Journal of General Biology

Volume 62 (2001). Number 4

(Indexed in "Current Contents")

V.R.Dolnik. Allometry of egg mass, egg laying size and total mass in dinosaurs: comparison with modern reptiles and birds

A.T.Terekhin, E.V.Budilova. Evolution of life cycle: models based on optimization of energy distribution

I.V.Zmitrovich. On the problem of higher fungi origin: Florideae hypothesis

V.V.Kravchenko, A.B.Medvinsky, G.R.Ivanitsky. Chemoattractants of Dictyostelium discoideum (Protozoa: Sarcomastigophora, Eumycetozoa)

I.V.Lukash. The application of the generalized golden sections raw to study of brachiopod and clam shells

I.B.Kucherov, A.T.Zaghidullina. Self-recovery of plant communities: examples, mechanisms and approaches for description

L.A.Kutikova. Phenomenon of obligate parthenogenesis in rotifers (Rotifera, Bdelloida)

K.F.Khmelev, M.A.Berezutsky. State and tendencies in development of floras of man-transformed ecosystems

A.N.Reshetnikov. Influence of introduced fish Perccottus glenii (Odontobutidae, Pisces) on amphibians in small waterbodies of Moscow region

Scientific discussion

I.Ya.Pavlinov. Conception of systematics and conception of biodiversity: the problem of interaction


K.G.Mikhailov. On the book of I.G.Emel'yanov "Variety and its role in functional stability and ecosystem evolution"


Allometry of egg mass, egg laying size and total mass in dinosaurs: comparison with modern reptiles and birds

Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Science, Universitetskaya nab. 1, St.-Petersburg 199034, Russia

The author presents for the first time empirical allometrical equations corresponding the mass of dinosaurs with the mass of their eggs, egg laying size and its total mass. Comparison of these equations with those that were proposed for modern taxa of reptiles and birds shows that dinosaurs can be characterized by intermediate value of allometry index.

K.F.Khmelev, M.A.Berezutsky

State and tendencies in development of floras of man-transformed ecosystems

Voronezh State University, Universitetskaya pl. 1, Voronezh, Russia

Basing on published data, authors estimate the current state and tendencies in the development of man-transformed floras. Special attention is given to the flora of cities and such man-transformed habitats, as open-cast mines, dumps, hydrotechnical constructions and railway embankments. Floras of man-made forests and plant communities of cultivated lands were also analyzed. Structure of urbanized landscapes are considered as the aggregates of man-transformed landscapes with fragments of natural vegetation. Floras of urbanized areas are characterized by high species diversity, inconsistency of species composition and diminishing influence of natural vegetation characteristic for particulate zone. Species variety and structure of floras of man-transformed habitats depend on specificity of substrate, geographical latitude, neighboring natural communities and intensity of technical plants exploitation. In the floras of railway embankments species of 10 main families are more abundant then those in natural ecosystems of the same latitude. Floras of man-made forests are characterized by very high species diversity, this type of habitats plays the main compensating role. Analysis of segetal floras reveals the replacement of oligotrophic weed by eutrophic and the increase in diversity of Poaceae species.

V.V.Kravchenko, A.B.Medvinsky, G.R.Ivanitsky

Chemoattractants of Dictyostelium discoideum (Protozoa: Sarcomastigophora, Eumycetozoa)

Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Biophyiscs, Russian Academy of Science, Putstcino, Moscow region 142292, Russia

The authors summarize data on interaction of protozoan Dictyostelium discoideum with folia acid and cyclic adenozinmonophosphate as chemoattractants. These substances play role of antagonists in the life cycle of Dictyostelium discoideum: one disperses cells in space and another gathers them into groups forming an organism. Analysis of interaction between Dictyostelium discoideum and environment allows to reveal that Dictyosteliceae has unique mechanism of adaptation to the shortage of feeding resource forming of multicellular organism with functional differentiation of cells. This mechanism could be found at different hierarchical levels of living organisms.

