Taxonomic and structural similarities in soil oribatid communities

Graham H. R. Osler, Andrew J. Beattie

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    We examined the taxonomic and structural concordance between oribatid mite communities at different sites from around the world using meta-analysis. The study explored similarities in the taxonomic composition and species abundance distributions among oribatid mite communities using 25 published species lists from Africa, Australia, Europe, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand and the United States. The final data set contained 253 genera from 97 families in 43 superfamilies. A second data set, which included only studies where trees were present at the sites, contained 234 genera, 93 families and 41 superfamilies. Composition was analysed at taxonomic levels higher than species. Only two families and four superfamilies were present in > 90% of all studies. Two genera, six families and seven superfamilies were found in all sites with trees. Common families were different among habitats suggesting that habitat preferences may be expressed at the family level. There were very strong relationships between oribatid mite species richness and richness at higher taxonomic levels with r2 values for regression relationships > 0.8. Few species at a site were from the same genus, family or superfamily. Species abundance distributions were remarkably consistent between studies with the three most dominant species each constituting > 10% of the oribatid individuals. Overall, similar factors may determine the relative proportions of soil-dwelling oribatid species at a site.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)567-574
    Number of pages8
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 1999


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