Special Issue "Biodiversity of Mites"

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Diversity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 July 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Dariusz J. Gwiazdowicz
Website
Guest Editor
Poznan University of Life Sciences, Poland
Interests: mesostigmatic mites; taxonomy, ecology; zoogeography; parasitology; bioindicators

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The world of mites, being exceptionally diverse and rich, may be analyzed both in historical and geographical terms. It is commonly known that these tiny, ubiquitous invertebrates are found both in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems; additionally, they are relatively abundant in the aeroplankton. The species composition and character of their assemblages vary, and they are different in polar, temperate, and tropical regions. All the abovementioned factors force scientists to apply a unique approach to research problems and specifically define the aims of their investigations. For example, the oldest mite specimens trapped in amber are several dozen million years old and require a methodology differing from that used in the case of extant species, which are the basis for taxonomic (including genetic) or ecological analyses.

Nature is a highly complex system, a web of interdependencies between species and their assemblages and their habitats. An important role in this ecological system is played by mites, as they may also be used as bioindicators. For this reason, both their richness and a better understanding of their multifaceted impact on the natural environment will promote a more effective biodiversity conservation.

The Special Issue of "Biodiversity of Mites" will provide a platform facilitating a review of current knowledge on the subject, identify the current research problems, as well as indicate directions and research trends for the future.

Prof. Dr. Dariusz J. Gwiazdowicz
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Diversity is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Mites
  • Biodiversity
  • Zoogeography
  • Ecology
  • Bioindicators
  • Nature conservation

