Songbird nests on the ground as islands of diversity of ptyctimous mites (Acari: Oribatida) in the primeval Białowieża Forest (Poland)

Niedbała, Wojciech; Maziarz, Marta; Hebda, Grzegorz; Rutkowski, Tomasz; Napierała, Agnieszka; Kurek, Przemysław; Zacharyasiewicz, Michał; Broughton, Richard K. ORCID:; Błoszyk, Jerzy. 2023 Songbird nests on the ground as islands of diversity of ptyctimous mites (Acari: Oribatida) in the primeval Białowieża Forest (Poland). Experimental and Applied Acarology, 90 (3-4). 169-184.

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Due to specific microclimatic conditions and accumulation of organic matter, bird nests are microhabitats that are often inhabited by various invertebrates, including mites (Acari). We tested whether nests of the ground-nesting passerine Phylloscopus sibilatrix (Bechstein) (Passeriformes: Phylloscopidae) [wood warbler] were associated with an increased local diversity of ptyctimous mites (Acari: Oribatida) on the forest floor in the Białowieża National Park, East Poland. In 2019–2020, we analysed 150 warbler nests shortly after they had been vacated by the birds, and additionally we sampled mites in leaf litter at 1 and 6 m distances from 21 of the collected nests. We found on average more mite species in nests sampled in 2020 than in nests sampled in 2019. Although the species composition largely overlapped between bird nests and the litter, bird nests contained a greater average number of mite species than litter samples, including species found only – Microtritia minima (Berlese) and Phthiracarus crenophilus Willmann – or mostly – Euphthiracarus cribrarius (Berlese) and Phthiracarus globosus (C.L. Koch) – in bird nests. The results suggest that the presence of bird nests may increase the local diversity of the invertebrate species assemblage.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Biodiversity (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 0168-8162
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: biodiversity, assemblage structure, nest of birds, Ptyctimous mites, unstable microhabitats
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
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Date made live: 09 Nov 2023 10:01 +0 (UTC)

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