Institut für Biologie der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg


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Erforschung biologischer Ressourcen der Mongolei (2012) band 12: 275-286.


Copyright 2012, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle Wittenberg, Halle (Saale). Used by permission.


While investigating the branchiopod fauna of Mongolia, the uniformity of these crustacean communities through a multitude of different ecological conditions is conspicuous.

We sampled branchiopods in 24 sites through Central- and East-Mongolia, as living animals as well as cysts in soil samples. These sites represent the main types of Mongolia’s vegetation- and ecological-zones: Taiga forests in the western and eastern edge of the Khentey-Mountain ridge, the central and eastern steppe regions, and the Gobi-desert in the south.

In this large amount of differing ecological conditions with a changing human impact, compared to the width of the covered area, we found a relatively uniform structure of “large branchiopod” communities. The main type of Branchiopod assemblies were a community formed by up to four different species (Branchipodopsis affinis, Triops numidicus, Eocyzicus davidi, Lynceus dauricus), which represent the four main groups within the “large branchiopods” (Anostraca, Notostraca, Spinicaudata, Laevicaudata).

Exemplary for this “Mongolian standard Branchiopod Community” we investigated several waterponds, inhabited by these Branchiopods at Khonin Nuga – Research station in the western Khentey Mountains to study the population’s development and living conditions.

The short life span of those ephemeral puddles only allows the occurrence of short-living and fast developing species. Thus, only one generation of large branchiopods inhabits one aqueous phase at any given time. After the large branchiopods have completed their life cycle, Daphnia dominates.