Macrozoobenthos of rivers of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan


S. Aliyev*, A. Mammadov and A. Matsyura

The article deals with investigation of macrozoobenthos of some rivers of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (AR) of Azerbaijan. It is one of the regions, where the hydrographic network is dense and diversified. Historically, certain studies are conducted here in several decades of the 20th century. The first scientific information about macrozoobenthos of rivers of Nakhchivan AR was described in the works of Derzhavin (Derzhavin, 1938; 1951). Subsequent information was provided by A.V. Petrov (Petrov, 1938), O.A. Chernova (Chernova, 1938), A.V. Martynov (Martynov, 1938), A.N. Kirichenko (Kirichenko, 1938), A.H. Alizade (Alizade, 1938; 1951). The authors recorded 68 species of benthic organisms for the river fauna of the region.

In the following years, S.P. Sofiyev (Sofiyev, 1969) studied the benthic fauna of the rivers of Nakhchivan AR. He found 39 species of benthic organisms in Nakhchivanchay river, 42 species in Alinjachay river, 12 species in Gilanchay river, 20 species in Arpachay river, 18 species in Shahriyarchay river and 7 species in Darache river. The author notes that the species composition of benthic organisms dominates in 2 rivers (Nakhchivanchay and Alinjachay). The reason for the lack of species in other rivers is the high flow velocity of water in these rivers.

The most recent study of the status of benthic community, species composition and number of macrozoobenthos of the main rivers in the territory of Nakhchivan AR was realized by us during years of 2018-2019. During the investigation, 134 species of benthic organisms belonging to 18 taxonomical groups were recorded. Among these species, 102 were water invertebrates. The biomass of benthic organisms in different rivers varied within 0.20-6.62 g/m2, while their densities ranged between 99 and 1205 individuals/m2.

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