Experimental and Applied Acarology

, Volume 70, Issue 3, pp 275–286

Relative importance of local habitat complexity and regional factors for assemblages of oribatid mites (Acari: Oribatida) in Sphagnum peat bogs

  • M. A. Minor
  • S. G. Ermilov
  • D. A. Philippov
  • A. A. Prokin
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10493-016-0075-9

Cite this article as:
Minor, M.A., Ermilov, S.G., Philippov, D.A. et al. Exp Appl Acarol (2016) 70: 275. doi:10.1007/s10493-016-0075-9

Abstract

We investigated communities of oribatid mites in five peat bogs in the north-west of the East European plain. We aimed to determine the extent to which geographic factors (latitude, separation distance), local environment (Sphagnum moss species, ground water level, biogeochemistry) and local habitat complexity (diversity of vascular plants and bryophytes in the surrounding plant community) influence diversity and community composition of Oribatida. There was a significant north-to-south increase in Oribatida abundance. In the variance partitioning, spatial factors explained 33.1 % of variability in abundance across samples; none of the environmental factors were significant. Across all bogs, Oribatida species richness and community composition were similar in Sphagnum rubellum and Sphagnum magellanicum, but significantly different and less diverse in Sphagnum cuspidatum. Sphagnum microhabitat explained 52.2 % of variability in Oribatida species richness, whereas spatial variables explained only 8.7 %. There was no distance decay in community similarity between bogs with increased geographical distance. The environmental variables explained 34.9 % of the variance in community structure, with vascular plants diversity, bryophytes diversity, and ground water level all contributing significantly; spatial variables explained 15.1 % of the total variance. Overall, only 50 % of the Oribatida community variance was explained by the spatial structure and environmental variables. We discuss relative importance of spatial and local environmental factors, and make general inferences about the formation of fauna in Sphagnum bogs.

Keywords

Microarthropods Abundance Species richness Community structure Microhabitat Habitat diversity 

Introduction

Peat bogs (raised bogs and transitional mires) are characterized by high water table and dominance of Sphagnum species and occur on all continents except Antarctica (Rydin and Jeglum 2006). In the Northern hemisphere, extensive peat bog ecosystems exist in Canada, north-western Europe with largest areas in Finland and Sweden, and in Russia where peat bogs occupy approx. 2,200,000 km2, predominantly in the boreal forest zone (Wheeler and Proctor 2000; Tarnocai and Stolbovoy 2006). The boreal bogs are physiognomically and dynamically similar, as Sphagnum mosses act as ecosystem engineers and maintain acidic (pH < 5.0), nutrient-poor, and water-logged environment (van Breemen 1995; Wheeler and Proctor 2000). Apart from species of Sphagnum, vegetation of boreal oligotrophic bogs includes small ericaceous shrubs, sedges, and, if water table is low enough, dwarf trees (Wheeler and Proctor 2000). The cold, acidic, and anoxic conditions of bogs lead to incomplete decomposition of plant remains and the formation of peat. Worldwide, peat deposits are considered to be the most important long-term carbon storage reservoir on land (Gorham 1991). In the past century the peat bogs in Western Europe and Russia have been affected by pollution, peat extraction, drainage, and other types of development, leading to rapid degradation and a loss of biological diversity.

Oribatid mites are the most abundant group of microarthropods in boreal peat bogs (Seniczak 2011) and in the surrounding forests (Maraun and Scheu 2000), where they feed predominantly on fungi and plant detritus; some species may feed as scavengers (Schneider et al. 2004; Erdmann et al. 2007). Unlike many other members of soil fauna, oribatid mites are often K-strategists, with low reproductive capacity and long life cycles (Behan-Pelletier 1999), and so are particularly suitable as bioindicators of natural and anthropogenic changes in ecosystems (Gulvik 2007; Gergócs and Hufnagel 2009).

