Location: Great Basin Rangelands ResearchTitle: Do mites eat and run? A systematic review of feeding and dispersal strategies
|LASKA, ALICJA - Adam Mickiewicz University|
|PRZYCHODZKA, ANNA - Adam Mickiewicz University|
|MAJER, AGNIESZKA - Adam Mickiewicz University|
|ZALEWSKA, KAMILA - Adam Mickiewicz University|
|KUCZYNSKI, LECHOSLAW - Adam Mickiewicz University|
|SKORACKA, ANNA - Adam Mickiewicz University|
Submitted to: Animal Behaviour
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/26/2022
Publication Date: 2/11/2023
Citation: Alicja Laska and others, Do mites eat and run? A systematic review of feeding and dispersal strategies, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, Volume 198, Issue 2, June 2023, Pages 462–475, https://doiorg/101093/zoolinnean/zlac094
Interpretive Summary: The Acari, the ticks and mites, are a highly diverse group of wingless arthropods, many of which are of agricultural, medical, and/or medical importance. Unfortunately, very little is known about the dispersal modes of most Acari species. Such knowledge can be very important in planning management or control strategies, or simply to better understand the ecology of certain species in habitats of interest. In this study, the scientific literature was reviewed to determine how well dispersal is known among species of Acari. In total, 176 scientific articles were found that focus specifically on the dispersal mechanism(s) of particular Acari species. These studies were then classified based on the feeding behavior, i.e. parasitic, herbivorous, predatory, saprophagous, and the mode(s) of dispersal revealed in the research, i.e. walking, moving in water or wind currents, or moving on vertebrate or invertebrate vectors. Based on the available data, it appears that Acari are opportunistic when it comes to dispersal regardless of their feeding habits, often being able to employ several different strategies as needs arise. One exception was predators, which typically disperse actively (i.e walking), likely due to having legs adapted to locate and stalk prey. Moreover, we found a significant positive relationship between the amount of research effort that was put into studying a given species and the number of modes of dispersal that were described. In other words, the more scientists have studied dispersal in particular Acari species, the more different modes they have revealed. Given this last finding and the fact that less than 1/6 of 1% of Acari species have had their dispersal studied, there is a great need for more studies on Acari dispersal, in particular for species that have yet to be studied in depth to date.
Technical Abstract: Dispersal is an important biological process affecting the survival and success of organisms, as well as the structure and dynamics of communities and ecosystems in space and time. It is a multiphase, complex phenomenon influenced by many internal (e.g. physiology, morphology) and external (e.g. vector availability, population structure, environmental conditions) factors. Dispersal syndromes may be complicated, however they are vital to our knowledge of the biology of any organism. We analyzed dispersal ability in the Acari (the mites and ticks), a highly diverse group of wingless arthropods, taking into consideration various species’ modes of dispersal, feeding strategies, and number of articles published for each species. Based on 176 articles summarized for this study, it appears that Acari are opportunistic when it comes to dispersal regardless of their feeding habits, often being able to employ several different strategies as needs arise. One exception was predators, which typically disperse actively (i.e walking), likely due to having legs adapted to locate and stalk prey. Moreover, we found a significant positive relationship between the amount of research effort that was put into studying a given species and the number of modes of dispersal that were described. This most salient conclusion to be drawn from this positive correlation is that additional studies are needed, in particular on a broader set of Acari taxa, until the aforementioned correlation is no longer demonstrably significant.