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Diversity of soil cryptostigmatid mites (Acari: Oribatida) of Himachal Pradesh, India, from an altitudinal perspective

Acharya, Shelley, Datta, Tridip Kumar
Journal of Asia-Pacific biodiversity(Online) 2019
Scheloribatidae, altitude, dominant species, fauna, mites, population density, soil, species diversity, temperate zones, tropics, India
The species composition and distribution of oribatid mites in altitudinal zones of Himachal Pradesh were studied. The present study reports 23 species of oribatid mites belonging to 18 genera and 16 families. Altogether, 43 species of oribatid mites belonging to 30 genera and 25 families have been recorded from Himachal Pradesh; of which, 13 species under 9 genera are the first records from the state. The maximal population density (59.3%) was recorded in the family Scheloribatidae. The maximum values of oribatid diversity and evenness were recorded from the temperate and alpine zones, respectively. In the alpine zone, a single dominant species was recorded. An analysis of relationships of oribatid mites in the studied altitudinal zones demonstrated that the diversity decreases with the increase of altitude. The similarity of the species composition has been found in a higher degree between the temperate zone and tropical zone of the studied regions. The alpine zone was found to have a very distinct faunal assemblage compared with the other three zones.