### Abstract

General Lagrangian theory of discrete one-dimensional integrable systems is illustrated by a detailed study of Bäcklund transformations for Toda-type systems. Commutativity of Bäcklund transformations is shown to be equivalent to consistency of the system of discrete multi-time Euler-Lagrange equations. The precise meaning of the commutativity in the periodic case, when all maps are double-valued, is established. It is shown that gluing of different branches is governed by the so called superposition formulas. The closure relation for the multi-time Lagrangian 1-form on solutions of the variational equations is proved for all Toda-type systems. Superposition formulas are instrumental for this proof. The closure relation was previously shown to be equivalent to the spectrality property of Bäcklund transformations, i.e., to the fact that the derivative of the Lagrangian with respect to the spectral parameter is a common integral of motion of the family of Bä cklund transformations. We relate this integral of motion to the monodromy matrix of the zero curvature representation which is derived directly from equations of motion in an algorithmic way. This serves as a further evidence in favor of the idea that Bäcklund transformations serve as zero curvature representations for themselves.