Oribatida fauna of European peat bogs is well studied (e.g., Willmann 1942; Tarras-Wahlberg 1961; Popp 1962; Markkula 1986a, b; Druk 1982; Druk and Vilkamaa 1988; Weigmann 1991; Borcard and Matthey 1995; Borcard and von Ballmoos 1997; Stary 2006; Seniczak 2011; Zaitsev 2013; Seniczak et al. 2014). Much less has been published about the niche differentiation in peat bog Oribatida and the drivers of diversity at local and regional scales. Mumladze et al. (2013) conducted a meta-analysis of diversity and community patterns of Oribatida in Holarctic peat bogs, and found the significant non-linear distance decay in community similarity, but no latitudinal gradients in diversity. They concluded that at a site scale the Oribatida community structure was largely determined by biogeographical history and interspecific interactions, whereas continental and regional diversity patterns reflect postglacial colonization processes (Mumladze et al. 2013).

Peat bogs offer a unique model system to assess the relative role of historic (spatial) and local (environmental) factors in the assembly of communities: on a landscape, bogs form isolated habitat islands, which are hydromorphologically and floristically similar across extensive geographical regions (Rydin and Jeglum 2006); the arthropod fauna of bogs is shaped by both the regional history and the environment of individual bogs (Spitzer and Danks 2006; Lehmitz 2014). The objective of our study was to analyse abundance, diversity and community structure of oribatid mites associated with different Sphagnum species in a series of peat bogs located at different distances from each other. We aimed to determine the extent to which geographic factors (latitude, separation distance, etc.), local environment (Sphagnum species identity, ground water level, moss chemistry) and local habitat complexity (diversity of vascular plants and bryophytes in the surrounding plant community) influence diversity and community composition of Oribatida.

Methods

Study sites

The five sampled peat bogs are located in the north-west of the East European Plain in Russia (Fig. 1); separation distances between bogs vary from 12 to 588 km; the elevation above sea level is 200–350 m. The climate is continental with long moderately cold to cold winters and relatively short warm summers. Supplemental Table S1 describes bogs and sampled habitats in details.
Fig. 1

Location of sampled peat bogs (1–5) in the north-west of the East European plain. Map of Europe (left) by GoogleMaps

Sampling

Sampling was limited to Sphagnum-dominated communities. In each bog, a single 10 × 10 m sampling plot was selected and geo-referenced. Within the sampling plot, samples were collected in “microhabitats”—more or less extensive areas dominated by one of the three Sphagnum species—Sphagnum magellanicum, Sphagnum rubellum, or Sphagnum cuspidatum; 3–5 separate examples of each Sphagnum microhabitat were sampled (except in site 3, where 10 samples of S. magellanicum and S. cuspidatum were collected); samples were 0.5–3 m apart and not geo-referenced. Sphagnum magellanicum and S. rubellum were present in all five bogs, S. cuspidatum in all bogs except bog 2. Each sample included 10 × 10 cm area of moss collected to the depth of the living moss tissue (ca. 5 cm in S. rubellum and S. magellanicum and up to 15 cm in S. cuspidatum). All sampling was conducted in June–August 2014. Ground water level, diversity of vascular plants, and diversity of lower plants (bryophytes, liverworts, lichens) in each of the sampled microhabitats were recorded.

Mites from moss samples were extracted in modified Berlese funnels for 5 days. Adult Oribatida were identified to a species level and counted. Juveniles were included in abundance counts, but excluded from community composition analysis.

