Institut für Biologie der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg


Date of this Version


Document Type



Erforschung biologischer Ressourcen der Mongolei (2005) 9: 53-58.

Proceedings of the symposium ”Ecosystem Research in the Arid Environments of Central Asia: Results, Challenges, and Perspectives,” Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, June 23-24, 2004.


Copyright 2005, Martin-Luther-Universität. Used by permission.


In the present paper, we describe the community structure, species diversity, population density, and the character of distribution of soil microarthropods of the Gobi Gurvan Saykhan mountains. In total 45 species of soil microarthropods belonging to 37 genera and 24 families were identified. Twenty-seven species of soil microarthropods belonging to 25 genera and 20 families were found in the Züün Saykhan, 31 species belonging to 27 genera and 19 families in the Dund Saykhan. Oribatid mites are the dominant group (35 species = 77.8% of total species richness), while mesostigmatid mites account for 7 species (15.6 %). Other groups are represented only by single species. Population density of soil microarthropods is 3,600 ind/m2 in the Züün Saykhan, 3,350 ind/m2 in the Dund Saykhan, and 1,400 ind/m2 in the Baruun Saykhan. Species diversity is almost similar in Züün Saykhan and Dund Saykhan (D = 14.36 and D = 14.96, respectively), but quite lower in Baruun Saykhan (D = 2.94). Faunal similarity between Züün and Dund Saykhan is 30%, while similarities between Baruun Saykhan and the other two ranges is 0.18% and 0.15%, respectively. Species distribution is clumped in the Züün and Dund Saykhan (Ip > 0), but irregular in the Baruun Saykhan (Ip ≈ 0). The fauna of soil microarthropods in the Gobi Gurvan Saykhan mostly consists of species with wide distributions (Holarctic, Palaearctic, and cosmopolitan). However, 24.4% of the species are inhabitants of coniferous forests. Therefore, they might be regarded as indicators for the former presence of coniferous forests in the Gobi Gurvan Saykhan mountains.