Comprehensive assessment of the river Sochi ecological status using the bioindication methods

N.K. Gudkova, T.L. Gorbunova

Branch of Institute of Natural and Technical Systems in Sochi, 99/18 Kurortny Ave., Sochi, RF

E-mail: ,

DOI: 10.33075/2220-5861-2018-3-101-109

UDC 574.633


   River Sochi is one of the most important resort town water reservoirs and carries strategic significance as a  technical and potable water source, fishery and cultural and recreational object.  Annually river Sochi carries out to the Black sea 600 mln. m3 of water and significant amount of sediments. The samples for hydro-biological analysis, based on assessment of the river macroinvertibrates species composition were collected from October 2016 to October 2017, and treated accordingly to the  Guidance on surface waters and bottom sediments hydro-biological analysis methods.

   According to anthropogenic pressure level, the river Sochi valley had been conditionally subdivided on 4 areas: Area 1 is a river upper flow, located within the borders of specially protected territory with minimal anthropogenic pressure; area 2 is a middle flow of the river, where the specially protected territories fragments are located and main pressure proceeds from private houses and agricultural subdivisions; 3 area of the river – where the numerous recreational-tourism objects are located as well as the town water supplying facilities; area 4 –mouth of the river,  experiencing maximal anthropogenic pressure.

   According to Illies’ definition, the river Sochi is a typical ritral waterway. The river upper flow biotops are not explored sufficiently.  The biotops of the second and third river areas, representing its middle flow, are characterized as euritral, and the biotops of the mouth zone of the fourth area belong to hyporitral complex.  According to sabrobic index (1.55), area 2 of the river Sochi  is insignificantly  contaminated, Woodivis index value (7.8) attributes this area to the clean ones, and the QMCI value (6,1) indicates the borderline state between good and satisfactory condition of the environment quality. On the area 3 average annual values of saprobic index and QMCI index (2.12 and 5.5 respectively) correspond to moderate pollution level (β- mesosaprobic zone) with satisfactory quality of the environment. An average annual Woodivis index (7) characterizes it as a clean one. In the river mouth (Area 4) the average annual values of saprobic (2.41) and Woodivis (5.3), describe this river area as moderately polluted, corresponding to β- mesosaprobic zone, and average annual QMCI index (4,7) places it as a non-satisfactory. All the biotic indices show their worst values in August, when the river is extremely de-watered, and the pressure on it is maximal due to the resort season peak.

   Resulting the conducted research, it is determined that ecological condition of the river Sochi is declining from its upper flow to mouth, not only under impact of polluted discharge, but also resulting from intensive water intake, leading to shallowing of the river and increasing its water temperature during the period of low water. Basing on the research, recommendations on the river environment quality  monitoring organisation were presented for each area of the waterway. The authors consider it to be necessary to continue the study of the environmental situation of the Sochi river, paying special attention to the insufficiently studied areas of its upper flow, using integrated biological methods of environmental quality assessment.

Keywords: exogenous geological processes, anthropogenic pressure, bioindicators, biotic index, biotope.

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