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Non-trophic effects of oribatid mites on cord-forming basidiomycetes in soil microcosms

A'bear, A. D., Boddy, Lynne ORCID:, Raspotnig, G. and Jones, Thomas Hefin ORCID: 2010. Non-trophic effects of oribatid mites on cord-forming basidiomycetes in soil microcosms. Ecological Entomology 35 (4) , pp. 477-484. 10.1111/j.1365-2311.2010.01204.x

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1. Saprotrophic cord-forming basidiomycetes are the primary agents of decomposition in forest ecosystems. Collembola and oribatid mites affect fungal growth and foraging, and therefore decomposition, through direct mycelial grazing. 2. Grazing on the fungal species Hypholoma fasciculare, Resinicium bicolor and Phanerochaete velutina by the collembola Folsomia candida, and the oribatid mites Steganacarus magnus, Euzetes globulus and Hermannia gibba was investigated in soil microcosms. 3. Folsomia candida grazed on all fungal species: radial extent of R. bicolor, hyphal coverage of all fungal species, and fractal dimension of R. bicolor and P. velutina were all reduced. Oribatid mites did not graze the fungi but did affect mycelial morphology. Steganacarus magnus caused a reduction in the radial extent of H. fasciculare, and the hyphal coverage and fractal dimension in both H. fasciculare and R. bicolor. Euzetes globulus and H. gibba reduced the hyphal coverage of P. velutina. 4. Oribatid mites are associated with a cornucopia of chemical secretions with possible anti-fungal properties. Chemical analysis of H. gibba opisthonotal secretions revealed four main compounds, all of which are new to the known spectrum of opisthonotal components. The most abundant was (E)-β-farnesene. 5. Treatment effects were species-specific in terms of both fungal and invertebrate species. This study provides the first evidence of non-grazing effects of oribatid mites on fungal growth and morphology. This could potentially influence the spatial organisation of mycelium in forest soils and therefore the ability of fungi to locate, colonise and decompose dead organic matter.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Basidiomycetes; collembola; decomposition; grazing; interactions; mycelium; opisthonotal glands; Oribatida
Publisher: Wiley Blackwell
ISSN: 0307-6946
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2022 10:42

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