Azim D. Askenderov, PhD, Junior Researcher of the Laboratory of Animal Ecology, Caspian Institute of Biological Resources Dagestan Scientific Centre of RAS (45, Gadzhieva Street, Makhachkala, 367000, Republic of Dagestan, Russian Federation), Dagestan State University (43-a, Gadzhieva Street, Makhachkala, 367000, Republic of Dagestan, Russian Federation); e-mail: email@example.com
Lyudmila F. Mazanaeva, PhD, Associate Professor, Head of the Department of Zoology and Physiology, Dagestan State University (43-a, Gadzhieva Street, Makhachkala, 367000, Republic of Dagestan, Russian Federation); e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Roman A. Mikhaylov, Junior Researcher of the Laboratory of Population Ecology of the Institute of Ecology of the Volga River Basin of RAS (445003, Russia, Samara Region, Togliatti, Komzina Street, 10); e-mail: email@example.com
Alexander I. Fayzulin, PhD, Head of the Laboratory of population ecology, Institute of Ecology of the Volga River Basin of RAS (445003, Russia, Samara Region, Togliatti, Komzina Street, 10); e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Environmental conditions in spawning waters are determined by a variety of abiotic and biotic factors. They are the most significant and therefore limiting in the selection of breeding sites and spawning grounds for amphibians. For conservation of the various amphibian populations it is necessary to establish an ecological optimum of specific species. The study has been conducted in a wide range of environmental conditions typical for the mountainous regions of the Caucasus. We studied 358 water bodies in the foothills of Dagestan. There are eight species of amphibians spawning here. Bufotes variabilis and Rana macrocnemis to adverse abiotic and biotic conditions in spawning waters are resistant. Lissotriton lantzi, Triturus karelinii, Pelobates fuscus, and P. syriacus are sensitive to different adverse environmental conditions in spawning waters. Lissotriton lantzi prefers non-flowing ponds, shaded areas, depth of reservoirs 50–100 cm and lots of aquatic vegetation, but Triturus karelinii prefers flowing ponds. Pelobates fuscus prefers unshaded ponds, but Pelobates syriacus prefers deep waters. Hyla arborea and Pelophylax ridibundus prefer flowing, shaded ponds with lots of aquatic vegetation. Bufotes variabilis and Rana macrocnemis are very tolerant to the environment. On the basis of the method of multivariate statistics, the main environmental factors significantly (p = 0.001) affecting the choice of spawning grounds by different types of amphibians: shading, depth, flow and overgrowing were established. It was revealed that the spawning grounds, which are of great importance for the conservation of rare amphibian species in the foothills of Dagestan is limited, this is due to the arid climatic conditions of the region. Recommendations for the conservation of amphibians and the development of protected areas in the foothills of the Republic of Dagestan are given.
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