Ecologic study of soil oribatid mite, Scheloribates rectus (Acari) in high altitude Botanical Garden of Darjeeling Himalayas, India

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

References

  1. Acharya M, Ghosh TC, Acharya R, Acharya K (2001) Propagation of Ginkgo biloba by simple cutting method. Indian Forester 127(7):827–828

  2. Akrami MA, Saboori A, Eslami A (2007) Observations on oribatid mites (Acari: Oribatida) serving as intermediate hosts of Moniezia expansa (Cestoda: Anoplocephalidae) in Iran. Int J Acarol 33:365–369. https://doi.org/10.1080/01647950708683699

  3. Balogh J (1961) Identification keys of the world oribatid (Acari) families and genera. Acta Zool Acad Sci Hung 7(3–4):243–344

    Google Scholar 

  4. Balogh J, Balogh P (1992) The oribatid mites genera of the world, Vol II. Hungarian National History Museum, Budapest

  5. Chakraborti DK, Mondal BK (1981) Taxonomic investigation on the oribatid fauna (Acari) of forest and tea soil of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India. Sci Cult 47:181–184

    Google Scholar 

  6. Choudhuri DK, Pande T (1979) High altitude soil animals and their relation with soil factors with special reference to mites. Rev Ecol Biol Sol 16:219–226

    Google Scholar 

  7. Choudhuri DK, Pande T (1982) An ecological study of acarines from soil of Himalayan ecosystem. Geobios New Reports 1:24–26

    Google Scholar 

  8. Choudhuri DK, Roy S (1972) An ecological study on Collembola of West Bengal, India. Rec Zool Surv India 66(1–4):81–101

    Google Scholar 

  9. Cortet J, Gillon D, Joffre R, Ourcival JM, Poinsot-Balaguer N (2002) Effects of pesticides on organic matter recycling and microarthropods in a maize field: use and discussion of the litterbag methodology. Eur J Soil Biol 38:261–265. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1164-5563(02)01156-1

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Dhillon BS, Gibson NHE (1962) A study of the Acarine and Collembola of agricultural soils. Pedobiologia 1:189–209

    Google Scholar 

  11. Doles JL, Zimmerman RJ, Moore JC (2001) Soil microarthropod community structure and dynamics in organic and conventionally managed apple orchards in Western Colorado, USA. Appl Soil Ecol 18:83–96

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Erdmann G, Scheu S, Maraun M (2012) Regional factors rather than forest type drive the community structure of soil living oribatid mites (Acari, Oribatida). Exp Appl Acarol 57:157–169. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10493-012-9546-9

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  13. Fischer BM, Schatz H (2013) Biodiversity of oribatid mites (Acari: Oribatida) along an altitudinal gradient in the Central Alps. Zootaxa 3626:429–454. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa3626.4.2

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Fischer BM, Schatz H, Maraun M (2010) Community structure, trophic position and reproductive mode of soil and bark-living oribatid mites in an alpine grassland ecosystem. Exp Appl Acarol 52:221–337. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10493-010-9366-8

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  15. Gergócs V, Hufnagel L (2009) Application of oribatid mites as indicators (review). Appl Ecol Environ Res 7:79–98

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Ghosh TC (2018) Impact of macro vegetation and edaphic variables on the distribution and diversity of Oribatida (Acari) in northern Tripura, India. Biologia 73(12):1229–1236. https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-018-0142-2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Ghosh TC, Mandal S (2017) Distribution and seasonal abundance of acarine community in a Zoological Park of Darjeeling Himalayas, West Bengal, India. Persian J Acarol 6(1):1–10. https://doi.org/10.22073/pja.v6i1.26053

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Ghosh TC, Roy S (2004) Distribution and diversity of acarine community in three tea garden soils at different altitudes of Darjeeling Himalayas. Proc Zool Soc Calcutta 57(2):87–93

    Google Scholar 

  19. Ghosh TC, Saha GK, Roy S (2006) Studies on the impact of four edaphic factors on the density, seasonal abundance and diversity of acarine fauna in the soils of a tea estate in Darjeeling. Rec Zool Surv India 106(2):25–34

