Lake Hövsgöl , one of the large ancient lakes of Asia is located in northern Mongolia south of the Eastern Sayan mountain chain that forms the border between Mongolia and the Russian Federation. Its basin represents the southern boundary of the Baikal Rift System and though not as old, it is a sister lake to Lake Baikal in that both are ancient lakes formed by tectonic activity. Hövsgöl is estimated to be at least five million years old. Though the diversity of the plant and animal groups is not high and the level of endemism does not approach that of Lake Baikal, it has a unique flora and fauna. New paleolimnology studies just beginning are likely to provide a great deal of information on the Pleistocene history of the Lake and the surrounding area that should help to explain the lake’s low biodiversity, despite a high regional terrestrial biodiversity.

It is Mongolia’s largest freshwater lake and classed as the 16th largest naturally formed lake in the world by water volume. It contains 60% of the freshwater of Mongolia and is a constant source of clean freshwater flowing to the Selenge River through its outflow Egiin gol. The Selenge River is the major river entering Lake Baikal.

It has been an interesting object for many research activities in the past 30 plus years. The most extensive study of the Lake began in 1972 with a 25 year long joint expedition with scientists from Irkutsk, Russia initiated by Michael Kozhov, and carried on by Olga Kozhova, and scientists from the Mongolian National University and the Mongolian Academy of Sciences. Numerous scientific papers were published as a result of the research studies, culminating in the publication of the Atlas of Lake Hövsgöl , but most of these papers were published in Russian or Mongolian language and in regional, rather than international journals. The papers have not been generally available in western libraries.

Nevertheless, many of the scientific results are available describing several new species of plants and animals from the Lake and the region, and describing in detail the climate, geology, geography and ecology of the Lake and its watershed.

Recent research efforts are the result of joint Mongolian, American, Russian and Japanese research expeditions that have resulted in the discovery and description of many more new species, with more to be described. Research activities are beginning to attract new joint research studies with scientists from all over the world. This book may be regarded as the culmination of the most recent phase of research activity and invitation for future ones.

The Mongolian Academy of Sciences is particularly interested in maintaining the area as a crucial international research site supporting ecosystem studies and the interactions and impacts of climate change and nomadic pastoral use. The climate, the watersheds, and the lake water are being monitored for potential change and negative impacts. Monitoring of the lake’s water is particularly important because, e.g., phosphorus content is very high in the dolomite limestone geology of much of the basin and could cause serious lake eutrophication if the phosphorus were to be recycled and remain available in the lake water to support plant growth. Thus far this has not become a serious problem because phosphorus is quickly removed by adsorption onto precipitating carbonate particles that are quickly deposited in the lake sediments, forming widespread “marlâ€? deposits. Watershed disturbances could cause an increase in pH and reduced dissolved oxygen near the sediments, largely a result of summertime algal growths and their decomposition, the recycling of phosphorus could be increased, and this could then lead to eutrophication of the Lake.

Lake Hövsgöl is becoming an important research site for Mongolian and for international scientists. It is:
• The first site of the Mongolian International Long Term Ecological Research (ILTER) network
• The site of a Global Environment Facility study of Climate Change and Nomadic Pastoral use impacts on the regional biodiversity and on permafrost thaw
• Because it lies at the southern boundary of the vast Siberian Boreal or Taiga Forest and its transition to the steppe, Hövsgöl is an important monitoring site for the impacts of global climate change on forest and steppe
• The region also represents the southern boundary of continuous permafrost and therefore it is an international monitoring site for the study of changes in permafrost temperature and change in active layer depths.

An international team formed of scholars from many countries such as USA, Russia, Japan, Taiwan and others along with their Mongolian colleagues are working there making this truly international and interdisciplinary project a wonderful excitement and experience of discoveries. The Mongolian Academy of Sciences has been anxious to encourage this English publication. We have also been very encouraged by the training of new young researchers associated with the program and their training to study and help protect all of Mongolia’s natural habitats and unique biodiversity, including the Lake and its importance as a water resource for Mongolia. A lead role has been played by Prof. C. Goulden of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences who deserves our deep appreciation.

Finally I would like to thank all those involved in the research activities for their contributions to our better understanding of the Lake and the global change occurring in the region.

