Holarctic Marmots as a factor of Biodiversity.
Rumiantsev V.Yu;, Nikol'skii A.A. & Brandler O.V. eds.,
Abstracts, 3d Conference on Marmots (Cheboksary, Russia, 25-30 August 1997),
Moscow ABF 1997, 216p.


B.B. Badmaev

Buryatian Institute of Biology, Siberian Division of RAS, Ulan-Ude, Russia

Area of the tarbagan (Marmota sibirica Radde, 1862) is well known (Fetisov, 1936;Ognev, 1947; Nekipelov, 1950, 1978; Scalon, Bannikov, 1954, 1959; Shvetzov, 1972,1978; Letov, 1978; Bibikov et al., 1990), even for some parts - in detail. It seems better to search some general logical basises in the territorial distribution of the marmots.

The distribution of the river systems is very important among natural conditions because its relation with the plant distribution. The disribution of the tarbagan, as typical element of the mountain steppe areas (Bannikov, 1954), depends on the occurance of such steppe biotops. It is known, the south steppe plant elements reach along river systems up to more north area than according latitude law (Shennikov,1964).

According to the point of view that the radiation center of the tarbagan located in Mongolia, it seems noticeable, that the marmot dispersal in West Transbaikalia occured along waterway of the Selenga river. In the boundary of this territory tarbagans dispersed along the tributaries of the Selenga river: Djida, Chikoy and Khilok, and in north-west direction along the Uda river. The further penetration to the north of this area was obstacled by lack of the steppe biotops in the taiga zone. The subterranean conditions along the Selenga river formed from sandy soils which convenient for burrowing was accompanying for the marmot dispersal.

By the review of the tarbagan areal in South-East Transbaikalia, Tuva and Mongolia also noticeable its relation with large river systems. Most big parts of the marmot areal in South-East Transbaikalia undoubtedly related with the penetration of the species to this area along the Onon and Uldzya river systems. In Tuva the marmot dispersal apparently was occured along waterway of the Tes-Khem river (Tesyin-gol), Ubsa-nur hollow and Khemchik river. In Mongolia distribution of the tarbagan related with the following large river systems: Egyin-gol, Ider, Orkhon, Tuul, as parts of the Selenga river drainage-basin and also Kerulen, Dsavkhan, Khovd, Bulgan and etc.And, in contrary, the arid area without large river systems in the south of this country mostly is not occupied by marmots.

Thus, if we regard the hypothetical center of the tarbagan areal as situated in Mongolia,the dispersal of this species to the north area was occured along the large river systems accordingly the direction of its flow, and general areal of the tarbagan is related with the distribution of the large river systems.

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