The microarthropod fauna associated with a deep rooted legume, <i>Prosopis glandulosa</i>, in the Chihuahuan Desert

TitleThe microarthropod fauna associated with a deep rooted legume, Prosopis glandulosa, in the Chihuahuan Desert
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1989
AuthorsSilva S, Whitford WG, Jarrell W.M, Virginia R.A
JournalBiology and Fertility of Soils
Date Published1989
Call Number00302
Keywordsarticle, articles, collembola,Prosopis, journal, journals, mesquite community,rhizosphere, microarthropod,Prosopis, Prosopis, rhizosphere, Prosopis,microarthropods, rhizosphere,Prosopis

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 depth 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 densities of microarthropods at depth <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.