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Seasonal Fluctuations and Distribution of Mite Populations in Moorland Soils, with a Note on Biomass

William Block
Journal of Animal Ecology
Vol. 35, No. 3 (Oct., 1966), pp. 487-503
DOI: 10.2307/2487
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2487
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Seasonal Fluctuations and Distribution of Mite Populations in Moorland Soils, with a Note on Biomass
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Abstract

Ecological studies on the Acarina of peat and mineral soils of the Moor House National Nature Reserve, Westmorland are reported. The mites were aggregated in all the twenty-four monthly samples. Most mites occurred in the top 3 cm layer of the soil cores compared with the 3-6 cm layer, except for Rhodacarus roseus in samples from limestone grassland. Mite populations ranged from 10 to 100 thousands/m2 in both soils. Mites were most abundant in May and December and least abundant in August on both sites in 1961; but in 1962, peak and minimal populations occurred at different times and this is interpreted as the result of unusual weather. The peak populations are related to the breeding cycle of the mites which is limited by climate, and individual species may have one or two generations per year at Moor House. Estimates of the biomass of mites in moorland soils range from 0.31 to 1.85 g/m2.

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