Dead Wood as an Element Enriching Biodiversity of Forest Ecosystems: A Case Study Based on Mites from the Suborder Uropodina (Acari: Parasitiformes)

Jerzy Błoszyk, Tomasz Rutkowski, Agnieszka Napierała, Szymon Konwerski, Michał Zacharyasiewicz
2021 Diversity  
The importance of dead wood in forest ecosystems for the existence of invertebrates has been widely discussed in the literature. The major aim of this study is to test the hypothesis that the presence of dead wood in forests considerably increases the species diversity of Uropodina (Acari: Parasitiformes) communities in a given area. The areas selected for the study are unique from a natural point of view. They are the Białowieża Primeval Forest, Cisy Staropolskie im. Leona Wyczółkowskiego
more » ... e Reserve, and five oak-hornbeam nature reserves in western Poland. The study is based on materials collected since the 1960s of the last century. The highest number of species (37) both in soil and dead wood microhabitats was recorded in the Białowieża Primeval Forest and Cisy Staropolskie Nature Reserve, though the dead wood material from the second area contained the highest number of species (33). The results of the analysis show that the presence of dead wood increases species diversity of Uropodina communities in all locations under scrutiny. Moreover, dead wood increases the species diversity of Uropodina communities by attracting rare and stenotopic species, and therefore leaving dead trees in forests is extremely important for the habitat protection of these species.
doi:10.3390/d13100476 doaj:bd2b8af773d942a7885857fb8251742c fatcat:i7svcpt3ezcgnethodtg3vhzye