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20 January 2020 Patterns of species richness and interaction structure of predatory mites (Acari) in different Brazilian vegetation
Walter Santos de Araújo, Paulo Henrique Costa Corgosinho, Rodrigo Damasco Daud
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Abstract

Predatory mites are inquilines on the surface of leaves where they forage, find shelter and reproduce. Richness of predatory mites and their interactions with the host plants could be dependent on ecological features of the vegetation. We investigate the interaction networks composed by predatory mites and their host plants in xeromorphic and non-xeromorphic habitats in Brazil. Plant-mite interaction networks were described by the following parameters: mite species richness, network connectance, and network nestedness. We have analyzed 41 plant-mite networks composed by 138 predatory mite species, 248 host plant species and 1,099 distinct interactions. Predatory mites were represented by 13 families. Phytoseiidae was the most speciose mite family with 89 species, followed by Cunaxidae (8) and Stigmaeidae (8). Networks from non-xeromorphic habitats presented higher mite species richness in comparison to xeromorphic ones. Similarly, network connectance and nestedness were larger within non-xeromorphic habitats than within xeromorphic habitats. Our results revealed that plant-mite networks are richer and more densely connected in non-xeromorphic habitats than in xeromorphic habitats. This could be explained by the less severe ecological and environmental constraints in non-xeromorphic vegetation, which is responsible for a more diverse mite community, allowing the establishment of more complex ecological interactions.

© Systematic & Applied Acarology Society
Walter Santos de Araújo, Paulo Henrique Costa Corgosinho, and Rodrigo Damasco Daud "Patterns of species richness and interaction structure of predatory mites (Acari) in different Brazilian vegetation," Systematic and Applied Acarology 25(1), 92-102, (20 January 2020). https://doi.org/10.11158/saa.25.1.7
Received: 15 August 2019; Accepted: 20 November 2019; Published: 20 January 2020
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KEYWORDS
Acari
ecological networks
inquilines
Phytoseiidae
predation
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