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Soil Acarology (Mites) Day – 3 Felicity Crotty. >30 taxa.

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Presentation on theme: "Soil Acarology (Mites) Day – 3 Felicity Crotty. >30 taxa."— Presentation transcript:

1 Soil Acarology (Mites) Day – 3 Felicity Crotty

2 >30 taxa

3 % 75 % 47 % 50 % 54 % 99 % NE Nematoda Protozoa Acari Collembola Diplura Symphyla Enchytraeidae Diptera Isoptera Formicoidea Isopoda Chilopoda Diplopoda Other Arachnida Araneae Coleoptera Mollusca Oligochaeta Caecilian Sqamata Mammalia Estimated, undescribed species Known species NE 83 % 41 % 75 % NE 97 % 99 % 72 % Species number Body size Source: Decaëns et al. (2006) But mostly unknown...

4 What is a Mite?!? Tiny but diverse arachnids related to spiders, are some of the most abundant and diverse groups of invertebrate fauna. Found in all environments worldwide, from the deserts to the polar regions and everything in between. The are predators, fungivores, detritivores and even herbivores. Thus occupying many different niches and speciating to adapt to the ecosystem they are inhabiting

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6 Parasitiformes Mesostigmata Cosmopolitan Most free living predators Suborders: - Sejida - Trigynaspida - Monogynaspida Holothyrida In leaf litter, mosses and under stones in moist forests rare Families: - Holothyridae - Allothyridae - Neothyridae Ixodidae Obligate blood sucking parasites Common Families: - Ixodidae (Hard) - Argasidae (Soft) - Nuttalliellidae Opilioacaridae Look superficially like harvestmen Found in caves, also under rocks and litter Moderately rare 6 genera; 20 species

7 Parasitiformes Mesostigmata Cosmopolitan Most free living predators Suborders: - Sejida - Trigynaspida - Monogynaspida Holothyrida In leaf litter, mosses and under stones in moist forests rare Families: - Holothyridae - Allothyridae - Neothyridae Ixodidae Obligate blood sucking parasites Common Families: - Ixodidae (Hard) - Argasidae (Soft) - Nuttalliellidae Opilioacaridae Look superficially like harvestmen Found in caves, also under rocks and litter Moderately rare 6 genera; 20 species

8 Acariformes Sarcoptiformes (Oribatida) Mostly Oribatids (Endeostigmata also a suborder in this group and Astigmata a cohort within Oribatida) Oribatids four supercohorts considered “lower” oribatids – MACROPYLINE one supercohort considered “higher” – BRACHYPYLINE Extremely common Trombidiformes (Prostigmata) Mostly Prostigmata (Sphaerolichida also a suborder in this group) Prostigmata with five supercohorts (variable family number within) Extremely common Mixture of predators and herbivores/fungivores Many have a phoretic immature stage “chiggers”

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14 Mite Ecology Day – 3 Felicity Crotty

15 Almost nothing known of the biology and basic needs of most native species

16 van Eekeren, Murray & Smeding (2007) Cyclic interactions More food for soil biota Improved habitat for soil biota Improved soil structure Improved nutrient cycling Improved water regulation Greater plant yield (more litter produced) More efficient moisture and nutrient uptake Improved rooting

17 Blue = Bacterial Green = Fungal Red = Root Adapted from De Ruiter et al. (1993) J. Appl. Ecol. 30, Roots Phytophagous nematodes Rhizophagous aphids Detritus Fungi Collembola Cryptostig. mites Non-cryptostig. mites Fungivorous nematodes Earthworms Enchytraeids Bacteriophagous nematodes Flagellates Bacteriophagous mites Amoebae Predaceous nematodes Nematode feeding mites Predaceous collembola Predaceous mites Winter Wheat fields: Netherlands Bacteria

18 Trophic patterns in Acari (Ticks) (Similar to harvestmen) (rare) (macropyline) (brachypyline) (mainly predators)

19 Feeding strategies Saprophagy (phyllophagy) – using parenchymous tissue of dead leaves Saprophagy (xylophagy) – using woody structural tissue / dead plant parts e.g. Mixonomata species R. Norton