Water chemistry data (Table 1) were collected for bogs 4 and 5 in Sphagnum hollows within the 10 × 10 m sampling plots. Multiple (10–15) water samples (100–150 mL each) were collected in the surface layer (0–5 cm) both in open water and under S. cuspidatum, and then mixed; the compound sample was kept at 4 °C in the dark before the analysis (usually the next day). For all other bogs only pH was recorded. In addition, elemental composition of S. magellanicum within the 10 × 10 m sampling plots was analysed in all bogs (see Gapeeva et al. 2015). Out of all elements quantified in Gapeeva et al. (2015), those which are considered important in decomposer food webs (P, K, Ca, Mg, Na, S, Fe, Mn) (Kaspari and Yanoviak 2009), as well as biologically active heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Zn, Cu, Ni, Sn) and arsenic (As) (Andrievskii and Syso 2012) were included in our analysis. Data on selected elements are presented in Table 1.
Table 1

Environmental chemistry in sampled Sphagnum bogs, north-west of the East European plain, 2014

Bog

B1

B2

B3

B4

B5

Water chemistry in Sphagnum hollows

 Temperature (°C)

24

16

 Ash residue (mg/L)

159.6

109.4

 pH

4.09

4.61

4.1–4.2a

4.07

3.99

 Permanganate oxidation (mgO/L)

89.6

59.2

 CO2− mg/L

<6

<6

 Mn mg/L

0.036

<0.01

 NO3− mg/L

0.44

0.4

 Fe (total) mg/L

0.21

0.26

 PO4− mg/L

0.06

<0.05

 SO4− mg/L

<10

12

Selected elemental composition of S. magellanicum (mg/g)

 K

2716.57

2067.25

2259.54

2258.79

1836.56

 P

473.42

492.67

303.97

231.59

206.67

 S

3490.48

3606.05

3678.67

4014.76

3972.51

 Ca

1521.76

1326.53

1374.22

1021.53

655.36

 Mn

312.01

82.33

91.07

62.17

44.59

 Al

37.11

65.25

50.86

41.71

45.02

 Fe

128.59

160.04

736.77

148.65

317.63

 Cu

1.75

1.88

2.08

1.42

1.47

 Zn

11.76

12.72

26.80

11.35

13.26

 Cd

0.06

0.07

0.18

0.11

0.07

 Pb

1.43

1.44

2.60

1.68

2.88

adata for 2009

Statistical analysis

The following variables were used to representing environmental effects at a microhabitat level: Sphagnum species identity; higher plants diversity (vascular plants); lower plants diversity (bryophytes, lichens and liverworts); mean ground water level; elemental composition of S. magellanicum (for magellanicum microhabitats only). A multicollinearity analysis checking both simple correlations and variance inflation factors showed that ground water level and species identity of Sphagnum moss were significantly correlated (r2 = 0.63, p < 0.05), and that other variables were not significantly collinear.

The spatial relationships between sampling sites were quantified using the Principal Coordinates of Neighbouring Matrices (PCNM) analysis (Dray et al. 2006; Buttigieg and Ramette 2014). The method is based on decomposition of the matrix of pairwise geographic (Euclidean) distances between sampling sites into a set of orthogonal vectors, which are used as independent spatial variables in further analysis. Three PCNM eigen-vectors were obtained and used as spatial factors in the regression models.

The distance decay in community similarity between bogs was analysed with Bray-Curtis as similarity measure, and distance quantified as Euclidean distance. Directional changes from North to South were analysed using OLS regression (PROC REG in SAS 9.2). Changes in Oribatida abundance and species richness in relation to environmental and spatial factors were tested using hierarchical model in PROC GLIMMIX. The PROC GLMSELECT with hierarchical model and stepwise selection based on AIC criterion was used to identify the best predictors of Oribatida abundance and richness. Abundance per sample and species richness per sample (both sqrt-transformed) were used in this analysis to account for differences in sampling effort.

PERMANOVA on sqrt-transformed abundances with the Bray-Curtis distance as similarity measure was used to test for effects of bog identity and Sphagnum microhabitats on Oribatida community composition. The distance‐based linear modelling (DistLM) with step-wise variable selection using AICc criterion was used to test which environmental and spatial variables best explain patterns of community similarity in Oribatida; the distance-based Redundancy Analysis (dbRDA) in PRIMER 7 was used to examine variance partitioning. Spatial and environmental partial dbRDAs were run to determine the importance of spatial versus environmental predictor variables for Oribatida community assemblages (Borcard et al. 1992; Buttigieg and Ramette 2014). Taxa with low abundance (<5 individuals from all sites) were excluded from community analysis.

