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.
2. Form and Function
3. Keys: Key to Families; Key to Genera and Species
4. Ecology of Oribatida
5. Diversity of oribatid mites across the Northern North American landscape
Dr Valerie Behan-Pelletier is an Honorary Research Associate (an Emeritus position) with the Research Branch of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the federal department responsible for maintaining the national collections of insects, arachnids, nematodes, fungi and vascular plants. As a global specialist in the taxonomy and ecology of Oribatida for over 45 years, she has published a number of large monographs on oribatid mites for North America and has contributed to multi-chapter works on biodiversity, soil ecology, and ecological assessments. She is a Section Editor of the 2012 Oxford University Press publication Soil Ecology and Ecosystem Services, is a coeditor of the Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas (2016) and is co-author of a chapter on Aquatic Oribatida in Thorp and Covich's Freshwater Invertebrates, Volume 4. She has published over 150 research papers. She is a past scientific editor of Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Canada, former secretary of the International Congress of Acarology, and fellow of the Entomological Society of Canada.
Dr Zoë Lindo is a Full Professor, Biological and Geological Sciences, Western University, London, Ontario. She is an expert in forest soil biodiversity and ecosystem function. She has worked extensively in Canadian forests including the mixed-wood boreal of Alberta, the subarctic taiga of Quebec, the coastal temperate rainforest of British Columbia, and the black spruce / peatlands of Ontario. As a specialist in the ecology of soil invertebrates and the taxonomy and ecology of Oribatida for 25 years, her research focuses on ecosystems that are currently undergoing dramatic changes in biodiversity due to habitat loss and fragmentation associated with land-use change, pollution, overexploitation, and climate change. She has published over 75 research papers and was recently a lead author for the UN-FAO Report on the State of Knowledge of Soil Biodiversity: Status, Challenges and Potentialities (Dec. 2020). She is a member of the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative, the Biological Survey of Canada and is Editor-in-Chief of Pedobiologia: Journal of Soil Ecology.
"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 Niedbala, 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