Invited review Evolutionary Ecology of water mite-insect interactions: a critical appraisal
Archiv für Hydrobiologie Volume 152 Number 3 (2001), p. 353 - 368
published: Oct 18, 2001
ArtNo. ESP141015203010, Price: 29.00 €
Water mites are ubiquitous parasites in freshwater ecosystems. The interaction between water mites and aquatic insects has been scarcely studied from an evolutionary ecology viewpoint. Host finding is an important feature of the water mite's life cycle. The host finding success is suggested to depend upon host behaviour and quality. Water mite parasitism lowers host fitness via different routes: by draining nutrients hosts can suffer from decreased fecundity, increased mortality etc. Host sexes and closely related species are affected differently. Recent studies on host fitness, whilst taking the parasite behaviour into account, revealed results contrasting older studies where knowledge of the parasites life cycle was absent. The potential for coevolution is discussed. For exploring evolutionary trends a water mite phylogeny is needed. Water mite-aquatic insect interactions can be assumed to provide excellent conditions to conduct experimental studies on direct and indirect effects of multiple natural enemies in freshwater ecosystems.