20 Saprophagy (Phyllo / Xylo) Energy Flow DIRECT: Assimilation of energy from plant materials (BUT low quality food – high C:N; produce large faecal pellets – little of C is used) INDIRECT: Production of faecal pellets with greater surface area – “material going through digestive tract of total mite population in 1 year, apx equal to 50% of annual litter fall!” Berthet 1964 DIRECT: Assimilation of nutrients from plant materials; Concentration of nutrients (and heavy metals) INDIRECT: Shredding increases nutrient leaching Nutrient Cycling

21 Feeding strategies Mycophagy – feeding on fungal hyphae or spores (usually growing on decaying plant material) Other strategies include: -Necrophagy -Coprophagy -Bacteriophagy -Nematophagy -Protistivory -Herbivory (root / living tissue) -Algivory -Omnivory -Predation

22 Mycophagy / Bacteriophagy Energy Flow DIRECT: Assimilation of energy from microflora INDIRECT: Stimulation / suppression of microfloral activities. Dispersal of hyphae/spores. Selective grazing. DIRECT: Assimilation of nutrients from plant materials; Concentration of nutrients (and heavy metals) INDIRECT: Stimulation or suppression of microfloral activities Nutrient Cycling

23 Functional groups of mites (cf. Moore et al. 1988) Functional GroupDescriptionTaxa General predatorsAttack anything smallerMesostigmata Arthropod predatorsAttack only ArthropodsMany Prostigmata Nematode PredatorsOnly nematodesMesostigmata Some Oribatida Fluid feeding fungivorePierce and suck fluids of fungi, protists Prostigmata Engulfing fungivoresIngest bits of fungi, hyphae, algae, spores Oribatida Astigmata Root fluid feeders (Herbivores) Pierce roots and suck fluidsSome Prostigmata DetritivoresIngest dead plant materialOribatida Astigmata CoprophagousIngest faecal / exoskeleton material Oribatida Astigmata

24 Aboveground communities are affected by both direct and indirect consequences of soil food web. - Indirect (R) detritus food web stimulate nutrient turnover improving plant performance. - Direct (L) soil biota feed on roots and form antagonistic / mutualistic relationships Wardle et al., Science 2004

25 Microhabitats Burrowers Soil dwellers Lichen associates Saxicoles (rock dwellers) Arboreal – “island soil colonies” Marine littoral Fresh water Insect Associates

26 Biology The majority of the Mesostigmata and Prostigmata are r-strategists with fast reproductive cycles, short lifespans and quick recovery times to perturbations Majority of the Oribatids are k-strategists with slow reproductive cycles, long lifespans and are slow to recover to perturbations – may therefore be a good indication group

27 Mite Glossary tes/invasive_mite/Invasive_Mite _Identification/key/0_Glossary/ Mite_Glossary.htm

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29 JARGON Body Regions -soma = body Pro- = front Opistho- = back Podo- = foot Gnatho- = jaw/mouth/head Idio- = distinct / unique Different order = different words OR even different key Prosoma = front body - carapace? - prodorsal - pronotal ≠ notum = back - podonotal Opisthosoma = back body - Opisthonotal - Opisthogaster (gaster = stomach)

30 Mouth parts/head Legs I & II Legs III & IV Abdomen region Gnathosoma (sometimes referred to as capitulum) Propodosoma (dorsal surface = prodorsum) Metapodosoma Opisthosoma (Opisthonotal if dorsal) Podosoma Idiosoma (body) Gaster if ventral or notum if dorsal Prosoma (= cephalothorax) Aspidosoma is anterior dorsal region Proterosoma (Anterior of sejugal furrow) Hysterosoma (Rear of sejugal furrow) Dorsally called notogaster Mite arbitrary body divisions (JARGON)

31 JARGON… It’s getting “trichy” - CHAETOTAXY (setal position / hairs) Holotrichy – complete complement of setae thought to be present in ancestral group - Unideficient – lost one setae (f1) Neotrichy – setae not in ancestral condition (new hairs) Hypertrichy – extra setae


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