Acta Univ. Agric. Silvic. Mendelianae Brun. 2015, 63, 1565-1574
Published online 2015-10-29

Food Offer Inside Agroecosystem Soils as an Ecological Factor for Settling Microhabitats by Soil Saprophagous Mites

Jaroslav Smrž1, Tomáš Kučera2, Zdeněk Vašků3

1Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Ovocný trh 3–5, 116 36 Praha 1, Czech Republic
2University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice, Branišovská 1645/31a, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
3Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation, Žabovřeská 25, 156 27 Praha 5-Zbraslav, Czech Republic

Mainly abiotic factors have been considered in examining soil fauna invasion or settlement. The role of soil animals communities was not considered. Our hypothesis, indeed, can be formulated: the structure and feeding habits of the soil animals community is not able to play some role in the soil rating. Localities, however, can be fragmented into microhabitats. We studied cultivated field and adjacent unploughed areas (so-called baulks), using the common Berlese–Tullgren apparatus for community structure studies followed by histological tests of food consumed by community members. We selected a group of oribatid mites, which are frequent and abundant. In the studied localities and their microhabitats, three groups of oribatid mites can be reported. First – ubiquitous species a second – migrants from the less-impacted to more-impacted microhabitats and third – specialists sensitive to severe environmental conditions in more-impacted microhabitat. They consequently live only in the less-severe, less-impacted unploughed soils and never migrate from these microhabitats. Their grazed and digested food is more diversified, and they included more feeding specialists.


This study was supported by Grant No. 526/07/0393 from the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic.


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