Andrievskii V. S., Barsukov P. A.

Changes of oribatid mites population in soils of Tazovskiy peninsula under conditions of atmospheric pollution


A study was made on the effect of atmospheric emissions from gas industry technological objects on the population of soil-inhabiting oribatid mites on the Tazovskiy peninsula (sub-zone of southern tundra) in West Siberia. It has been shown that the most important influence of atmospheric pollutants on oribatid mites community is observed on the qualitative level rather than on the quantitative one. Such quantitative parameter as the species richness practically does not change no matter what the atmotechnogenic pollutants level is. From 5 to 7 species are present in every studied biotope whatever is the level of contamination. At the same time another parameter - total abundance – even increases at high levels of contamination reaching 10–20 thousand individuals per m2 near the source of pollution and 2–4 thousand individuals per m2 far from it. Qualitatively the pollution level affects the ecological structure of oribatid mites population. At higher concentrations of atmotechnogenic pollutants near the objects of the gas producing complex the percentage of small species (well adapted to different stresses of the environment) is 83-89 % of all oribatid mites community. But for all that the number of larger litter-topsoil species more sensitive to the influence of external negative influences is very small in these conditions, just 11–17 %. Under the low level of atmotechnogenic pollutants the ratio of these two ecological groups of oribatid species changes to the opposite. Thus the contamination of atmosphere by emissions from gas industry in West Siberian tundra does not influence oppressively the oribatid mites population. It remains viable by changing its ecological structure demonstrating its high restoring potential which can be realized when there is no effect of stress factors.

About the autors:

Vladislav Semenovich Andrievskii (1), Candidate of Biological Sciences, senior researcher; Pavel Anatol’evich Barsukov (2), Candidate of Biological Sciences, leading researcher.

Place of employment:

2Institute of Soil Science and Agrochemistry of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (1, 2).


e-mail: (1); (2).

Key words:

moss mites, oribatids, atmotechnogenic pollutants, tundra soils, Tazovskiy peninsula, West Siberia.