Self-recovery of plant communities: examples, mechanisms and approaches for description

I.B.Kucherov, A.T.Zaghidullina

Komarov Botanical Institute, Russian Academy of Science, Prof. Popov ul. 2, St.-Petersburg 197376, Russia

Autogenic (self-recovering) plant communities that need no transitional stages of succession for their recovery after damage, are widespread in different areas of the Globe. They are typical for tundras, but also common in boreal forests, alpine belts, deserts and Mediterranean biomes. Such communities usually dominate in landscape. The authors examine in details the communities of cottongrass (Eriophorum vaginatum) wet tussock tundras of North-Eastern Asia and Alaska, the dryad (Dryas punctata) lichen dry patchy tundras of the same region and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) lichen-feathermoss forests on fluvial-glacial deposits of Fennoscandia and Russian Plain. Although authogenic plant communities are serial, they exist side by side with proper edaphic variants of climaxes but don't appear to be replaced by the latter, being even more stable. Moreover, they even seem to "compete" for the space with the climax communities. Stabilization of autogenic communities is primarily induced by the impact of abiotic disturbances factors, like periodic fires, permafrost action or scree sliding, and afterwards maintained by several mechanisms of community structure organization. Such mechanisms of self-recovery act at the levels of both plant population and community as a whole. Specific adaptations of dominant species to typical kinds of disturbance (at a scale of either the community, or its local parts) illustrate the first level, whereas close co-adaptations between dominants and accompanying species refer to the second one. Such co-adaptations are present as complementarity of plant life strategies and growth forms within a community and/or as a shifting-mosaic steady state which leads to quick recovery of local disturbances. Among different possible approaches to simulation of community autogenesis those of combinatorial simulation seem to be especially perspective.


Phenomenon of obligate parthenogenesis in rotifers (Rotifera, Bdelloida)

Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Science, St.-Petersburg 199034, Russia

A comparative analysis of biological and morphological organization of obligate parthenogenous bdelloids and heterogonic monogononts allows to clarify the specificity of bdelloids' environmental adaptation and variability. It is shown that phenotypic polymorphism of bdelloids differs from that of monogononts. The heterogonic Monogononta are characterized by tremendous phenotypic diversity in body structure adopted to different biotopes in continental waters. This diversity is reflected also in structure of corona and mastax used as major criteria for definition of high range taxa (classes, orders). The polymorphism of bdelloids manifests itself in variability of tiny morphological structures connected with living in restricted volumes waters, mainly in terrestrial biotopes. Being isolated from other Rotifera at the first stages of evolution, bdelloids have been specialized for living under extremely unstable terrestrial conditions that led to the development of anhydrobiosis and loss of amphimixis. Variability of bdelloids is not connected with characters of high taxonomic ranks and has principally different nature in comparison with monogononts. Tempo of specialization seems to be slower in obligate parthenogenous rotifers than in heterogonic ones.

The application of the generalized golden sections raw to study of brachiopod and clam shells


Dept. of Invertebrate Zoology, Biological Faculty, M.V.Lomonosov Moscow State University, Vorob'evy Gory, Moscow 119899, Russia

Symmetry of shells of clams (Veneridae: Katelysia, Venus, Periglypta; Fimbriidae: Corbis fimbriata) and brachioipods (Cancrinella undata, Echinoconhus punctatus, Reticulatia inflatiformis and Neophricodothyris waageni) was studied geometrically with spiral symmetry and connected mathematical methods (complex proportions and Fibonacci numbers). Location regularity of the elements of concentrical sculpture connected with shell growth is interpreted as unrolling of logarithmic spiral in the process of growth. Correlations of radius of sculpture circles were studied with the raw of generalized golden sections of V.I.Korobko and G.N.Primak. The discovered regularities of circles location being similar to some peculiarities of phyllotaxis are governed by the rules of the raw of generalized golden sections. Possible biological interpretation of revealed mathematical regularities of growth could be the following: two spiral folds allow to keep correspondence between the increase in mass of growing animals and the increase in intensity of water drawing by ciliate apparatus.

Concepts of taxonomy and concepts of biodiversity: a problem of interaction


Zoological Museum of Moscow M.V.Lomonosov State University, Bol.Nikitskaya ul. 6, Moscow 103009, Russia


There is, or there should be, an interaction between concepts of taxonomy and biodiversity. On the one hand, taxonomy develops some general and particular classificatory paradigms, which own diversity is to be taken into account to understand the nature of variety of natural kinds. On the other hand, analysis of the properties of biodiversity may put forward nontrivial problems for taxonomy that cannot be deduced directly from its own statements. From the point view of taxonomy, it is argued that the current concept of biodiversity based entirely on the species concept is deeply rooted in reductionistic view of nature. It is outdated epistemologically and should be replaced by the modern taxonomic concept of the hierarchical phylogenetic pattern. Operationally, the latter presumes a possibility for each species to be assigned a certain "phylogenetic weight", according to its phylogenetic uniqueness. From the point view of biodiversity, it is argued that the global biodiversity is a three component entity, as it includes, in addition to phylogenetic and ecological hierarchies, a biomorphic hierarchy, as well. This calls for taxonomy to elaborate the general principles of classification of biomorphs.

