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., 36-37 (Russian), 135-136 (English).


A.V. Dimitriev*, Z.N. Plechova**, G.N. Plechov***

* The State nature reserve "Prisursky"
** Chuvash Republic Education Institute
*** Chuvash State Pedagogical Institute
Cheboksary, Russia,

The herbivorous colonial animals (which digest the first production of the food circuits) are considered to be the factor of biological variety of the main order in different landscapes. They are beavers and other colonial animals (among them birds, for example, sea-gulls' groups). Marmots' colony is a factor of biological variety in steppe and mountain biogeocenozes. We demonstrated that having taken Batyrevsky marmot colonies of the Chuvash Republic. By the research results and the literary data of the generalization we have done series of the conclusions and suggested the term marmotobiogeocenoz ( Dimitriev, Dimitriev, 1996). "Marmotobiogeocenoz" is a part of steppe, ravine or mountain biogeocenoz, where inhabit marmots, which activity changes a landscape, microsurface, microclimate, soil and biodiversity of the vegetation and animal world, creates zones of well-being and by that introduces stability and plays a significant role in evolution of these biogeocenozes. Marmotobiogeocenoz is characterized by a peculiar organized structure, hierarchy, complex and diverse food circuits, signalling system ( sound information) and by a lot of other features, which are:

1. "Acceleration" geochim of circulation of substances in connection with digging activities of marmots. Significant volumes of a ground and various mineral rocks are thrown out from a depth up to 2 meters. They are limestone, clay, soil-makers, which cover maternal rocks. They are mixed that in turn introduces geochim variety and by that involves various kinds of plants, which have ability to master waste grounds and bare places.
2. Acceleration of oxidizer-recover processes in soil. Marmots make in ground nest chambers and significant passages of the messages with a rather large diameter in various directions. These passages create good possibilities and serve good ways of penetration of organic substance and chemical elements from a soil top on a large depth. Character and the intensity of new formed processes changes also owing to marmots, that finds reflection in transformation of the water thermal mode, structure and efficiency of the vegetable surface and type of the processes, are formed peculiar marmots' digged soils (Zimina, Zlotin, 1980).

3. Increase and approach to a surface of the capillary border. Abandoned holes serve for effective reinforcement of underground horizons by rain and melted waters.

4. Enrichment of plants' type variety. On marmots' colony in difference from vicinities plants' type variety is richer and more diverse, which is created due to a digging activity of marmots, approach of a capillary border to a surface by entering into monotonous steppen landscape butanes, on which will be formed zoofitochora in understanding by Guricheva and Dimitriev (1977).

5. Enrichment of insects' type variety. In some marmots colonies in Average Asia is marked a larger number of hums than in a district (Zimina, Zlotin, 1980). Improved soil, passages of the message, change of the hydrological mode in a colony has a positive effect on the ground.

The holes, as dwelling of marmots, involve a number of insects' kinds as the availability in the holes of bedding, food rests, hair, excrement and bury of dead marmots involve the whole group of beetles, moths and other insects. Due to marmots' holes appears spreading of the insects' series nidikols (Jablokov-Khnzorjan, 1967 - according to Zimina, Zlotin, 1980). So, in the marmots' holes of Uljanovsky region are described new types of beetles for science (Dimitriev et al., 1995). The availability of street lavatories attract double-winged and series of beetles.

6. The attraction of birds to marmots' colony by reptiles and amphibians due to insects' availability.

7. Creation of an information field in marmots' colony. Mouselike and other rodents, as well small-sized birds attracts information about occurrence of danger (information field) and availability of shelters in a kind of free, abandoned, old and protective holes, as friendly attitude of marmots.

8. The attraction to marmots' colony be day-time and night predatory birds and mammals because of availability of various rodents.

9. On marmots' colony is formed peculiar parasitozenoz because of a large accumulation series of animals from various types, classes and families in colony areas. In these parasitozenozes are fleas, pincers, louses, gadfly larvases, tape and round worms and others.

In a result in marmots' colony is formed the whole stable biogeocenoz. That's why marmots not for nothing are called as landscapes' groups with clear distinguish of their surrounding activity (Zimina, Zlotin, 1980).

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