1063-0740/05/3101- © 2005 Pleiades Publishing, Inc.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology, Vol. 31, No. 1, 2005, pp. 7–13.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2005 by Biologiya Morya, Guseinov.
The Caspian Sea is a landlocked natural basin, the
largest on our planet. Its level periodically changes
under the effect of natural climatic conditions. The low-
est mark for the last 400 years (–29 m) was observed in
1977. Since 1978 the Caspian has undergone a trans-
gression; now its water level has risen to 27 m below the
level of the ocean. In the 1990s the Dagestan Region of
the Caspian Sea was characterized by considerable pol-
lution by oil hydrocarbons, mostly incoming with the
Terek River ﬂow . Since 1999, with the intrusion of
the pelagic predator the comb-jelly
in the Caspian Sea, the chances of the infringement of
historically existent biocenoses is aggravated even
The Dagestan Region of the Caspian Sea, the coast-
line of which extends to 530 km, occupies the entire
western part of the middle and south extremity of the
North Caspian (Fig. 1). There are three bays, Kizl-
yarsky, Agrakhansky and Sulaksky Bays, of great ﬁsh-
ery value. These bays have ﬂat slope shores, a small
shelf area, and shallow depths. For the period of the rise
in the sea level, the most pronounced areas of ﬂooding
arose there, especially in Sulaksky Bay. Therefore, we
considered it expedient to analyze individually the state
of the communities of these shoals. Following the pub-
lications of Latypov  and Latypov and Yakovlev
 on succession processes in the bottom communi-
ties of ﬂooded area of Sulaksky Bay during the period
of the sea-level rise, our paper concerning the forma-
tion of bottom communities on ﬂooded land after stabi-
lization of the sea-level was issued .
The objective of the given work is study of the bot-
tom communities of the Dagestan Region of the Cas-
pian Sea in conditions of varied hydrological regimes
and heavy anthropogenic impact.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Samples of bottom fauna taken with the bottom
grab area) from onboard the
at 53 stations located on 10 parallel latitu-
dinal sections at depth from 8 to 100 m in the Dagestan
of the Dagestan Region of the Caspian Sea
M. K. Guseinov
Prikaspiiskii Institute of Biology Resources, Daghestan Science Center, Russian Academy of Sciences,
Received April 20, 2004
—The results of bottom community studies of the Dagestan Region of the Caspian Sea were pre-
sented; key factors affecting their formation were distinguished. Special attention was paid to restoration of the
, which was characteristic in the coastal zone community until it was
destroyed after a rise in the sea-level. It was established that biomass of the benthos was much higher in the
period of the rise in the sea level than in the years of a low sea level.
Caspian Sea, community, benthos, biomass, level.
48° 49° 50°
Map diagram of the hydrobiological sections and
stations of the Dagestan Region of the Caspian Sea.