Information on water mite assemblages from high elevation lentic biotopes is scant. A survey of 14 small Alpine lakes located between1900 and 2400 m a.s.l. in Italy resulted in the discovery of 17 species of Hydrachnidia and a single species of freshwater Halacaridae. Arrenurus conicus and Lebertia tuberosa were the most widespread and abundant species; Lebertia sefvei, Lebertia rufipes, Oxus setosus, Panisus torrenticolus and Sperchon glandulosus were also widely distributed but relatively less abundant. Atractides fissus and Arrenurus conicus are recorded for the first time from Italy. In contrast to mid/low elevation lakes and ponds, water mite assemblages of alpine lakes are less diverse and are composed mainly of rheo- and crenobiontic taxa, most of which are cold-stenothermic. Typical standing water dwellers represented only a small fraction (23%) of the species sampled. A principal component analysis conducted on lake environmental variables resulted in a clear separation of the lakes mainly based on ionic contents, pH and temperature. Water mites seem to be less influenced by these factors than by temperature fluctuations and habitat stability and heterogeneity. We conclude with some considerations of the influence of abiotic and biotic factors on the altitudinal and latitudinal distribution pattern of water mites.

Diversity, distribution and ecology of water mites (Acari: Hydrachnidia and Halacaridae) in high Alpine lakes (Central Alps, Italy)

DI SABATINO, ANTONIO;CICOLANI, Bruno
2004

Abstract

Information on water mite assemblages from high elevation lentic biotopes is scant. A survey of 14 small Alpine lakes located between1900 and 2400 m a.s.l. in Italy resulted in the discovery of 17 species of Hydrachnidia and a single species of freshwater Halacaridae. Arrenurus conicus and Lebertia tuberosa were the most widespread and abundant species; Lebertia sefvei, Lebertia rufipes, Oxus setosus, Panisus torrenticolus and Sperchon glandulosus were also widely distributed but relatively less abundant. Atractides fissus and Arrenurus conicus are recorded for the first time from Italy. In contrast to mid/low elevation lakes and ponds, water mite assemblages of alpine lakes are less diverse and are composed mainly of rheo- and crenobiontic taxa, most of which are cold-stenothermic. Typical standing water dwellers represented only a small fraction (23%) of the species sampled. A principal component analysis conducted on lake environmental variables resulted in a clear separation of the lakes mainly based on ionic contents, pH and temperature. Water mites seem to be less influenced by these factors than by temperature fluctuations and habitat stability and heterogeneity. We conclude with some considerations of the influence of abiotic and biotic factors on the altitudinal and latitudinal distribution pattern of water mites.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/13443
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