Sphagnum rubellum versus S. magellanicum, and S. cuspidatum versus other two mosses were compared using contrast statements. Significance level α = 0.05 was used for all statistical tests.

Results

Abundance and species richness

We collected 7025 Oribatida individuals representing 30 species (Table 2). Highest Oribatida richness (15 species) and abundance (1572 ind./m2) were observed in the southern-most bog 5. There was a significant bog-to-bog variation in abundance (GLIMMIX: F4,58 = 11.19, p = 0.001), and a significant trend for increase in abundance from North to South (OLS regression, r2 = 0.15, p = 0.001). There was no overall difference in Oribatida abundances in different Sphagnum microhabitats across all bogs (F2,11 = 0.64, p = 0.55). Among all tested spatial and environmental variables, spatial factors (PCNM1, PCNM3: both p = 0.001) explained 33.1 % of variability in Oribatida abundance across samples; none of the environmental factors were significant. Across all sites, mean abundance of Oribatida in S. magellanicum microhabitats was not explained by concentrations of chemical elements in moss tissues.
Table 2

Species of Oribatida collected in five Sphagnum bogs (B1–B5), north-west of the East European plain, 2014

 

Species

B1

B2

B3

B4

B5

Brachychthoniidae

Liochthonius alpestris (Forsslund)

1

Hypochthoniidae

Hypochthonius rufulus Koch

3

3

Steganacaridae

Atropacarus striculus (Koch)

14

40

2

5

Euphthiracaridae

Acrotritia ardua (Koch)

1

1

3

7

2

Phthiracaridae

Hoplophthiracarus illinoisensis (Ewing)

118

67

249

340

284

Trhypochthoniidae

Mainothrus badius (Berlese)

12

41

27

 

Mucronothrus nasalis (Willmann)

3

 

Trhypochthoniellus longisetus (Berlese)

2

 

Trhypochthonius tectorum (Berlese)

36

4

49

Malaconothridae

Malaconothrus monodactylus (Michael)

126

64

78

23

118

 

Malaconothrus vietsi (Willmann)

96

50

39

 

Trimalaconothrus foveolatus Willmann

281

42

571

323

799

 

Tyrphonothrus maior (Berlese)

95

32

25

32

281

Nothridae

Nothrus pratensis Sellnick

8

35

32

11

26

Crotoniidae

Camisia biurus (Koch)

1

 

Camisia solhoeyi Colloff

1

8

1

Nanhermanniidae

Nanhermannia coronata Berlese

15

11

100

20

43

Oppiidae

Oppiella nova (Oudemans)

55

56

174

72

54

 

Rhinoppia hygrophila (Mahunka)

10

9

Suctobelbidae

Suctobelbella palustris (Forsslund)

9

13

5

22

3

Thyrisomidae

Banksinoma lanceolata (Michael)

2

3

 

Banksinoma setosa Rjabinin

7

Tectocepheidae

Tectocepheus velatus (Michael)

20

56

124

48

23

Hydrozetidae

Hydrozetes lacustris (Michael)

7

40

Limnozetidae

Limnozetes ciliatus (Schrank)

345

73

289

161

342

 

Limnozetes rugosus (Sellnick)

2

1

23

234

Scheloribatidae

Scheloribates laevigatus (CL Koch)

8

Humerobatidae

Diapterobates humeralis (Hermann)

1

1

5

Punctoribatidae

Punctoribates sellnicki Willmann

1

1

1

Galumnidae

Pilogalumna tenuiclava (Berlese)

1

3

2

18

No. of samples

 

13

8

23

13

15

Mean abundance per sample

 

86.54

60.5

80.57

92.62

157.27

Values are total counts, “–”, species absent

For species richness, there was bog-to-bog variation (GLIMMIX F4,58 = 4.11, p = 0.001) but no significant North-to-South trend. Although spatial component was significant (PCNM2 p = 0.020), spatial variables explained only 8.7 % variability in species richness. On the other hand, Sphagnum microhabitat explained 52.2 % of variability in Oribatida species richness (F2,11 = 28.73, p = 0.001). Across all bogs, species richness was similar in S. rubellum and S. magellanicum (F1,11 = 0.11, p = 0.75), but significantly lower in S. cuspidatum (F1,11 = 57.43, p = 0.001).

