Chapter

Mites: Ecology, Evolution & Behaviour

pp 161-228

Date:

Mites in Soil and Litter Systems

  • David Evans WalterAffiliated withInvertebrate Zoology, University of the Sunshine Coast Royal Alberta Museum
  • , Heather C. ProctorAffiliated withBiological Sciences, University of Alberta

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

People, like other large terrestrial mammals, tread the surface of the Earth and we know best the aboveground half of the ecosystems we inhabit. Forests, grasslands, meadows, fields, deserts and cities squat on the surface of the earth, but each has its shadow existence belowground. Less than half of the energy fixed by the sun is respired by the plants, animals and microbes that live aboveground: most falls into the living system we call soil (Macfadyen 1963). Soils are well known for their extraordinary biological diversity (Wardle 2006) and, more than any other habitat, this largely belowground system is the empire of mites.