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Scientific field station at Shira lake - the place for the comprehensive scientific studies of salt lakes and for the productive research collaboration - located in the Republic of Khakasia in the central part of the Altai-Sayan Mountain in southern Siberia.


There are some 500 lakes exceeding 0.01 km 2 in this area which 390 are fresh and 110 saline. Institute of Biophysics SB RAS ( Krasnoyarsk ) initiated the scientific investigation of salt lakes in Republic of Khakasia in 1994, in which year the scientific field station at Shira lake was launched.

Shira lake located in the Shira district at the distance of 360 km from the Institute of Biophysics SB RAS. The unique aquatic resources characterize Shira district with more than 50 lakes of various sizes ranging from freshwater to hypersaline (salinity > 100g/l) located within the distance of 50 km. These lakes of different salinity, located at the short distance from each other, can be considered as a "natural laboratory" for studying a number of basic problems dealing with species biodiversity and general aquatic ecosystem functioning.


Scientific research on salt lakes of the region at scientific field station at Shira lake having short history) was very effective having been supported by INTAS Grant No. 97-0519 during 1998-2000 and by numerous grants from various Russian scientific foundations. The research was carried out in cooperation with three countries from the European Union ( Netherlands , Spain , and Switzerland ). Shira lake was the place of 8 th International Conference on Salt Lake Research (July 2002 ). The conference gathered more than 100 scientists all over the word . Organization of the conference was supported by INTAS conference monitoring grant No. 02-MO-225.

Participants of 8 th ICSLR 2002


The president of International Society for Salt Lake Research Prof. Brian Timms (Australia) and ISSLR Secretary/Treasurer Dr. Robert Jellison (USA) at the bank of lake Tus.

Our goal is to e stabli sh the Salt Lakes Ecosystem Studies and Exchange Center at Shira Lak e to provide a unique infrastructural framework to bring together leading saline lakes scientists from western countries and their counterparts from NIS states. The international contacts will allow the upgrading of expertise of the NIS institutions, reduce their scientific isolation, create a network of saline lakes experts.

The cover of the special issue "The structure and functioning of the Lake Shira ecosystem: an example of Siberian brackish water lakes" (Aquatic ecology, Vol. 36 (2), 2002)


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The development of the infrastructure of the Field station is supported by INTAS Infrastructure action (grant No. 03-59-78)
and special program of the Presidium of Siberian Branch of Russia an Academy of Sciences.

Akademgorodok 660036 Krasnoyarsk, Russia
Phone: (3912) 431579 Fax: (3912) 433400