LaboratoriesLaboratory for Soil Zoology and General Entomology \  Goals and Tasks


Headed by A.V. Tiunov, Dr. Biol. Sci.

tel. (495)-958-14-49


Professor, Corresponding Member of the RAS
B.R. Striganova

Academician M.S. Gilyarov

Office studies of the material

  • Ecology of organisms and communities
  • Biological diversity

A transect methodological approach to the study of spatial distribution of the diversity of multi-taxa soil animal communities and peculiarities of biotopic distribution of soil inhabiting invertebrates was developed. By the example of Eurasian boreal forests, zonal-province patterns of changes in structural and functional organization of soil animal communities were outlined. A monograph "The soil animal population in boreal forests of the Western-Siberian Plain" (B.R. Striganova, N.M. Poryadina, M: KMK, 2005) was published.

A concept on mechanisms of zoogenic effects on formation of soil structure components was developed on the base of quantitative estimations of animal contribution to the regulation of soil water-aerial regime (B.R. Striganova).

The key mechanisms of the influence of environment-conditioning ("engineering") activity of fossorial invertebrates on other groups of soil biota were revealed (A.V. Tiunov).

A new concept on sociability development in animal world was suggested on the basis of the idea of basic motivation in individual behavior, directed to self-preservation, host status attaining and issue reproduction.

General classification of social structures in ants was developed, and the main types of temporal and constant social structures, as well as the ways of their formation and restructuring were determined. A hierarchic principle of auto regulation mechanisms functioning was formulated. The complexity of the social structure was considered as a factor of the ant colonies resistance to anthropogenic transformation of environment. By the example of ants, it was shown that territorial behavior and dominance in the communities of social insects represent separate steps of their functional differentiation in the building of the hierarchic structure (A.A. Zakharov).

On the basis of comparative morphological and functional analysis of the wings of Coleopterans, the original theory of beetle wings evolution was grounded. In the process of evolutionary development of fliers, intensification of protective function of the anterior wing pair was balanced by strengthening of flight function of the posterior wings with the complete transition to single-motoring character of the flight. The main evolutionary factors determined the transformation of posterior wings of beetles (the appearance and development of the fold system and miniaturization of imago size) were revealed. Several general and particular schemes in wing morphogenesis were reconstructed; new interpretations of separate macrostructures of the wing, based on homologation of these structures in wide range of the Coleopterans taxa were argued (D.N. Fedorenko).

One of the main research objects

For the first time in the world practice, a complex study of the shell structure and anatomy of the main systems of organs of terrestrial pulmonate mollusks was carried out. This principle served as the base of revision of the world fauna of mollusks. The results of the studies were published in the series of 14 monographs "Treatise on recent terrestrial pulmonate mollusks" in 2002 -2006 including description of the standard species for all genera (about 2600 taxa). The original concept of the system of terrestrial pulmonary mollusks and phylogenetic scheme of the group was suggested (A.A. Shileiko).

For the first time the basic groups of Dipterans developing in the bark and wood of dying out trees were revealed for the territory of Russia. The insect communities characteristic for different stages of the bark and wood decay were established, among them 9 ecological groups of xylo- and phleobionts were revealed. The close connections with decaying wood of the most ancient groups of Dipterans and their prior role as destructors were characterized. The adaptation to the wood environment was considered as one of the trends in Dipterans adaptive evolution (N.P. Krivosheina).

The first in the world literature summary on morphology and fauna of 550 species of Dipterans, inhabitants of mushrooms of Palaearctic, including the guide tables was prepared. Taxonomical banks of the data in Internet "Capricorn beetles of the former USSR", "Capricorn beetles of Europe", "Capricorn beetles of Mongolia" were created (2000-2006) (M.A. Danilevskiy).

An estimation of taxonomic diversity of Protozoa (testate amoeba, testaceans) in soils and associated substrates in different soil-climatic zones was carried out, and more than 250 species of testaceans were revealed. Adaptive strategies of soil testaceans, as well as ecological groups of geophiles and geobionts were studied. The influence of the main factors of soil environment (humidity, soil density, humus type) on distribution and community composition was analyzed (G.A. Korganova).

The analysis of materials on leaf beetles of Vietnam collected in 1979-1985 was completed. Taxonomic revision of Asian leaf beetles at generic level was undertaken (L.N. Medvedev).

The evaluation of faunistic diversity and reconstruction of the main stages of faunogenesis in Diplopods of Palaearctic, Oriental area and Amazonia was completed. The theory of the key significance of island refuges in evolution of Amazonian and Siberian biota was supported (S.I. Golovach).

Taxonomic revision of clear-wing butterflies of the Palaearctic fauna was carried out (O.G. Gorbunov).

The hypothesis concerning the evolutionary trend of chemical changes of pheromone components in insects was outlined. On the basis of comparative analysis of sexual pheromone content in leaf-roller butterflies, it was shown, that in pheromones of relatively young species the length of carbon backbone chain tends to reduction that increases the role of trans-isomers (A.F. Safonkin).

It was established that cyclic waves of mass propagation of European pine sawfly, one of the prime pest of the pine trees, occurred on average in 11 years. The ability of this species to fall into prolonged diapause leads to the maintenance of the constant reserve of cocoons, which provides restitution of the population (T.M. Gur'yanova).