Gamasid soil mites (Arachnida Acari) as indicators of the conservation status of forests


The Gamasida of 8 study areas in 5 different Sites of Community Interest (SCI of the Nature 2000 network) of Central Italy, characterized by beech forest and by mixed forests, were investigated to collect information for define the conservation status of the investigated sites. Samples were taken in autumn from the forest ground of the study sites (litter and soil till 7 cm in depth) during the three years of the study. Collected adult specimens were identified at species level and data were used to calculate the following indices: Shannon, Simpson, Eveness and Maturity index. On the whole, in the 8 study sites were recorded 63 species of Gamasida, belonging to 17 families, and some species seems to be a rare component of the fauna. Among study sites, diversity indices ranged from 2.20 to 2.57 for the Shannon index and from 0.82 to 0.90 for the Simpson, while the Maturity index ranged from 0.69 to 0.85; no substantial differences were observed among different study areas.


site of community interest; mite diversity; acari; Natura 2000

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