    Google Scholar 

  20. Haimi J, Laamanen J, Penttinen R, Räty M, Koponen S, Kellomäki S, Niemela P (2005) Impacts of elevated CO2 and temperature on the soil fauna of boreal forests. Appl Soil Ecol 30:104–112

  21. Hammer M (1958) Investigation on the oribatid fauna of the Andes Mountains. I. The Argentina and Bolivia. Biologiske Skrifter Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab 10:1–129

    Google Scholar 

  22. Hammer M (1973) Oribatids from Tongatapu and Eua, the Tonga Islands, and from Upalu, Western Samoa. Biologiske Skrifter Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab 20:1–99

    Google Scholar 

  23. Hasegawa M, Ito MT, Kitayama K (2006) Community structure of oribatid mites in relation to elevation and geology on the slope of mount Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. Eur J Soil Biol 42:S191–S196. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejsobi.2006.07.006

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Hattar SJS, Alfred JRB, Darlong VT (1992) Soil Acarina and Collembola in forest and cultivated land of Khasi Hills, Meghalaya. Rec Zool Surv India 92(1–4):89–97

    Google Scholar 

  25. Jing S, Solhøy T, Huifu W, Vollan TI, Rumei X (2005) Differences in soil arthropod communities along a high altitude gradient at Shergyla Mountain, Tibet, China. Arctic Antarct Appl Res 37:261–266. https://doi.org/10.1657/1523-0430(2005)037[0261:DISACA]2.0.CO;2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Jung C, Lee J-H, S-Sik C (2002) Potential of using oribatid mites (Acari: Oribatida) as biological indicators of forest soil acidification. Korean J Agric Forest Meteorol 4(4):213–218

    Google Scholar 

  27. Mani MS (1962) Introduction to high altitude entomology. Insect life above the timber in the north west Hilmalaya. Methuen &. Co. Ltd., London, pp 1–302

    Google Scholar 

  28. Martínez PA, Fredes NA, Montti LF, Casertano SA (2009) Soil oribatid mite in four typical vegetation communities of Misiones forest in the Iguazú area, Argentina. Pesq Agropec Bras 44(8):1021–1026

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Minor MA, Ermilov SG, Philippov DA, Prokin AA (2016) Relative importance of local habitat complexity and regional factors for assemblages of oribatid mites (Acari: Oribatida) in Sphagnum peat bogs. Exp Appl Acarol 70(3):275–286. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10493-016-0075-9

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  30. Mondal BK, Kundu BG (1985) A new species of Oppia (Acari: Oribatei: Oppiidae) fromDarjeeling, India. Bull Zool Surv India 7:305–309

    Google Scholar 

  31. Mondal BK, Kundu BG (1986) A new species of Octocephidae (Acari: Oribatei) from Darjeeling, India. Bull Zool Surv India 83:91–96

    Google Scholar 

  32. Mondal BK, Kundu BG (1988) Two new species of oribatid mites (Acari) of the genus Hoplophthiracarus Jacor, from Darjeeling, India. Bull Zool Surv India 85:111–118

    Google Scholar 

  33. Mori A, Shiono T, Koide D (2013) Community assembly processes shape an altitudinal gradient of forest biodiversity. Glob Ecol Biogeogr 22:878–888. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12058

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Mumladze L, Murvanidze M, Maraun M, Salakaia M (2015) Oribatid mite communities along an elevational gradient in Sairme gorge (Caucasus). Exp Appl Acarol 66(1):41–51. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10493-015-9893-4

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  35. Murphy PW (1962) Sample preparation for funnel extraction and routine methods for handling the catch. In: Murphy PW (ed) Progress in soil zoology. Butterworths, London, pp 189–198

    Google Scholar 

  36. Nico M, Straalen V, Verhoef AH (1997) The development of a bioindicator system for soil acidity based on arthropod pH preferences. J Appl Ecol 34(1):217–232

