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Title:Systematics, Ecology, and Distribution of Water Mites (Acari: Parasitengonina)
Author(s):James-Yi, Sandra Ann
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Wesley M. Jarrell
Department / Program:Natural Resrouces and Environmental Sciences
Discipline:Natural Resrouces and Environmental Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Biology, Ecology
Abstract:The thesis addresses the following objectives: (1) establish the taxonomic identification, distribution, and ecological data of water mite species, family Hydryphantidae, genera Thyasides, Acerbitas, and Euthyas, parasitic on mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in North America; (2) establish an inventory of water mites within varying aquatic ecosystems throughout Illinois; (3) acquire information about the ecology of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in which they exist; (4) establish the phenology of varying species; (5) perform a laboratory study to test the hypothesis that water mite populations are adversely affected by exposure to algicides and herbicides, examining the benefit of using water mite fauna as bioindicators of stress within aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Collection of specimens was based on the natural divisions of Illinois, categorizing the mites according to faunal region, county, and aquatic habitat. The Shannon-Weiner function, Sorenson's index, and species richness were used to describe the diversity of water mite genera within 3 sections of Illinois: North, Central, and Southern. The predominantly agricultural, central section had the lowest level of diversity. Unique genera and species were isolated to conservation districts established for the preservation of natural resources and biota. Six superfamilies, 20 families, and 32 genera were collected in all. Toxicological studies were undertaken to study the effects of exposure of mites to concentrations of fluridone, diuron, atrazine, copper sulfate, and barley water found within aquatic ecosystems from agricultural run-off or recommended application rates for use in integrated plant management programs. Arrenurus sp. were chosen for the toxicological studies since they represent one of the most abundant and evenly distributed groups of water mites found throughout Illinois. Fluridone, at 0.01 mg/L, and atrazine, at 0.02 mg/L, demonstrated significant adverse effects. Fluridone significantly affects mites at 1/10 th the recommended application rate for control of invasive plant species. The effects of exposure would be adequate to adversely affect reproductive, predatory, and evasive behavior necessary for survival and the completion of the mite's life cycle. The data suggests that a lack of diversity and population abundance of water mites in the predominantly agricultural central section could be due to the effects of annual application of atrazine.
Issue Date:2008
Description:168 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3337828
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2008

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