Community composition

There was no distance decay in community similarity between bogs with increased geographical distance (OLS, r2 = 0.002, p = 0.91). Across all bogs, Sphagnum microhabitat was significant in shaping Oribatida community composition (PERMANOVA pseudo-F2,13 = 3.81, p = 0.009), whereas bog identity was not significant (pseudo-F4,13 = 1.21, p = 0.30). Oribatida assemblages were similar in S. rubellum and S. magellanicum (pseudo-F1,9 = 0.22, p = 0.99); S. cuspidatum had mite assemblages different from the other two mosses (pseudo-F1,13 = 7.91, p = 0.005; Fig. 2). We checked whether S. cuspidatum assemblages were similar across bogs, but this was not the case (site effect for S. cuspidatum samples: pseudo-F3,22 = 4.01, p = 0.002). None of chemical elements in S. magellanicum tissues were significant for Oribatida community composition.
Fig. 2

Distance-based redundancy analysis (dbRDA) plot depicting Oribatida communities in Sphagnum microhabitats in five sampled peat bogs (1–5), north-west of the East European plain, 2014. Vectors indicate the weight and direction of the environmental variables that were best predictors of community composition in the distLM model (stepwise selection based on AIC criterion). Vector overlay with respect to unit circle; longer vectors indicate stronger contribution. Numbers in parentheses on dbRDA axes indicate the percentage of variation explained by each axis out of the distLM model (“% of fitted”) and out of total variation in the data (“% of total variation”). Symbols indicate Sphagnum microhabitats (“Moss”): “ru”—Sphagnum rubellum, “ma”—Sphagnum magellanicum, “cus”—Sphagnum cuspidatum. Crosses represent Oribatida species (restricted to species with correlation > 0.40): L.cilLimnozetes ciliatus, T.fovTrimalaconothrus foveolatus, T.maiTyrphonothrus maior, M.monMalaconothrus monodactylus, O.novOppiella nova, N.praNothrus pratensis, T.velTectocepheus velatus, H.illHoplophthiracarus illinoisensis

Overall, only 50 % of the oribatid community variance was explained by the spatial structure and environmental variables. In the variance partitioning, the spatial variables (the three PCNM variables were all statistically significant) explained 15.1 % of the total variance. None of the Oribatida species showed strong correlation (≥0.50) with spatial dbRDA axes. Environmental variables explained 34.9 % of the variance in community structure, with vascular plants diversity, bryophytes diversity, and ground water level all contributing significantly. The first dbRDA axis (Fig. 2) clearly separates samples by Sphagnum microhabitat, with S. cuspidatum associated with higher ground water level, and other two Sphagnum species associated with lower ground water level and greater diversity of vascular plants. Oribatida associated (Pearson correlation >0.40) with high ground water level and S. cuspidatum were Trimalaconothrus foveolatus, Tyrphonothrus maior, and Limnozetes ciliatus; associated with drier sites were Malaconothrus monodactylus, Nothrus pratensis, Tectocepheus velatus, Oppiella nova, and Hoplophthiracarus illinoisensis.

