The results of some aspects of the ecology of Scheloribates rectus Hammer, 1958 in the soils of a high altitude Botanical Garden in Darjeeling Himalayas, India are presented. Soil samples were collected from two plots (‘X’ and ‘Y’) at monthly intervals for a period of three successive years (January 1999 to December 2001). Attempts have been made to determine the extent to which habitat complexity and local microclimatic variables influenced the population size of this mite. The total population of S. rectus exhibited an irregular trend of fluctuation during the period of investigation with a maximum in winter and minimum in monsoon months. There was a considerable post monsoon / winter increase in population size. Among the four edaphic variables (temperature, moisture, pH and organic matter), only the organic matter content exhibited a positive and significant correlation with the mite population, while the temperature, moisture and pH showed a significant but negative correlation. It was appealing to note that the studied plots being close to each other were more or less similar in edaphic and climatic conditions with a little variation in altitude and vegetation cover. However, the number of mite specimens varied from one plot to another. The reasons of seasonal abundance and numerical variation in the plots are discussed.
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Author is grateful to Dr. Asok Kanti Sanyal and Dr. Atish Chandra Ghosh for identifying the mite and plant species respectively. Thanks are also due to the Divisional Forest Officer, Silviculture Hills Division, Principal, Darjeeling Government College and Head of the Department of Zoology, Burdwan University for providing facilities and extending necessary permission to execute this study in the premises of Botanical Garden, respectively. The author is thankful to the Principal and Dr. Subhajit Dinda of this institute for their cooperation.
The author declares that the accepted principles of ethical and professional conduct have been followed strictly. Since in case of study of soil mites, no ethical issues are required so far my knowledge is concerned.
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Ghosh, T.C. Ecologic study of soil oribatid mite, Scheloribates rectus (Acari) in high altitude Botanical Garden of Darjeeling Himalayas, India. Biologia 75, 1289–1295 (2020). https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-019-00370-4
- Darjeeling Himalayas
- Oribatid mite
- Edaphic variable