Volume 45 (2010) Issue 3 Pages 405-415
Fine leaf structures, such as leaf domatia or trichomes, are considered to affect the population abundance and diversity of foliar mites on forest trees and shrubs; however, the effect of such structures on seasonal fluctuations in foliar mite populations in forest ecosystems remains unknown. The authors conducted a 2-year survey on the outskirts of Kyoto on the mite assemblage found on Viburnum erosum var. punctatum (VEP), a deciduous shrub bearing domatia and stellate hairs, and on its seasonal fluctuations. A census was also conducted on the acarofauna on 14 sympatric tree or shrub species; these communities were then compared with those found on VEP. On VEP, fungivorous mites, Winterschmidtiidae and Tydeoidea, showed continuous occurrence from late March to November, and phytoseiid mites were recorded from May to November. Eriophyioid mites were only found in spring and autumn. Total mite density was significantly higher on plant species with fine structures, and the acarofauna on such plants showed high similarity among seasons. Our data suggest that leaf-surface structures play important roles in structuring foliar mite communities throughout the seasons.