"Open Science": Altai State University scientists investigated the impact of ice ages on the fauna of Siberia and North America

24 February 2021 Department of Information and Media Communications
The scientific news portal "Open Science" reported that Professor of the Department of Ecology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology of the Institute of Biology and Biotechnology of Altai State University, Doctor of Biological Sciences Roman Yakovlev took part in a large international project dedicated to the evolution of the fauna of Siberia and North America.

One of the results of the research of the international team was the article "The history of survival: biogeography and evolution of four Holarctic butterflies with different requirements for the environment", published in the prestigious British scientific journal Journal of Biogeography (Q1 on Scopus and Web of Science).

Based on the study of mitochondrial and nuclear genes, the distribution paths of butterflies with different ecological preferences were traced: tundra, taiga, meadows and swamps. It was shown that the harsh climate of the glaciers did not pose a significant obstacle to the spread of butterflies. On the whole, the study contributes to understanding of the impact of ice ages on the fauna in the area of the Beringian Bridge, which linked Eurasia and North America.

“The work involving a large amount of material was carried out by researchers from the Czech Republic (Institute of Entomology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, University of South Bohemia), France (University of Burgundy and the Arctic Ecology Research Group), Denmark (Aarhus University) and Russia (Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Altai State University). We managed to find differences in the patterns and strategies of the distribution of species with different types of ecology during glaciation periods in the Northern hemisphere. It should be noted that the research was carried out for two years, the preparation of the article took even more than a year. Several rounds of peer review, incredibly high requirements for methodology and material - the difference between the requirements of high-quality journals and the mass of pseudoscience that is now published in low-prestige publications. At the moment, we are developing such large-scale projects with a number of institutions in Canada, Germany and the Czech Republic for some groups of insects and arachnids common in Siberia and Central Asia. There is also an interesting good groundwork for one little-studied tropical group - a distant result of my trip to Kolkata in 2019. At the moment, our young entomological team is working on the study of the fauna of North and Central Asia and has a sufficient amount of scientific novelty, which, with the support of the university administration, can be published in journals of the highest rank in our region,” notes Roman.

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