Many mites possess extremely intricate life styles in close association with plant and animal hosts. Their polymorphism has made classification a challenge, and their ability to reproduce both sexually and asexually has made efforts to control their populations difficult. This, however, has given rise to theories to explain the origin and function of sexual reproduction in general. In numbers of species and geographic distribution, mites may even surpass the insects. In soils, they are a major component in the system for cycling nutrients. Unlike insects, they have invaded the marine environment. These and a number of other topics are explored in Mites. Because of their extremely small size, mites have been ignored during the development of major evolutionary and ecological theories. Yet mites routinely violate fundamental concepts such as heterochrony, sexual selection, the evolution of sex ratio, and ontogeny. Recent research methodologies have made it practical for the first time to perform experimental work with mites, and since they offer short generation times and rapid research results, they are excellent model systems. Mites announces these results and should appeal to professionals in entomology, acarology, ecology, population genetics, and evolutionary biology.
This volume is a unique reference source and is suitable for those interested in exploring surprising and fascinating glimpses into the ecology and evolution of some tiny, diverse, and abundant denizons of our world _ Ecology 76(4)
Foreword; E.E. Lindquist. Preface; M.A. Houck. Contributors. Poecilochirus carabi: behavioral and life-history adaptations to different hosts and the consequences of geographical shifts in host communities; J.M. Brown, D. Sloan Wilson. Life-history patterns of hummingbird flower mites in relation to host phenology and morphology; R.K. Colwell, S. Naeem. Mites as potential horizontal transfer vectors of eukaryotic mobile genes: Proctolaelaps regalis as a model; Marilyn A. Houck. Evolution of life-history patterns in the Phytoseiidae; M.W. Sabelis, A. Janssen. Evolutionary aspects of oribatid mite life histories and consequences for the origin of the astigmata; R.A. Norton. Life-history modifications in astigmatid mites; B.M. O'Connor. Life-history patterns of astigmatid inhabitants of water-filled treeholes; N.J. Fashing. The evolution of parasitism and the distribution of some dermanyssoid mites (mesostigmata) on vertebrate hosts; F.J. Radovsky. Evolution and life-history patterns of mites associated with bees; G.C. Eickwort. Adaptation and transition into parasitism from commensalism: a phoretic model; M.A. Houck. Cytogenetics of holokinetic chromosomes and inverted meiosis: keys to the evolutionary success of mites, with generalizations on eukaryotes; D.L. Wrensch, J.B. Kethley, R.A. Norton. Index.