Discussion

The Oribatida abundances (max 1572 ind./m2) in the present study are quite low; densities above 6000 ind./m2 are more typical in Sphagnum bogs (Zaitsev 2013; Lehmitz 2014). It is possible that there were extraction efficiency issues (in which case the bias should be similar across all samples), although Druk and Vilkamaa (1988) report similarly low densities (456–1260 ind./m2) in some habitats in a peat bog. Species richness (8–15 species) is within the range found in Sphagnum bogs (Seniczak 2011; Lehmitz 2014). The north-to-south increase in Oribatida abundance probably reflects the productivity gradient; increase in Sphagnum growth and production with increase in temperature were observed in greenhouse experiments (Robroek et al. 2007; Breeuwer et al. 2008) and in the field (Gerdol 1995; Dorrepaal et al. 2003).

The Oribatida assemblages were closely related to Sphagnum species and local habitat characteristics such as vascular plants diversity, bryophytes diversity, and ground water level. The ground water level and species identity of Sphagnum moss were significantly correlated (r2 = 0.63, p < 0.05, see “Methods” section), which reflects the fact that different Sphagnum species in a bog occupy distinct niches along topographic gradient, with ground water level as one of the main drivers of species distribution (Titus and Wagner 1984; van Breemen 1995; Hajkova and Hajek 2007). There is a clear division in habitat preference between hygro-hydrophyte S. cuspidatum which grows in pools and hollows, and S. rubellum and S. magellanicum which grow at deeper ground water levels, on mats, edges of hollows, and hummocks (Breeuwer et al. 2008; our data).

Sphagnum microhabitat explained 52.2 % of variability in Oribatida species richness, which was significantly higher in drier S. rubellum and S. magellanicum microhabitats. We speculate that the higher Oribatida species richness is related to higher vascular plant diversity in these habitats. More diverse plant community creates greater small-scale heterogeneity, and can affect soil fauna by providing a richer habitat structure and a more diverse range of food resources (Perez-Harguindeguy et al. 2000; Hättenschwiler et al. 2005; Nielsen et al. 2010). The greater diversity in the litter layer has been linked to greater species richness (but not abundance) of oribatid mites (Hansen and Coleman 1998; Kaneko and Salamanca 1999). Other (un-quantified) environmental factors may have a role in shaping mite communities. For example, Sphagnum species have been shown to differ in productivity (Lindholm and Vasander 1990; Breeuwer et al. 2008), decomposition rate (Belyea 1996; Limpens and Berendse 2003), and structure of microbial communities (Opelt et al. 2007; Bragina et al. 2012). Microtopography and differences in water retention also contribute to patterns of disturbance in bogs, with hummocks less susceptible to wildfire than hollows (Benscoter and Wieder 2003).

Our study demonstrated the shift in the oribatid species assemblages from “wet” low-diversity community of S. cuspidatum towards more diverse communities in S. magellanicum and S. rubellum, associated with higher vascular plants diversity and drier environment. Associated with S. cuspidatum were few hygrophilic species which made up most of overall Oribatida abundance: T. foveolatus, T. maior, and L. ciliatus, all three species typical inhabitants of pools with submerged vegetation in Holarctic Sphagnum bogs (Weigmann 2006; Seniczak 2011; Seniczak et al. 2014). In drier areas hygrophilic species are replaced by tyrphophilic litter- and soil-dwellers, smaller deep-soil taxa appear, and eurybionts T. velatus and O. nova increase in abundance (Druk and Vilkamaa 1988; our data). Species characheristic of S. magellanicum and S. rubellum microhabitats included tyrphophyles (M. monodactylus, N. pratensis, H. illinoisensis) and eurybionts (T. velatus, O. nova). The first three species are characteristic of Holarctic peat bogs, but may also occur in wet forest and grassland habitats (Popp 1962; Druk 1982; Druk and Vilkamaa 1988; Weigmann 2006; Lehmitz 2014). Eurybionts T. velatus and O. nova are two most widespread species in Holarctic, and can be dominant in drier bog habitats (Druk and Vilkamaa 1988; Seniczak 2011; Seniczak et al. 2014).

