Main Article Content



Soil dwelling microarthropods occupied a very important component for maintaining the soil quality and soil health of an ecosystem. Different management practices greatly influence the abundance and distribution of edaphic microarthropods. The present study aims to elucidate the vertical distribution of mites and collembola in two tea agroecosystems with different agronomic practices viz- conventional and organic management in South Assam. The study revealed that organically managed system has higher abundance and density of both mites (17.54 and 17.54 ind./soil corer for WJTE; and 8.63 and 8.63 ind./soil corer for RTE) and collembolan (6.71 and

5.88 ind./soil corer for WJTE; and 4.86 and 4.25 ind./soil corer for RTE) as compared to the conventionally managed system. But the conventional tea agroecosystem showed higher percent composition (26.73% for 10- 20 cm; and 13.79% for 20-30 cm) with increasing soil depth as compared to organic tea garden (17.38% for 10- 20 cm; and 7.17% for 20-30 cm). This may be attributed as an adaptation strategy of soil arthropods to avoid the unfavourable conditions resulted from the management techniques. Negative correlation was revealed between soil depth and cryptostimata mite (r= -0.90 for WJTE and r= -0.89 for RTE) but not statistically significant (p=.28 for WJTE and p=.29 for RTE) for both sites. Similar result was reported for Collembola (r=-0.95 for WJTE and r=-0.94 for RTE; p=.19 for WJTE and p=.21 for RTE. The study revealed that there exist a significant influence of various management strategies on the distribution and diversity of the soil dwelling microarthropods.

Abundance, agroecosystem, collembolan, cryptostigmata, density, mites

Article Details

How to Cite
Original Research Article


Menta C, Remelli S. Soil health and arthropods: From complex system to worthwhile investigation. Insects. 2020;11:54

Kibblewhite MG, Ritz K, Swift MJ. Soil health in agricultural systems. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal society B Biological Sciences. 2007;363:685-701.

Wagg C, Bendera SF, Widmerc F, van der Heijden MGA. Soil biodiversity and soil community composition determine ecosystem multifunctionality. Proceeding of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America. 2014;111:5266–5270.

Nielsen UN, Wall DH, Six J. Soil biodiversity and the environment. Annual Review of Environment and Resources. 2015;40:63-90. Available: environ-102014-021257

Roy S, Roy M, Jaiswal A, Baitha A. Soil arthropods in maintaining soil health: thrust areas for sugarcane production systems. Sugar Tech. 2018;20:376–391. Available: 0591-5

Orgiazzi A, Bardgett RD, Barrios E, Behan- Pelletier V, Briones MJI, Chotte JL, De Deyn GB, Eggleton P, Fierer N, Fraser T, Hedlund K, Jeffrey S, Johnson NC, Jones A et al. Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas. Luxembourg: European Commission, Publications Office of the European Union; 2016.

Manu M, Iordache V, Băncilă RI, Bodescu F, Onete M. The influence of environmental variables on soil mite communities (Acari: Mesostigmata) from overgrazed grassland ecosystems – Romania. Italian Journal of Zoology. 2016;83(1):89-97.

Decaëns T, Jimenez JJ, Gioia C, Measey, GJ, Lavelle P. The values of soil animals for conservation biology. Journal of Soil Biology. 2006;42;23-38.

Swift MJ, Izac AMN and van Noordwijk M. 2004. Biodiversity and ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes - are we asking the right questions? Agriculture Ecosystem and Environment. 2004;104:111–134.

Roy S, Roy M, Bano R, Saxena P. Soil Microarthropods: Biodiversity and Role in Grassland and Agroforestry Ecosystems. In: Agroforestry. Springer, Singapore. 2017;669- 689.

Menta C. Soil fauna diversity-function, soil degradation, biological indices, soil restoration. Biodiversity conservation and utilization in a diverse world. 2012;49-94. Available:

Singh SM, Singh LA, Ray DC. Seasonal ecology and diversity of soil microarthropod with special reference to Acari and collembolan in forest and Imperata Grassland of Cachar district, Assam. Journal of Environmental and Ecology. 2012;30:1094- 1098.

Singh LA, Ray DC. Effect of no-tillage on the ecology of mite, Acarina (Oribatida) in two different farming systems of paddy field in Cachar district of Assam. Journal of Environmental Biology. 2015;36:319–333.

Pandit S and Bhattacharya T. 2000. Species composition and dominance-diversity of oribatid mites of cultivated and uncultivated fields in Midnapore District. Proceeding of Zoological Society. 53(2):99–104.

Roy S, Ahmed R, Sanyal AK, Babu A, Bora D, Rahaman A, Handique G. Biodiversity of soil arthropods with emphasis on oribatid mites in three different tea agro-ecosystem with three different agronomical practices in Assam, India. International Journal of Tropical Insect Science; 2020. Available: Available: ation/Details/115

Ghosh TC, Roy S. Distribution and diversity of acarine community in three tea garden soils at different altitudes of Darjeeling, Himalayas. Proceeding of Zoological Society Calcutta. 2004;57(2):87–93.

Mondal BK, Kundu BG. A new cryptostigmatid mite (Acari: Oribatei) and a few new records of Cryptostigmatid fauna from forest and tea soils in Jalpaiguri district, West Bengal, India. Records of the Zoological Survey of India. 1999a;97(1):123–132.

Mondal BK, Kundu BG. On a collection of oribatid fauna (Acari: Oribatei) from forest and tea soils in Jalpaiguri district,West Bengal, India. Records of Zooogical Survey of India. 1999b;97(2):79–86.

Moitra MN. On variation of diversity of soil oribatids (Acari, Oribatida) in three differently used soil habitats - a waste disposal site, a natural forest and a tea garden in the northern plains of Bengal, India. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publication. 2013; 3(11):1–12.

GWIBCA. (Central Ground Water Board North Eastern Region Ministry of Water Resources Guwahati). Technical Report Series: D; 2013.

Murphy PW. The split funnel extracter- A modified Tullgren funnel. Progress in SoilZoology (ed. Wp. Murphy). Butterworths, London. 1962;178.

Julka JM. Soil Invertebrates. In: Saxena KG, and Rao KS (eds). Soil Biodiversity: Inventory, Functions and Management, Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehradun 248001, India. 2016;3-9.

Debnath A, Debnath B. Diversity, invasion status and usages of alien plant species in Northeastern hilly state of Tripura: A confluence of Indo-Burma Hotspot. American Journal of Plant Sciences. 2017;8;212-235.

Mishra R. Ecological Work Book. Oxford and IBH Publishing Co., Calcutta; 1968.

Muller D, Ellenberg H. Aims and Methods of Vegetation Ecology. John Wiley and Sons, New York; 1974

Okiwelu SN, Gbarakoro TN, Umeozor CO and Badejo AM. 2012. Soil Microarthropods in a Secondary Rainforest, Rivers State, Nigeria - IV- The Impact of Oil Pollution on Their Vertical Distribution. Resources and Environment. 2012;2(2):14-19

Tsurho K, Ao B. Vertical Distribution of Collembola in a Natural Forest and Jhum Land Ecosytem of Mokokchung, Nagaland. International Journal of Science, Engineering and Technology; 2014.

Bedano JC, Cantu MP, Doucet ME. Abundance of soil mites (Arachnida:Acari) in a natural soil of Central Argentina. Zoological Studies. 2005;44(4):505–512.

Badejo M, De Aquino A, De-Polli H, et al. Response of soil mites to organic cultivation in an ultisol in Southeast Brazil. Expiremental and Applied Acarology. 2004;34:345–364.