The Oribatid Mites
The occurrence of soil fauna populations increases nutrient release by fragmentation of litter, grazing of microflora and improvement of soil structure. In floodplain forests of Central Amazonia, Acari represent up to 64% of the arthropod fauna in the litter and upper soil layers (0–3.5 cm; Table 16.2) and up to 19% of the monthly catches on tree trunks (Chap. 14). The oribatid mites are often a numerically dominant group among the soil arthropods in all soil types. These animals inhabit a variety of habitats, such as soil, rotten wood, litter, mosses, and trees. In the Central Amazon lowlands, Beck (1969, 1971, 1972, 1976) and Adis and Ribeiro (1989) have reported on the ecological significance of oribatid mites in inundation forests. In this chapter we discuss their abundance, distribution, population dynamics and submersion resistance with respect to the flood pulse (Sect. 1.3; Junk et al. 1989) in the igapó of Tarumã Mirím and in the várzea of Ilha de Marchantaria. Sampling sites are described in Chapter 2.
KeywordsForest Floor Tree Trunk Total Catch Oribatid Mite Floodplain Forest
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