Бюллетень Почвенного института им. В.В. Докучаева (Jul 2022)

Risk assessment of paleo-bio-contamination of landscapes resulting from permafrost degradation by the example of reindeer pastures in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)

  • T. A. Vasiliev

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 0, no. 110
pp. 148 – 166


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The possibility of ranking agro-landscape zones (using computer modeling) according to the risks of potential epizootics and epidemics associated with bio-contamination has been demonstrated. The task of agroecological land assessment cannot be conceptually solved without taking into account all forms of contamination. Bio-contamination of agricultural landscapes, both reversible (weeds) and irreversible (for example, anthrax spores Bacillus anthracis), is considered as a form of permafrost soils degradation. The melting of glaciers and permafrost thawing influenced by global warming determine a number of challenges. In particular, the climatically-driven transformation of the Pleistocene biota leads to the release of greenhouse gases, including methane, which is an order of magnitude stronger than carbon dioxide in terms of its contribution to the greenhouse effect and significantly increases the threat of accelerating warming. This paper examines the consequences of paleobiotic nature: during “thawing of tundra” pathogenic organisms, that were previously in biospheric isolation, pose a threat. It is noted that some of them retain their vital functions when emerging from cryobiosis. Such organisms are capable of causing soil bio-contamination, both reversible and irreversible, and can cause new outbreaks of repeated epizootics. It is proposed to identify and assess the risk zones of paleo-bio-contamination by the method of geometric stratification. The method allows identification and designation of the risk zones of pathogen infestation in specific geographical regions. This paper presents an assessment of such risk zones for reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) infection with a highly pathogenic anthrax causative agent (Bacillus anthracis) in relation to the administrative units (regions) of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). The zoning results obtained in this way not only characterize the existing ecological situation and create the basis for its understanding, but can also serve as a basis for the development of recommendations for competent administrative decision-making on the regulation of further use of the studied landscapes.