google Scholar
  43. Williams, W. D. 1991aChinese and Mongolian saline lakes: a limnological overviewHydrobiologia2103966Google Scholar
  44. Williams, W. D. 1991bComments on the so-caled salt lakes of GreenlandHydrobiologia197257266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Williams, W. D., Boulton, A. J., Taaffe, R. G. 1990Salinity as a determinant of salt lake fauna: a question of scaleHydrobiologia197257266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Westphal, A., Muhlpfordt, H. 1976ProtozoaBlackicGlasggow and London325Google Scholar
  47. Wood, R. B., Talling, J. E. 1988Chemical and algal relationships in a salinity series of Ethiopian inland watersHydrobiologia1582967CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Wu, Y. F.,  et al. 1989The fishes in Qing-Zang PlateauScience PressBeijing599(In Chinese)Google Scholar
  49. Yu, S., Tang, Y. 1981The hydrochemical characteristics of the saline lakes on the Qinghai-Xizang PlateauOceanologia et Limnologia Sinica12498511(In Chinese)Google Scholar
  50. Zhao, W. 1991A review of the Cladocera in inland saline watersJournal of Dalian Fisheries University63141(In Chinese)Google Scholar
  51. Zhao, W. 1992Studies on the phytoplankton from inland saline waters in Northern ChinaJournal of Dalian Fisheries University74964(In Chinese)Google Scholar
  52. Zhao, W., He Zh., H. 1993Rotifera from inland saline waters in northern ChinaJournal of Dalian Fisheries University82031(In Chinese)Google Scholar
  53. Zhao, W., Sun Zh., H., Huang, Q.,  et al. 1993Studies on the plankton from inland saline waters in northwestern Jilin, ChinaJournal of Jilin Agricultural University15657684, (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  54. Zhao, W., He Zh., H. 1995Protozoa from inland saline waters in Northern ChinaActa Hydrobiologia Sinica19193202(In Chineses)Google Scholar
  55. Zhao, W., Jiang, H., He Zh., H. 1996Planktonic Crustaceans of inland saline waters in Sanbei Disdricts, Northern ChinaJournal of Dalian Fisheries University11113(In Chinese)Google Scholar
  56. Zhao W., He Zh. H. 1999. Biological and ecological features of inland saline waters in North Hebei, China, China. International Journal of Salt Lake Research (8): 267–285.Google Scholar
  57. Zhao, W., Wang, Q. H., Zheng, M. P.,  et al. 2002A preliminary study on the biology of Daphniopsis tibetana SarsJournal of Dalian Fisheries University17209204(In Chinese)Google Scholar
  58. Zheng, M. P., Xiang, J., Wei, X. J., Zheng, Y. 1989Saline Lakes on the Qinghai-Xizang(Tibet) PlateauBejing Scientific and Technical Publishing HouseBeijing431(In Chinese)Google Scholar
  59. Zheng M.P. 1995. On “Sline Lakes Agriculture”. Acta Geoscientic Sinica (4): 404–418 (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  60. Zhu, H. H., Chen, J. Y. 2000Bacillarophyta of the Xizang PlateauSciece PressBeijing353(In Chinese)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhao Wen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zheng Mian-ping
    • 2
  • Xu Xian-zhong
    • 1
  • Liu Xi-Fang
    • 2
  • Guo Gan-lin
    • 1
  • He Zhi-hui
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Life Sciences and BiotechnologyDalian Fisheries UniversityDalianChina
  2. 2.R & D Center of Saline Lake and EpithermalDepartment of Chinese Academy of Geological SciencesBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations