Diversity of Soil Gamasine Mites (Acari: Mesostigmata: Gamasina) in an Area of Natural Vegetation and Cultivated Areas of the Cerrado Biome in Northern Brazil


The Brazilian Cerrado biome has undergone major changes, with the incorporation of new areas for agricultural production. While this can certainly provide for the worldwide growing need for agricultural products, especially food, care should be taken to prevent possible environmental degradation. Worldwide, mites of the cohort Gamasina constitute the most abundant and diverse group of soil predatory mites, usually considered important in maintaining the ecological balance of natural environments. Little is known about the abundance and diversity of Gamasina in the Cerrado. The objective of the present work was to evaluate the abundance and diversity of Gamasina in soils of natural vegetation and of agroecosystems in Cerrado areas of the northern Brazilian state of Tocantins. This is considered the first step in the determination of possible role of the local predators as biological control agents, and their potential for practical use locally and elsewhere. Soil samples were taken monthly between July 2015 and June 2016. In total, 1373 Gamasina representing 45 species of 24 genera and 9 families were collected. The most abundant Gamasina belonged to Rhodacaridae in areas of the natural vegetation and to Ascidae in the agroecosystems. Abundance and diversity were much higher in the rainy than in the dry season. Rhodacarids and ascids have not been used commercially for pest control, but investigations conducted so far suggest their potential as biological control agents. The confirmation of this possibility and the development of techniques that would allow their maintenance in agricultural areas require subsequent research efforts.



mesofauna, edaphic mites, prospection

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Diversity-basel. Basel: Mdpi, v. 12, n. 9, 16 p., 2020.