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Sanyal AK (1981) Qualitative and quantitative composition of Oribatei in Gangetic Delta of W.B. in relation to edaphic factors. Bull Zool Surv India 4(3):295–307

    Google Scholar 

  38. Sanyal AK (2003) Diversity in soil oribatid (Acari) mites of Tripura. Rec Zool Surv India 101(3–4):55–60

    Google Scholar 

  39. Sanyal AK, Bhaduri AK (1982) Seasonal changes in the density of soil oribatid mites in relation to temperature and water content of soil at Sagar Island, 24 Parganas, West Bengal. Proceedings of symposium. Ecology of animal population. Zool Surv India 3:119–126

    Google Scholar 

  40. Sanyal AK, Kundu BG, Roy S (1999) Ecology of soil oribatid mites (Acari) in relation to some edaphic factors in Gangetic delta of West Bengal. Rec Zool Surv India 177:1–55

    Google Scholar 

  41. Sarkar S (1990) Studies on microarthropod community in one undisturbed habitat of Tripura (India) with special reference to oribatid mites. Rev Ecol Biol Sol 27(3):307–329

    Google Scholar 

  42. Schneider K, Migge S, Norton RA, Scheu S, Langel R, Reineking A, Maraun M (2004) Trophic niche differentiation in soil microarthropods (Oribatida Acari): evidence from stable isotope ratios (N-15/N-14). Soil Biol Biochem 36:1769–1774. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2004.04.033

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Schuster R, Coetzee L, Putterill JF (2000) Oribatid mites (Acari, Oribatida) as intermediate hosts of tapeworms of the family Anoplocephalidae (Cestoda) and the transmission of Moniezia expansa cysticercoids in South Africa. Onderstepoort J Vet Res 67(1):49–55

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  44. Seniczak S, Seniczak A (2010) Oribatid mites (Acari, Oribatida) of various habitats in southern Andalusia (Spain). Biol Lett 47(1):29–35. https://doi.org/10.2478/v10120-009-0015-z

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Seniczak S, Kaczmarek S, Seniczak A (2011) Oribatid mites (Acari, Oribatida) of bushy patches in steppe vegetation of cape Tarkhankut in Crimea (Ukraine). Biol Lett 48(2):177–183. https://doi.org/10.2478/v10120-011-0016-6

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Shimano S (2004) Oribatid mites (Acari: Oribatida) as an intermediate host of anoplocephalid cestodes in Japan. Appl Entomol Zool 39(1):1–6. https://doi.org/10.1303/aez.2004.1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Subías LS (2004) Listado Sistematico, Sinonimico y Biogeographico de los Acaros Oribatidos (Acariformes, Oribatida) del Mundo. Graellsia 60(número extraordinario):3–305. Electronic update 2016: http://www.ucm.es/info/zoo/Artropodos/Catalogo.pdf. Accessed 28 Dec 2016

  48. Sulkava P, Huhta V, Laakso J (1996) Impact of soil faunal structure on decomposition and N- mineralization in relation to temperature and moisture in forest soil. Pedobiologia 40(6):505–513

    Google Scholar 

  49. Van Nieuwenhuizen LC, Verster AJM, Horak IG, Krecek RC, Grimbeek JR (1994) The seasonal abundance of oribatid mites (Acari: Cryptostigmata) on an irrigated Kikuyu grass pasture. Exp Appl Acarol 18:73–76. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00055032

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Walkley A, Black IA (1934) An extraction of the Degtjareff method for determining soil organic matter and a proposed modification of the chromic acid titration method. Soil Sci 37:29–38

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Wallwork JA, MacQuitty M, Silva S, Whitford WG (1986) Seasonality of some Chihuahuan Desert soil oribatid mites (Acari: Cryptrostigmata). J Zool Lond 208:403–416. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7998.1986.tb01903.x

Download references

Acknowledgments

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.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Tapas Chandra Ghosh.

Ethics declarations

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.

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

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

Download citation

Keywords

  • Darjeeling Himalayas
  • Altitude
  • Behaviour
  • Oribatid mite
  • Edaphic variable