T. Galbaatar
Senior Vice President
Mongolian Academy of Sciences
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia



Conventions: Bazartseren Boldgiv
Authors’ addresses

Part 1. Geology and Climate

Chapter 1: The geological history and geography of Lake Hövsgöl , Mongolia
Goulden, C.E., O. Tumurtogoo, E. Karabanov
and A. Mongontsetseg

Chapter 2: Late Cenozoic history of the Hövsgöl Area
Krivonogov, S.K

Chapter 3: Permafrost and permafrost thaw in Mongolia
Tumurbaatar, B. and R. Mijiddorj

Chapter 4: Geocryological conditions of the Hövsgöl Mountain Region
Sharkhuu, N

Chapter 5: Climate of the Hövsgöl Lake region
Namkhaijantsan, G

Chapter 6: Recent rise in water level at Lake Hövsgöl in Mongolia
Kumagai, M., J. Urabe, C.E. Goulden, N. Soninkhishig,
D. Hadbaatar, S. Tsujimura, Y. Hayami, T. Sekino and M. Maruo

Chapter 7: Soils of the Lake Hövsgöl Area and its watershed
Batkhishig, O

Part 2. Physics and Chemistry of the Water

Chapter 8. Review of some physical processes in Lake Hövsgöl
Hayami, Y., M. Kumagai, M. Maruo, T. Sekino, S. Tsujimura and J. Urabe

Part 3. Biodiversity

Chapter 9: Landcover mapping of Hövsgöl National Park
Hession, W.C., C. Cianfrani and C.E. Goulden

Chapter 10: Phytoplankton of Lake Hövsgöl
Kozhova, O.M. and G.I. Kobanova

Chapter 11: The diatom (Bacillariophyceae) flora of Lake Hövsgöl National Park,
Edlund, M.B., N. Soninkhishig and E.F. Stoermer

Chapter 12: Zooplankton of Lake Hövsgöl
Pomazkova, G.I. and N.G. Sheveleva

Chapter 13: Gammaridae of Lake Hövsgöl
Safronov, G.P

Chapter 14: Ostracoda of Lake Hövsgöl , Mongolia
Mazepova, G.F

Chapter 15: On gastropod mollusks from Lake Hövsgöl
Sitnikova, T., C.E. Goulden and D. Robinson

Chapter 16: Fauna of bivalvia in Lake Hövsgöl
Slugina, Z.V

Chapter 17: Fauna of bottom invertebrates of Lake Hövsgöl , Mongolia
Erbaeva, E.A. and O.M. Kozhova

Chapter 18: The diversity and distribution of crane flies (Diptera: Tipuloidea)
in the Hövsgöl Lake watershed, northern Mongolia
Gelhaus, J. and S. Podenas

Chapter 19: Trichoptera of Mongolia, with emphasis on the Hövsgöl drainage fauna
Morse, J.C., N.A. Rozhkova, A.L. Prather,
T.S. Vshivkova and S.C. Harris

Chapter 20: A study of the long-horned wood-boring beetle fauna
(Coleoptera, Cerambycidae) around the shoreline of Lake Hövsgöl
Namkhaidorj, B

Chapter 21: Fish parasites of Hövsgöl Lake
Rusinek, O.T. and E.V. Rusinek

Chapter 22: Fish fauna of Lake Hövsgöl and Selenga River in comparison with
ichthyofauna of Lake Baikal
Sideleva, V.G

Part 4. Ecology

Chapter 23: Characteristics of an autotrophic chain of Lake Hövsgöl (Mongolia)
Kozhova, O.M., L.R. Izmeste’va and G.I. Kobanova

Chapter 24: Some biological and chemical characteristics of Lake Hövsgöl
Urabe, J., T. Sekino, Y. Hayami, M. Maruo, S. Tsujimura,
M. Kumagai, B. Boldgiv and C.E. Goulden

Chapter 25: Distribution of zoobenthos in Lake Hövsgöl
Erbaeva, E.A. and G.P. Safronov

Chapter 26: Distribution of Chironomidae (Diptera) in Lake Hövsgöl , Mongolia
Hayford, B. and L.C. Ferrington, Jr

Chapter 27: Structure of populations of hydrophilous birds of Lake Hövsgöl
Podkovyrov, V.A., I.I. Tupitsyn, S.V. Pyzhyanov and N.G. Skryabin

Chapter 28: Birds of Lake Hövsgöl and adjoining territories
Sumiya, D

Appendix: Species in the Lake and watershed

I. A list of Rotifera described from Lake Hövsgöl
Jersabek, C

II. Aquatic plants of Lake Hövsgöl
Jamsran, Ts

Subject Index
Taxonomic Index