«Problems of Desert Development» Features Scientific Articles on Nature Management

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«Problems of Desert Development» Features Scientific Articles on Nature Management


« Problems of Desert Development», an international scientific and practical journal, published by the National Institute of Deserts, Flora and Fauna of the State Committee of Turkmenistan for Environmental Protection and Land Resources, focuses on scientific research results and development of desert lands in Turkmenistan and beyond. Its sections contain scholarly and informative articles on research in the fields of geography, geomorphology, hydrogeology, hydrology, climate change, flora and fauna, water, land, energy and mineral resources. Among the central themes regularly addressed by the periodical are aspects of livestock farming development and improvement of forage supplies through planting in arid areas, land reclamation, survival adaptions of animals and life of people in desert environments. Most articles published in the journal are accompanied by themed photographs.

The region is now tackling issues of water conservation, wastewater reduction and minimization of contamination in wastewater. Along with the Turkmen Lake project, scientists continue working in the field of drainage water treatment and its reuse in various sectors of the economy, — says M. Belova from the Institute of Architecture and Construction in her article. Membrane-based water treatment methods, such as reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration and nanofiltration are becoming increasingly widespread today. They have a wide range of practical applications. The article reveals that these highly efficient methods (coupled with cost-effective and compact equipment) are used for treating about 25 percent of the world’s industrial water. Specialists of the International University of Oil and Gas — Professor Kh. Evjanov and O. Begmyradova released results of the research into de-acidification of wastewater at iodine and bromine production facilities.

An article by A. Bushmakin, a faculty member of Magtymguly Turkmen State University, talks about the formation process of the Koytendag’s karst caves, their microclimatic characterization, and mineral-formation processes in the depths of these underground caverns. The scientist presents the findings of Russian speleologist and mineralogist V. Maltsev. The author identifies several mineralogical types of karst caves in the Koytendag — calcite, gypsum-stalagmite, and calcite-aragonite-magnesium.

The current issue of the journal also intensely focuses on the latest advances in the field of desert development. For instance, a team of scientists from the Institute of Biology and Medicinal Plants (the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan) and Turkmen Agricultural Institute (the city of Dashoguz) releases research results on the impact of organic and mineral fertilizers on the physical and biological properties of cotton crops and yields in saline soils. Another article discusses scientists’ efforts to monitor ecological changes in deserts, to afforest sands, as well as to expand economic activities in desert areas.

The journal also contains an informative article on a new EBS soil stabilizer that has been tested under laboratory conditions in Turkmenistan. Specialists of the National Institute of Deserts, Flora and Fauna highlight in their article, that the technology will be employed with particular emphasis on ecological safety. There is also information about solar energy resources in the Karakum Desert and a new environmentally-friendly type of fertilizer — a water suspension enriched with well-balanced natural minerals for agricultural crops grown in artificial soils.

The section «Short Reports» features an article by geologist G. Ataeva, a member of the Mary Hydrogeological Expedition (Turkmengeology State Concern), who concentrates on the study of fresh underwater, including the ancient groundwater basin nearby the Murgab River. R. Nazarova from the Herbarium Fund of Turkmenistan and A. Ataev, a specialist of the National Institute of Deserts, Flora and Fauna, offer a set of recommendations on enhanced productivity of the Turkmen juniper. Turkmen botanist A. Pavlenko informs about new areas where a flower of rare beauty, Corydalis Kamelinii, is found in the Kopetdag.

A series of articles is devoted to the Karakum Desert: the bounties of nature, unique flora and fauna of one of the greatest deserts in the world and wildlife conservation. Geobotanists of the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan O. Rakhmanova and M. Sakhatova explore early-flowering annual and perennial desert plant species. E. Ataeva, an employee of the Botanical Garden, writes about the Kopetdag’s plant diversity. Zoologists from the Institute of Deserts present an overview on insects living in termite nests in the Kopetdag Valley.

In his scientific publication paleontologist A. Nigarov tells about the relict natural monument of Turkmenistan, Gyaurli, in Balkan velayat. Illustrated with photographs, the article looks at the 2.5 million-year-old Akchagyl sediments (from the name of the ancient Akchagyl Sea) formed in the marine environment. The sediments have retained fossils of hollow-horned ruminants, predators, camels and birds. In the latter half of the last century, scientists I. Dubrovo (Russia) and A. Nigarov (Turkmenistan) proposed a hypothesis, suggesting that the Turkmen camel, arvan, is indigenous to Turkmenistan that is our country is the native habitat of the dromedary. The age of the fossils offers proof to this theory. Aman Nigarov emphasizes that the petrified remains of camels were unknown in Eurasia. A total of 150 animal fossils were found in the Kopetdag’s western ridges. Some of the limestone rocks with petrified animals are located vertically in hard-to-access places and scientists had to give up the idea of transporting their fragments. The Akchagyl strata were discovered for the first time on the Krasnovodsk Peninsula in 1887; on the whole, they are widely found in our country. Apart from fossil minerals, scientists find in them bones of plants and animals of the period.

The section «The Aral Sea and its problems» centers on practical steps taken by Central Asian countries alleviate the impact of the socio-economic crisis in the Aral Sea region.

Elena Dolgova

With the electronic version of the magazine «Problems of Desert Development» can be found at this link

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