Community structure, trophic position and reproductive mode of soil and bark-living oribatid mites in an alpine grassland ecosystemReport as inadecuate




Community structure, trophic position and reproductive mode of soil and bark-living oribatid mites in an alpine grassland ecosystem - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

Experimental and Applied Acarology

, Volume 52, Issue 3, pp 221–237

First Online: 21 May 2010Received: 20 January 2010Accepted: 27 April 2010

Abstract

The community structure, stable isotope ratios N-N, C-C and reproductive mode of oribatid mites Acari, Oribatida were investigated in four habitats upper tree bark, lower tree bark, dry grassland soil, forest soil at two sites in the Central Alps Tyrol, Austria. We hypothesized that community structure and trophic position of oribatid mites of dry grassland soils and bark of trees are similar since these habitats have similar abiotic characteristics open, dry compared with forest soil. Further, we hypothesized that derived taxa of oribatid mites reproducing sexually dominate on the bark of trees since species in this habitat consume living resources such as lichens. In contrast to our hypothesis, the community structure of oribatid mites differed among grassland, forest and bark indicating the existence of niche differentiation in the respective oribatid mite species. In agreement with our hypothesis, sexually reproducing taxa of oribatid mites dominated on the bark of trees whereas parthenogenetic species were more frequent in soil. Several species of bark-living oribatid mites had stable isotope signatures that were similar to lichens indicating that they feed on lichens. However, nine species that frequently occurred on tree bark did not feed on lichens according to their stable isotope signatures. No oribatid mite species could be ascribed to moss feeding. We conclude that sexual reproduction served as preadaptation for oribatid mites allowing them to exploit new habitats and new resources on the bark of trees. Abiotic factors likely are of limited importance for bark-living oribatid mites since harsh abiotic conditions are assumed to favor parthenogenesis.

KeywordsStable isotopes Central Alps Tree bark Reproductive mode  Download fulltext PDF



Author: Barbara M. Fischer - Heinrich Schatz - Mark Maraun

Source: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10493-010-9366-8







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