Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
Summary The rhizosphere microarthropod fauna of a woody, deep-rooted legume, Prosopis glandulosa, was sampled at four sites in the northern Chihuahuan Desert and compared with the rhizosphere microarthropod fauna of a co-dominant shrub, Larrea tridentata. Prostigmatid mites (Speleorchestes sp.,Neognathus sp., Rhagidia sp., Tydaeolus sp., Steneotarsonemus sp., Tarsonemus sp., Nanorchestes sp., Gordialycus sp.), the cryptostigmatid mites (Bankisonoma ovata and Passalozetes neomexicanus), the mesostigmatid (Protogamasellus mica), and the collembolan (Brachystomella arida) characterized the fauna at depths greater than 1 m. Microarthropods were recovered from soils at a depth of 13 m at the edge of a dry lake and at depths of 7 m in a dry wash which were pre-European man P. glandulosa habitats. In habitats where P. glandulosa is a recent invader, root depth and microarthropods were less than 3 m. In most habitats, population densites of microarthropods at depths 0.5 m were more than 100 times those at depths ≫ 0.5 m. Population densities of microarthropods associated with P. glandulosa growing at the edge of a dry wash were not significantly smaller at 0.5−1.0 m depth than at 0−0.5 m. The deep-rhizosphere microarthropod fauna is a reduced subset of the fauna of surficial soils, suggesting that this fauna plays a role in decomposition and mineralization processes functionally similar to that of microarthropods in surficial soils.
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