Doğu Fen Bilimleri Dergisi, vol.3, no.1, pp.1-8, 2020 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)
Soda lakes are alkaline ecosystems with high pH (9.0 -12.0). These ecosystems harbor considerably diverse microbial populations because of their unusual geochemistry. Lake Van, the largest soda lake on Earth, is located in the highlands of eastern Anatolia, Turkey. This lake differs from the other soda lakes with distinct hydrochemistry of its water. Studies on microbial communities of soda lakes have been increasing all over the world because of ecological and economic importance. Heavy metals are micro-pollutants and their accumulation threatens especially aquatic systems. Bacterial communities are quite sensitive towards the environmental changes. It is important to learn the effect of heavy metal stress on bacterial communities of Lake Van. Cadmium, copper and zinc were used to evaluate the changes of bacterial population. This study demonstrated that parallel results were observed in the samples obtained from two different regions of the lake. The number of bacteria that can be cultured in Lake Van sediment was found as 10 6 CFU/g and cadmium was the most toxic heavy metal in both regions.