Feoktistova N. Yu.
The main stages of the life of a prominent scientist and very interesting personality Aleksei Nikolaevich Severtsov are considered. One of the most important institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences - Institute of Ecology and Evolution - bears his name. The paper describes the main aspects of scientific, pedagogical, and organizational activities of A.N. Severtsov and the history of creating his major works. A considerable attention is given to the role of Aleksei Nikolaevich in the foundation of the Laboratory of evolutionary morphology of the USSR Academy of Sciences that has served the basis for the organization of the Institute of Animal Evolution in 1934 (the current name Institute of Ecology and Evolution). Aleksei Nikolaevich Severtsov was the first director of the newly organized Institute, and in 1936, this Institute received his name.
Manteifel Yu. B., Kiseleva E., Margolis S.E.
The laboratory experiments showed that in aggregations
The Group of behavior and behavioral ecology of terrestrial mammals uses two main approaches for its research - traditional ethological (comparative) and ecologo-behavioral. The study of species-specific features of behavior provides for the variability of the social organization of mammals, the structure of individual and social behavior and communication of some species, ontogenesis of behavior, ethological aspects of relationships between closely related species, and of the role of acoustic and olfactory signals in mechanisms of their precopulatory isolation. For this purpose, a unique collection of living mammals at the experimental station "Chernogolovka" of the Institute of Ecology and Evolution is used. The ecologo-behavioral line includes studies of spatial distribution of mammals and use of this space, reproductive systems, nutrition, variability of these parameters, and of their effects on the mammals' social behavior. This line has been elaborated on the basis of studying wolves in the Russian forest-steppe, stray dogs in Moscow, mustelids dwelling in areas near water bodies in European Russia, and different species of cheekweeds from arid region. The main methodology of ecologo-behavioral works is long-term socio-ecological investigations; one of the main methods is the historical (biographical) method. The results of ecologo-behavioral works are the basis for elaboration of measures for conservation of rare mammalian species. The latter is another line of the research of the Group. The studies of behavior and behavioral ecology encompass the most important aspects of the social organization of population groups and mechanisms of its regulation in mammals with different types of individual interaction. A new methodology for the description of social behavior of mammals was proposed, new data on biology of their social behavior were obtained. Some new concepts - mediated communication by scent marks in mammals, spatial subunits of a home range, ethological mechanisms of population homeostasis - were formulated.
Definitions, characteristics, and identification criteria of the basic social structures in ants are formulated. The ways and means 0f forming and restructuring the temporary and constant structures are described. Some problems of modern myrmecology are discussed. A general classification of social structures in ants is proposed.
Baskevich M.I., Okulova N.M., Sapel'nikov S.F., Balakirev A.E., Ryabina S.B., Malygin V.M.
The karyotypes (routine, C-, Ag-NOR-banding) and haemoglobin patterns (using express electrophoresis) in sibling-species of the common vole,
Mikheev V.N., Pavlov D.S.
The main problems and results of studies in the field of trophology in fish are considered. Trophology became an independent ecological discipline based mainly on the works of Soviet researchers in the middle of the twentieth century. The main efforts of biologists studying feeding and trophic relations in fish were focused on problems of feeding intensity, selectivity, competition for food, and efficiency of energy transfer through food chains. In the authors' opinion, an approach considered as bioenergetic at initial periods of trophological studies may have this name only on some conditions. Being the basis of fish trophology, this approach has the following weak points: (1) vague determination of a study object; (2) ignoring of individual variability of interacted organisms; (3) underestimation of learning and "non-energetic" aspects of biotic interrelationships of organisms. Another approach to fish trophology that the authors designate as ethological is related to the behavior of fish and their preys and especially, to non-lethal interactions. This approach was greatly stimulated by the studies carried out at the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution. The concept of "triotroph", regularities and mechanisms of shoaling behavior, effects of habitat heterogeneity in fish foraging behavior are the basis of empirical and theoretical studies in trophology of fish. In the framework of contemporary trophology, bioenergetic and ethological approaches are not mutually exclusive, but complementary ones.
Specific features in nutrition of herbivorous mammals as the basis of energy and material balance in animals are considered. Relationships between nutrition parameters and the state of animals and peculiarities of fodder plants are discussed. The role of food quantity and quality in the provision of animals with valuable fodder is assessed. The maximal food consumption is characterized by allometric dependence on the body size (mass). In small mammals (20 g-8 kg), the consumption of food changes is according to M°'
Paedomorphosis and neoteny represent two qualitatively different phenomena: neoteny is an adaptive modification of ontogeny, whereas paedomorphosis is its transformation in the course of evolution. A problem of genetic assimilation is discussed from the example of neoteny and paedomorphosis phenomena in different Urodela groups. Mechanisms of different types of paedomorphosis (progenesis, retrogenesis, and rudimenta-tion) differ to a great extent. The adaptive and evolutionary importance of neoteny and different types of paedomorphosis are considered. Paedomorphosis produces new combinations of some former juvenile and adult characters that may be the basis for the development of new adaptations. It may also stimulate the beginning of new cascades of macroevolutionary transformations.
Savinetsky A.B., Kiseleva N.K., Khasanov B.F.
Historical ecology, unlike palaeoecology, studies the history of recent ecosystems and their components, dynamics of their structure and functioning during long time periods. Examples of using different objects and methods for studying the long-term dynamics of recent ecosystems, as well as problems of interpreting the results obtained are considered.
Chernov Yu. I.
In communities and biotic systems, diverse phenomena that may be interpreted as a compensation for species depletion of the biota are observed. The following kinds of compensatory mechanisms that limit the species diversity under extreme conditions are considered: raising the density of species populations; expansion of ecological niches; increase in the intraspecies diversity and multidominance, i.e. the predominance of one species within a wide spectrum of communities, assemblages, and guilds; increase in a relative (share of the total fauna or flora of a natural zone, region, etc.) species richness of taxocenoses, communities, particular floras and faunas; intense microevolutionary processes, intraspecies adaptive radiation, "explosive" species formation; canalized evolution (on the background of taxonomic depletion of the biota) leading to a high degree of morphological and ecological differentiation, i.e. increase in the amplitude of species differences within genetic groups. These phenomena are suggested to be a probable factors promoting the elevated rates of evolution in ancient ecosystems and at early developmental stages of phyletic groups.
Pavlov D.S., Striganova B.R., Shishkin V.S.
The main stages of the 70-year history of the Institute are described on the background of the development of Russian biology in the twentieth century. The role of the founders of the Institute - A.N. Severtsov and I.I. Shmalgauzen is emphasized. Academician V.E. Sokolov contributes significantly to the reconstruction of this scientific center. The major lines of investigations of the Institute and its main scientific achievements that have gained native and international recognition are discussed. A notable advance in the development of evolutionary knowledge, morphology, systematics, and studies of animal behavior is shown. In the last decades, the works in different fields of ecology (conservation of biodiversity, maintenance of ecological safety, and rational use of biological resources) became topical. The main publications are presented.