Spatial structuring in soil communities occurs at all scales, from spatial autocorrelation at a small scale (from mm to hundreds of meters) (Ettema and Wardle 2002; Minor 2011) to distance decay in community similarity at a larger scale (Mumladze et al. 2013). Here, we quantify the role of spatial factors in shaping community composition in isolated bogs, when simple autocorrelation no longer dominates distribution patterns. The main factors affecting isolated communities are dispersal limitation, niche processes (resource partitioning, biotic interactions and environmental filtering), and random drift (Vellend 2010; Chase and Myers 2011; Vellend et al. 2014). In variance partitioning, the effects of environmental factors are assumed to represent niche processes, whereas spatial factors are assumed to represent dispersal limitation (Chen et al. 2014; Vellend et al. 2014). In forest habitats in Europe and North America, site variations in Oribatida community composition are often better predicted by spatial distance than by environmental similarity (Borcard and Legendre 1994; Zaitsev and Wolters 2006; Lindo and Winchester 2009; Caruso et al. 2012; Erdmann et al. 2012), suggesting that Oribatida diversity patterns are dispersal-limited. However, Chen et al. (2014) found that Oribatida communities in moss carpets on rock outcrops showed weak effect of spatial factors. Many oribatid species have relatively high passive dispersal ability (Karasawa et al. 2005; Lehmitz et al. 2011, 2012), and the same bog-specific species are distributed throughout the Holarctic (Mumladze et al. 2013). Multiple independent colonization events have been suggested for O. nova, inferred from genetic variability within locations (von Saltzwedel et al. 2014).

In the absence of dispersal limitation, divergence in community composition among environmentally similar habitats can be interpreted as a result of stochastic processes of colonisation and drift (Chase 2003; Chase and Myers 2011). At the same time, selection in response to a specific strong environmental stress would reduce stochastic variation generated by dispersal and drift, causing convergence in community composition across habitats on a landscape (Chase and Myers 2011; Vellend et al. 2014). Our results suggest that Oribatid communities in peat bogs are structured by environmental rather than by spatial factors; there was no distance decay in Oribatida community similarity with increased geographical distance between bogs, and the spatial variables explained only 15.1 % of the total variance in community composition. The lack of distance decay in community similarity indicates passive dispersal abilities and similar environmental requirements for oribatid mites in peat bogs. The lack of importance of spatial factors, and the wide distribution of tyrphophilic and hygrophilic Oribatida in European Sphagnum bogs suggest homogeneity of the peat bog habitats, with site differences in assemblages reflecting random ecological drift.

Bog ecosystems are extensive and environmentally homogeneous across the landscape (Rydin and Jeglum 2006). Bogs dominated by sphagnum mosses (Protosphagnales) are known since the Permian (Maslova et al. 2012), and the peat bogs on central and north-western East European plain have persisted since Holocene, with some bogs over 10,000 years old (Vinogradov et al. 1966), presumably with more or less constant environmental conditions. Our results and the existing wide distribution of bog-specific Oribatida indicate their long-standing adaptation to this habitat, and suggest recurrent colonisation and convergent selection due to environmental filtering.

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to A. Goncharov and K. Gongalsky (A. N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Moscow) for providing Berlese funnels, A. Tsvetkov (Papanin Institute for Biology of Inland Waters, Borok) for help in preparation of the map, and M. Gapeeva (Papanin Institute for Biology of Inland Waters, Borok) for help in elemental composition analysis. We thank I. Henderson (Massey University, Palmerston North) for statistical advice, and two anonymous reviewers for constructive comments which helped to improve the manuscript. This study was supported by the Russian Science Foundation Grant No. 14-14-01134.

Supplementary material

10493_2016_75_MOESM1_ESM.doc (52 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 52 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. A. Minor
    • 1
  • S. G. Ermilov
    • 2
  • D. A. Philippov
    • 2
    • 3
  • A. A. Prokin
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Agriculture and EnvironmentMassey UniversityPalmerston NorthNew Zealand
  2. 2.Tyumen State UniversityTyumenRussia
  3. 3.Papanin Institute for Biology of Inland WatersRussian Academy of SciencesBorokRussia

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