Soil mite communities (Acari: Mesostigmata) as indicators of urban ecosystems in Bucharest, Romania

Manu, M.; Băncilă, R.I.; Bîrsan, C.C.; Mountford, O.; Onete, M.. 2021 Soil mite communities (Acari: Mesostigmata) as indicators of urban ecosystems in Bucharest, Romania. Scientific Reports, 11, 3794. 14, pp.

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The aim of the present study was to establish the effect of management type and of environmental variables on the structure, abundance and species richness of soil mites (Acari: Mesostigmata) in twelve urban green areas in Bucharest-Romania. Three categories of ecosystem based upon management type were investigated: protected area, managed (metropolitan, municipal and district parks) and unmanaged urban areas. The environmental variables which were analysed were: soil and air temperature, soil moisture and atmospheric humidity, soil pH and soil penetration resistance. In June 2017, 480 soil samples were taken, using MacFadyen soil core. The same number of measures was made for quantification of environmental variables. Considering these, we observed that soil temperature, air temperature, air humidity and soil penetration resistance differed significantly between all three types of managed urban green area. All investigated environmental variables, especially soil pH, were significantly related to community assemblage. Analysing the entire Mesostigmata community, 68 species were identified, with 790 individuals and 49 immatures. In order to highlight the response of the soil mite communities to the urban conditions, Shannon, dominance, equitability and soil maturity indices were quantified. With one exception (numerical abundance), these indices recorded higher values in unmanaged green areas compared to managed ecosystems. The same trend was observed between different types of managed green areas, with metropolitan parks having a richer acarological fauna than the municipal or district parks.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: UKCEH Fellows
ISSN: 2045-2322
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: ecology, zoology
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 22 Feb 2021 11:08 +0 (UTC)

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