Influence of introduced fish Perccottus glenii (Eleotridae) on amphibians in small waterbodies of Moscow region


A.N.Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Leninskyi prospekt33, Moscow 117071, Russia


Monitoring of 28 small waterbodies was carried out since 1994 in the region of reserve "Ozero Glubokoe" (Moscow region, Russia). It was revealed that species diversity as well as abundance of larval amphibians correlate negatively with presence of introduced rotan Perccottus glenii (Eleotridae). Newts (Triturus cristatus, T.vulgaris) and frogs (Rana temporaria, R.arvalis, R.lessonae) as a rule are not capable to breed in waterbodies colonised by rotan in contrast to toads (Bufo bufo) that breed successfully. Larvae of toads are comparatively lesser eatable for rotan and are able to complete their metamorphosis. Persistence of amphibians to predation of rotan decreases in the row: B.bufo, R.temporaria, R.arvalis, R.lessonae, T.vulgaris, T.cristatus. The Crested newt (T.cristatus) is the most endangered species and could extinct next years.

A.T.Terekhin, E.V.Budilova

Evolution of life cycle: models based on optimization of energy distribution

Biological Faculty, M.V.Lomonosov Moscow State University, Vorob'evy Gory, Moscow 119899, Russia

The authors analyze the history of optimization approach in evolutionary ecology and present their own results on determination of growth and ageing of an organism. The main problem of evolutionary optimization is formulated in terms of mathematical model of optimal control as detection of optimal sharing of energy resources between main requirements of an organism: growth, reproduction, feeding, protection against unfavorable environment and reparation. Reproductive success of an organism is considered as the criteria of optimum. Optimization approach allows to explain some empirical data connected with life cycle, for example asymptotical deceleration of growth (law of Bertalanffi) and rapid increase in mortality (law of Gompertz) with age, human sex dimorphism of the age of puberty, body size and lifetime.

On the problem of higher fungi origin: Florideae hypothesis


V.L.Komarov Botanical Institute, Russian Academy of Science, Prof. Popov ul. 2, St.-Petersburg 197376, Russia


The history and current state of the hypothesis of the origin of higher fungi (Ascomycetes and Basidiomycetes) and red algae from the common ancestor (Florideae) were analysed. Initially the hypothesis was based on similarity of their vegetative and generative structures (Sachs, 1874; Dodge, 1914; Chadefaud, 1953, 1972, etc.), but later it was confirmed by ultrastructural data (Demoulin, 1974; Kohlmeyer, 1975). It appears to be very useful for the study of the development of terrestrial flora (Church, 1921; Kohlmeyer, Kohlmeyer, 1979; Atsatt, 1988) and regularities in morphological evolution of higher fungi (Corner, 1964, 1970; Chadefaud, 1960, 1982, 1984). Description of the order Spathulosporales (Kohlmeyer, 1973), combining the characters of Ascomycetes and parasitic Florideae, was one of the most important fact leading to the wide recognition of the hypothesis in 1970-80th (Cavalier-Smith, 1978; Taylor, 1978; Dodge, 1980; Hawksworth, 1982; Goff, 1983; Goff, Coleman, 1985). Today, however, Florideae hypothesis is not confirmed by molecular data and replaced by alternative hypothesis of Eumycota origin. Summarizing data on molecular systematic of fungi, one could affirm with confidence: 1). Chitin-containing fungi are closer to multicellular animals and green plants than to Rhodophyta; 2). Rhodophyta and Chlorophyta are monophyletic group; 3). There is no single-valued molecular data on taxonomic distance between higher fungi, Chytridiomycetes, Rhodophyta, Chlorophyta and Metazoa. Thus, the current data could not testify against Florideae hypothesis. It is possible to adjust them with the idea of B.M.Kozo-Polyansky (1927) about existence of "Chloroflorodeae" group that is original for terrestrial flora: the hypothesis about closeness of Chlorophyta and Rhodophyta, as well as Chlorophyta and Eumycota, does not contradict molecular data (Stiller, Hall, 1997). The author believes that we need molecular study of the whole "stem" of chlorobionta, especially groups that are close to its basis. It will help to understand the relationships between Rhodophyta, giant conglomeration of "green algae", chitin-containing fungi, Prasinophyceae and different groups of zoomastigot with maximal resolution - the level of orders or groups of orders. Only such investigation could provide the material for molecular support of phylogenetic constructions. Up to that moment Florideae hypothesis is able to exist together with the other ideas.