The most important achievements of the Institute for the years 2014-2018 were:
For the first time in world practice, methodological bases have been developed to determine the reference biological components and, accordingly, of a complex system of diagnostics, control and forecasting of the ecological status and biodiversity of aquatic ecosystems, which can be formed as a new scientific and technological area - "Bioindication hydroecology". This work is based on the factual material of many years of basic research of hydro-ecosystems of different types, first of all, in the Dnipro and Danube basins.
Based on a multilevel systematic approach, it was first demonstrated that biological indicators for monitoring the effects of global climate change could be both individual indicator species sensitive to changes in the aquatic environment and structural and functional characteristics of major biotic communities of different types of ecosystems. The different in scale and duration climatic changes lead to an increase in the species richness of invasive species of hydrobionts and their role in hydroecosystems. The significant inhibition of production processes in primary producers under abnormally high temperatures was revealed.
The features of ecological and physiological adaptation of invasive and native species of fish and invertebrates to the influence of abiotic factors of the aquatic environment have been established. The differentiation of adaptation mechanisms in different hydrobionts - representatives of the Ponto-Caspian faunal complex is revealed. It has been shown that pre-adaptation of hydrobionts (bivalves and crustaceans) increases their resistance to the stress effects of temperature, salinity and toxicants. Invasive fish species with high adaptive capacity have significant phenotypic variability in physiological and biochemical characteristics and morphometric parameters, depending on their conditions of existence.
For the first time, a new conceptual model for the functioning of rivers of different types has been proposed and the main flows of matter and energy have been quantified including plankton flow, drift and ascending migrations of invertebrates and fish. For small plain and mountain rivers, a balance has been calculated and schemes of biotic flows of matter and energy of ecosystem elements have been constructed taking into account the groups of different trophic levels. The diet and dynamics of nutrition of mass fish species and the role of these processes in the overall energy balance were investigated. The positive role of floodplains as refugiums for the conservation of biodiversity in river systems for plankton and phytophilous fauna communities has been investigated.
For the first time, a system of integrated radioecological monitoring of reservoirs was developed and tested, which included determination of radionuclide distribution in major components of aquatic ecosystems, assessment of absorbed dose rate, and analysis of cytogenetic and somatic effects of chronic radiation exposure on aquatic biota. The bioindication characteristics of higher aquatic plants, mollusks and fishes, as objects of environmental monitoring in radionuclide-contaminated reservoirs, are proposed.