Experimental & Applied Acarology

, 40:133

Do small animals have a biogeography?

  • A. G. Valdecasas
  • A. I. Camacho
  • M. L. Peláez
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10493-006-9030-5

Cite this article as:
Valdecasas, A.G., Camacho, A.I. & Peláez, M.L. Exp Appl Acarol (2006) 40: 133. doi:10.1007/s10493-006-9030-5

Abstract

It has been stated that small organisms do not have barriers for distribution and will not show biogeographic discreteness. General models for size-mediated biogeographies establish a transition region between ubiquitous dispersal and restricted biogeography at about 1–10 mm. We tested patterns of distribution versus size with water mites, a group of freshwater organisms with sizes between 300 μm and 10 mm.We compiled a list of all known water mite species for Sierra del Guadarrama (a mountain range in the centre of the Iberian Peninsula) from different authors and our own studies in the area. Recorded habitats include lotic, lentic and interstitial environments. Species body size and world distribution were drawn from our work and published specialized taxonomic literature. The null hypothesis was that distribution is size-independent. The relationship between distribution and size was approached via analysis of variance and between size and habitat via logistic regression. Contrary to expectations, there is no special relationship between water mite size and area size distribution. On the other hand, water mite size is differentially distributed among habitats, although this ecological sorting is very weak. Larger water mites are more common in lentic habitats and smaller water mites in lotic habitats. Size-dependent distribution in which small organisms tend to be cosmopolitan breaks down when the particular biology comes into play. Water mites do not fit a previously proposed size-dependent biogeographical distribution, and are in accordance with similar data published on Tardigrada, Rotifera, Gastrotricha and the like.

Keywords

Size-dependent distributionWater mites

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. G. Valdecasas
    • 1
  • A. I. Camacho
    • 1
  • M. L. Peláez
    • 1
  1. 1.Dpto. Biodiversidad y Biología EvolutivaMuseo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, CSICMadridSpain