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Endemism of Uropodina Mites: Spurious or Real?
Diversity 2020, 12(7), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12070283 - 18 Jul 2020
Abstract
Analyzing the data from the existing literature about geographic distribution of mites from the suborder Uropodina (Acari: Mesostigmata), one can get the impression that this group of mites is characterized by an unusual extent of endemism on a global scale. This observation encouraged [...] Read more.
Analyzing the data from the existing literature about geographic distribution of mites from the suborder Uropodina (Acari: Mesostigmata), one can get the impression that this group of mites is characterized by an unusual extent of endemism on a global scale. This observation encouraged the authors of this study to ascertain whether endemism in Uropodina mites is a real feature of this group or whether it stems from the current state of affairs in this field of research. The study is based on evidence from the literature on the topic and data obtained from long-term research conducted on extensive materials from all over the globe (over 40,000 samples). The discussion presented in the article is supported by many examples, showing that both hypotheses can in fact be proved right. The major point of reference in this study is the fairly well-known fauna of Uropodina in Europe, whereas South America is the testing area for the two hypotheses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Mites)
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Open AccessArticle
The Biodiversity of Demodecid Mites (Acariformes: Prostigmata), Specific Parasites of Mammals with a Global Checklist and a New Finding for Demodex sciurinus
Diversity 2020, 12(7), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12070261 - 30 Jun 2020
Abstract
Demodecidae are the most specialized parasitic mites of mammals; they typically inhabit the skin, but they have been found in other tissues and organs. They can cause demodecosis (a disease which is hazardous and difficult to cure) in humans, domestic animals and livestock. [...] Read more.
Demodecidae are the most specialized parasitic mites of mammals; they typically inhabit the skin, but they have been found in other tissues and organs. They can cause demodecosis (a disease which is hazardous and difficult to cure) in humans, domestic animals and livestock. They are parasites with high host and topical specificity. They have been found for most orders of mammals, and they are common in the populations of numerous host species. Therefore, they not only constitute an important subject of veterinary and medical study, but also comprise an excellent model for faunistic and parasitological analyses concerning different aspects of functioning and evolution of the host–parasite relationship. The current level or knowledge of demodecid mites is irregular and fragmentary, and numerous questions require elaboration and ordering, from the taxonomic diversity to geographic distribution and relations with hosts. Such data may be of use i.a. for the development of more efficient and reliable diagnostic methods, as well as understanding the etiology and pathogenesis mechanisms of demodecosis, currently a contentious issue. The present paper lists all formally-described valid species of demodecid mites, together with other functioning specific names, verified and with comments on their status. This is significant for correct species identification and demodecosis diagnostics. The list has been drawn up on the basis of data acquired in the period 1842−2020. It contains 122 valid species of parasite, including their hosts and geographic distribution, data on parasitism, as well as only the second record of Demodex sciurinus in Eurasian red squirrel Sciurus vulgaris in over 100 years since its initial discovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Mites)
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Open AccessCommunication
Revisiting the Evolution of Arboreal Life in Oribatid Mites
Diversity 2020, 12(6), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12060255 - 22 Jun 2020
Abstract
Though mostly soil dwelling, oribatid mites are found in all kind of habitats, with several species exclusively living on trees. Using previously published DNA sequences and eco-morphological data available from the literature, we inferred the number of transitions between soil dwelling to a [...] Read more.
Though mostly soil dwelling, oribatid mites are found in all kind of habitats, with several species exclusively living on trees. Using previously published DNA sequences and eco-morphological data available from the literature, we inferred the number of transitions between soil dwelling to a truly arboreal lifestyle in oribatid mites and the shape evolution of a particular morphological structure of a sense organ (bothridial seta (= sensillus) of a trichobothrium), the shape of which was previously reported to be associated with an arboreal lifestyle. Our data suggest that a truly arboreal lifestyle evolved several times independently in oribatid mites, but much less often than previously proposed in the past. Even though all truly arboreal species indeed seem to possess a capitate sensillus, this character is not exclusive for arboreal taxa. Nonetheless, since all truly arboreal species do have a capitate sensillus, this might be considered an important (pre-)adaptation to a life on trees. We further provide guidelines on how the term “arboreal” should be applied in future mite research and emphasize the importance of exact microhabitat characterization, as this will greatly facilitate comparisons across studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Mites)
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Open AccessArticle
Cereal Straw Mulching in Strawberry—A Facilitator of Plant Visits by Edaphic Predatory Mites at Night?
Diversity 2020, 12(6), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12060242 - 13 Jun 2020
Abstract
In Norway, strawberry producers use cereal straw mulching to prevent berries from contacting the soil and to control weeds. We hypothesized that organic matter such as straw mulch also favors the maintenance of predatory mites which visit strawberry plants at nighttime. We compared [...] Read more.
In Norway, strawberry producers use cereal straw mulching to prevent berries from contacting the soil and to control weeds. We hypothesized that organic matter such as straw mulch also favors the maintenance of predatory mites which visit strawberry plants at nighttime. We compared mite diversity in cereal straw exposed for different periods in strawberry fields and evaluated their possible migration to plants in two experiments with potted plants in 2019. An ‘Early season’ experiment compared no mulching (T1), oat straw mulch exposed in field since 2018 (T2), or 2017 (T3), while a ‘Mid-season’ experiment compared no mulching (T1), barley straw mulch from 2018 (T2), or a mix from 2017 and 2018 (T3). To provide edaphic predatory mites with a potential source of food, all plants were infested with two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae Koch). Results suggested that straw mulch facilitates the prevalence of predatory mites in strawberry fields. Most predatory mite visits were at night, confirming our initial hypothesis. Predominant nocturnal mites on leaves belonged to Melicharidae (Proctolaelaps sp.) (‘Early season’, T2), Blattisociidae (Lasioseius sp.) (‘Early and Mid-season’, T3) and Phytoseiidae (‘Mid-season’, T2). Parasitus consanguineus Oudemans & Voigts was the predominant species (‘Early season’, T3) at the base of plants. Anystidae were diurnal visitors only (‘Mid-season’, T2). Future studies should evaluate the predation potential of Proctolaelaps sp. and Lasioseius sp. on two-spotted spider mite and other strawberry pests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Mites)
