Oribatid mites, also called beetle or moss mites, include more than 10,000 named species representing 172 families worldwide. This book provides an identification key to the 96 families, 250 genera and the c.580 described species for Canada and Alaska, a fauna that encompasses more than 50% of Northern Hemisphere genera. It includes known data on the ecology of species, their distribution in the Holarctic region, and relevant literature.
Oribatid mites are model arthropods in studies on development, morphology, ecology, physiology, and biomechanics. Growing recognition of the importance of soil systems for agriculture, reclamation, carbon storage and climate mitigation has spurred recent interest in the vast soil biodiversity that provide these ecosystem services. Yet the major barrier to exploring and understanding soil biodiversity is lack of comprehensive and functional taxonomic and ecological treatments of key biotic groups; groups such as the oribatid mites.
Oribatid Mites is unparalleled in the comprehensive nature of the information provided. The authors, two leading global experts for this group, hope that readers will come to share their understanding of oribatid mites as part of the charismatic microfauna, the imagery in this book conveying their unique beauty.
It is said that each step one takes in any natural habitat is being supported by thousands of tiny legs of soil-dwelling arthropods. A major portion of these belong to oribatid mites, yet North American biologists never have had a resource that could take them from zero knowledge to species identification. Now they do – but this book is far more than an identification guide to an underappreciated group of diverse and fascinating animals. The experienced and knowledgeable authors introduce well-referenced topics that show how oribatid mites can help us address a vast range of biological, ecological and biogeographical questions.
-- Roy A. Norton, Emeritus Professor and acarologist, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, USA
This book is an amazing work – impeccably arranged, both methodologically and in terms of content. It supplies a highly reliable and interesting collection of data on the taxonomy, ecology and geographic distribution of oribatid mites in all ecosystems of Canadian and Alaskan landscapes. The authors present an original interpretation of the high diversity, ecological importance, and natural causes of occurrence of these mites across many different ecosystems throughout the world. This book is unrivalled in the worldwide scientific literature in its field, and it will certainly meet with major interest, both in and outside Canada.
-- Wojciech Niedbała, Emeritus Professor, Department of Animal Taxonomy and Ecology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland
This is a book I wish I had had available when I started working on oribatid mites. It is unique in providing a comprehensive compendium of all aspects of acarine biology, making it an ideal introduction that will serve as a treasured reference book for a long time, fostering a holistic understanding of these fascinating, but often understudied organisms. Bringing all these informations on form, function, phylogeny and distribution together in one comprehensible and concise collection will no doubt incite the widened interest and collaborative research the oribatida deserve. Many thanks to all authors for undertaking the effort to provide us with this invaluable resource.
-- Paavo Bergmann, Department of Biology, Konstanz University, Germany