Diversity of soil mite communities in different habitats of Saskhori quarries, Georgia

Maka Murvanidze, Nino Todria, Levan Mumladze, Levan Kalatozishvili


Faunal diversity of the oribatid and mesostigmatid mites was investigated in four habitats (woodland, hemy-xerophiticshrubs, degraded steppe and perennial calcareous and oligotrophic grassland) of Saskhori limestone quarry. Mining processes are not yet started and semi-natural ecosystems are still preserved. Fifty one species of oribatidmites and nine morphospecies of mesostigmatid mites were identified. Two species of mesostigmatid mites ZerconmonigenusBłaszak, 1972and TrachytesstammeniHirschmannetZirngiebl-Nicol, 1969are new records for Caucasian fauna and two more - Proprioseiopsismessor(Wainstein, 1960) and Neoseiulus montanus (Wainstein, 1962a)(both Gamasina) are new for Georgia. Highest number of species was recorded on perennial calcareous and oligotrophic grasslands (43), which were followed by forests (37) and shrubs (25). Degraded steppes were extremely poor by soil mite species – only three oribatid species and no mesostigmatans were recorded there. Overall faunal composition indicateshabitat specific anthropogenic disturbance in studied habitats and less disturbed harboring important rare and sensitive species of mites.


Oribatida, Mesostigmata, Saskhori quarry, HeidelbergCementCaucasus

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