Preliminary study of the mite community structure in different black truffle producing soils

Mikel Queralt, María Lourdes Moraza, Ana María De Miguel


Aims of the study: The goals of this paper are to provide preliminary data on the composition of the mite community in truffle-producing soils (both wild and plantations); and to elucidate those species which may interact with the black truffle life cycle.

Area of study: The study was carried out in two black truffle productive zones in Navarra (Spain), in four different plantations and five wild production areas.

Material and Methods: Fauna was extracted using Berlese Tullgren funnels. Animals were separated into taxonomic groups, and mites were identified. To analyse the composition and community structure of the different habitats, parameters such as abundance, species richness, and Shanon Weiner diversity index (H’) were calculated.

Main results: A total of 305 mites were recognized, belonging to 58 species representing the three major taxonomic groups (Oribatida, Prostigmata, Mesostigmata).

Research highlights: The results show a possible trend towards wild areas having greater diversity and species richness than plantations. Furthermore, community analysis shows differences in species compositions among different study areas, and oribatid mites always exhibit the highest relative abundance and species richness.

Keywords: Acari; Tuber melanosporum; Oribatida; Mesostigmata; Prostigmata; truffle orchards. 

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DOI: 10.5424/fs/2014232-04906