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Oribatid mite (Acari: Oribatida) communities of urban brownfields in Tallinn, Estonia, and their potential as bioindicators of wasteland successional stage

  • Vacht, Piret
  • Niglas, Helin
  • Kuu, Annely
  • Koff, Tiiu
  • Kutti, Sander
  • Raamets, Jane
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2019
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Urban brownfields are ecologically valuable ecosystems that have been and are under various anthropogenic influences. Because brownfields are subject to rapid development in urban areas, their biological communities, including soil mesofauna, are overlooked and seldom researched, even though they could provide valuable insight into the ecological functioning of these areas. This exploratory study describes the community characteristics of oribatid mite fauna of 12 brownfields in Tallinn, Estonia, and analyzes the potential of oribatid mites as bioindicators of brownfield successional stage. This study provides the first faunistic list of oribatid mites from the brownfields of Tallinn. No significant changes in species abundance or richness depending on the successional stage were discovered. While some changes in community structure were noted, due to low overall abundance, no clear indicators of brownfield successional stage were identified. For future research on urban brownfield oribatid fauna with the intention of finding potential bioindicators of brownfield properties, increasing the sampling size and inclusion of other groups of soil mesofauna is recommended.

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