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Open AccessArticle
Patterns of Distribution of Phoretic Deutonymphs of Uropodina on Longhorn Beetles in Białowieża Primeval Forest, Central Europe
Diversity 2020, 12(6), 239; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12060239 - 12 Jun 2020
Abstract
We studied the distributional patterns of phoretic deutonymphs of the genera Oodinychus and Trichouropoda (Uropodina) on the longhorn beetles Monochamus sartor urussovii, Plagionotus detritus, Tetropium castaneum, and Te. fuscum, based on large samples of specimens (992 beetles and 25,587 [...] Read more.
We studied the distributional patterns of phoretic deutonymphs of the genera Oodinychus and Trichouropoda (Uropodina) on the longhorn beetles Monochamus sartor urussovii, Plagionotus detritus, Tetropium castaneum, and Te. fuscum, based on large samples of specimens (992 beetles and 25,587 mites) collected in the Białowieża Primeval Forest in Central Europe in the years 2008 and 2012–2016. All the studied phoretic phoront-host associations are characterized by different patterns of the attachment sites of mites on beetle’s body. In the case of O. ovalis and M. sartor urussovii association, the deutonymphs were found mostly on the pronotum and dorsal surface of the elytra. This is the only instance in which phoronts were absent on the legs. Deutonymphs of T. sociata on P. detritus preferred the abdomnen (both tergites and ventrites) and the hindlegs. Only in this case the phoronts were attached inside the subelytral space. The highest number of deutonymphs of T. shcherbakae on both Tetropium species occured on the legs. In the case of Te. castaneum, similar proportions of mites were recorded on all pairs of legs, while the preferred location of mites phoretic on Te. fuscum were the forelegs. Both the preferences of phoretic deutonymphs for specific parts of the host’s body and the participation of carriers transporting deutonymphs on particular parts of their bodies were very consistent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Mites)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Oribatid Fauna of the East European Tundra with First Reported Data of Subpolar Urals
Diversity 2020, 12(6), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12060235 - 10 Jun 2020
Abstract
This study presents data on the oribatid mite fauna of the Subpolar Urals for the first time. Observations were made in the Lembekoyu River valley and 35 species of oribatid mites from 24 genera and 21 families were found. The analysis of taxonomic [...] Read more.
This study presents data on the oribatid mite fauna of the Subpolar Urals for the first time. Observations were made in the Lembekoyu River valley and 35 species of oribatid mites from 24 genera and 21 families were found. The analysis of taxonomic diversity and distribution of East European tundra oribatid mite species is presented based on available literature and the author’s own research findings. The taxonomic list includes 163 species from 81 genera and 45 families. Ceratozetidae (15 species), Crotoniidae (14 species), Oppiidae (12 species), Suctobelbidae (12 species), Damaeidae (9 species), Brachychthoniidae (8 species), Phthiracaridae (5 species), Humerobatidae (5 species), Achipteriidae (5 species), Punctoribatidae (5 species), and Galumnidae (5 species) are the leading families, comprising more than 58% of all species. The zoogeographical structure of the fauna is dominated by widely distributed Holarctic, cosmopolitan, and semi-cosmopolitan species. The share of Palaearctic species is 23%. The specificity of the fauna of East European tundra manifests itself in the small group of Arctic species, both in the mainland tundra and on the Arctic islands. A complex of arctic-boreal species, widely distributed in the Eurasian sector of the Arctic, is distinguished. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Mites)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Snap-Shot of Domatial Mite Diversity of Coffea arabica in Comparison to the Adjacent Umtamvuna Forest in South Africa
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020079 - 18 Feb 2020
Abstract
Some plant species possess structures known as leaf domatia, which house mites. The association between domatia-bearing plants and mites has been proposed to be mutualistic, and has been found to be important in species of economic value, such as grapes, cotton, avocado and [...] Read more.
Some plant species possess structures known as leaf domatia, which house mites. The association between domatia-bearing plants and mites has been proposed to be mutualistic, and has been found to be important in species of economic value, such as grapes, cotton, avocado and coffee. This is because leaf domatia affect the distribution, diversity and abundance of predatory and mycophagous mites found on the leaf surface. As a result, plants are thought to benefit from increased defence against pathogens and small arthropod herbivores. This study assesses the relative diversity and composition of mites on an economically important plant host (Coffea aribica) in comparison to mites found in a neighbouring indigenous forest in South Africa. Our results showed that the coffee plantations were associated with only predatory mites, some of which are indigenous to South Africa. This indicates that coffee plantations are able to be successfully colonised by indigenous beneficial mites. We also found an “edge effect”, in that coffee trees at the edge of the plantation hosted fewer mite species. These results are a snap-shot from a single sampling period. Nonetheless, they highlight the potential importance of this mutualism in commercial crop species and the possible role of faunal exchanges between indigenous and exotic crop species. This study expands our understanding of the mite–plant mutualism in Southern Africa, a region where acarological studies are sparse. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Mites)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
The Biodiversity of Water Mites That Prey on and Parasitize Mosquitoes
Diversity 2020, 12(6), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12060226 - 06 Jun 2020
Abstract
Water mites form one of the most biodiverse groups within the aquatic arachnid class. These freshwater macroinvertebrates are predators and parasites of the equally diverse nematocerous Dipterans, such as mosquitoes, and water mites are believed to have diversified as a result of these [...] Read more.
Water mites form one of the most biodiverse groups within the aquatic arachnid class. These freshwater macroinvertebrates are predators and parasites of the equally diverse nematocerous Dipterans, such as mosquitoes, and water mites are believed to have diversified as a result of these predatory and parasitic relationships. Through these two major biotic interactions, water mites have been found to greatly impact a variety of mosquito species. Although these predatory and parasitic interactions are important in aquatic ecology, very little is known about the diversity of water mites that interact with mosquitoes. In this paper, we review and update the past literature on the predatory and parasitic mite–mosquito relationships, update past records, discuss the biogeographic range of these interactions, and add our own recent findings on this topic conducted in habitats around the Laurentian Great Lakes. The possible impact on human health, along with the importance of water mite predator–prey dynamics in aquatic food webs, motivates an increase in future research on this aquatic predator and parasite and may reveal novel ecological functions that these parasitic and predator–prey relationships mediate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Mites)
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