Using artificial substrata to monitor how cryptofaunal Acari colonize littoral algae on sub-antarctic South Georgia
1996 - Volume: 37 Issue: 3 pages: 189-200
KeywordsAcari colonization cryptofauna littoral modelling sub-Antarctic
The colonization of littoral macroalgae by meiofaunal Acari on the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia was studied using spun-Nylon pan scourers as artificial substrata. A total of twelve species of littoral Acari, including two Rhodacaridae, four Halacaridae, three Podacaridae and three Hyadesiidae, were collected from the scourers. Rhombognathus auster, R. plumifer (Halacaridae), Halozetes littoralis, H. marinus (Podacaridae) and Hyadesia subantarctica (Hyadesiidae) rapidly establish their dominance in spring and remain ascendant throughout the summer. Predation and competition have minimal impact on the mite populations compared with abiotic (climatic) influences. Low winter temperatures exert an indirect pressure by killing most of the algal substrata, while storms have a more direct effect by removing both mites and algae from the shore. Surviving mites over-winter in the shelter afforded by crevices and among the basal portions of enduring algae.
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