Marina A. Bulgakova, PhD, Senior Lecturer of the Orenburg State University (460018, Orenburg, Pobedy 13); e-mail:
Ekaterina V. Pyatina, PhD, Scientific Secretary of the V.V. Dokuchaev Central Museum of Soil Science (199034, Russia, St. Petersburg, Birzhevoy pr-d, 6); e-mail:

Reference to article

Bulgakova M.A., Pyatina E.V. 2019. The role of ungulates in soil zoocoenosis development of the steppe zone of the Urals. Nature Conservation Research 4(Suppl.2): 94–97.

Section Short Communications

Since the emergence of steppe habitats, ungulates have been their integral part. Daily grazing of wild ungulates had a beneficial effect on soil vegetation and microclimate. Unfortunately, herds of wild horses have vanished and been replaced by livestock. An investigated virgin land was a forb plant community with a predominance of Stipa lessingiana and Festuca valesiaca. As phytocoenosis degraded, the occurrence of Artemisia austriaca increased, and complete replacement of forbs by wormwood steppe was observed. The presented results obtained in the ecosystems of pastures subjected to zoogenic aridisation demonstrate that the agrocoenosis first loses mesophilic components of the Coleoptera fauna (Athous haemorrhoidalis, Calathus erratus, C. melanocephalus, Crypticus quisquilius, Pedinus femoralis, Melanotus rufipes, M. niger, Selatosomus gravidus, Poecilus lepidus, P. sericeus, P. versicolor. At the same time, dry-steppe species are becoming common, which include Calathus halensis, Cymindis angularis, Harpalus rufipes, Ophonus stictus, Blaps halophila, Gonocephalum granulatum, Platyscelis hypolitha, Agriotes sputator. Therefore, a change in the structure and composition of mesopedofauna occurs through changes in the stand species composition, soil structure under excessive load, and soil dampness during upper soil compression.


biodiversity, ecosystem, mesofauna, monitoring, pasture, steppe

Artice information

Received: 12.02.2019. Revised: 08.05.2019. Accepted: 09.05.2019.

The full text of the article

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