The Effects of Feral Animals on Soil Mites Recovered from Catalina Ironwood Groves (Lyonothamnus floribundus) on Santa Catalina Island, California

Several plant communities on Santa Catalina Island have been altered by trampling and over-grazing from such animals as goats and pigs. The soil beneath selected groves of Lyonothamnus floribundus floribundus was sampled in order to determine what impact feral animals may have on populations of soil inhabiting mites. Marked decreases in diversity and abundance of species were noted in heavily disturbed areas. A depauperate soil fauna may result in a decrease in nutrients for plant growth and development. A preliminary checklist of soil mites from Santa Catalina Island is appended.