Ecological interactions between mites (predatory and phytophagous) and wild plants growing in undisturbed environments play a crucial role to understand their natural settlement, development and dispersion patterns. Pequin chili pepper, Capsicum annuum L. var. glabriusculum, is a low-cost natural resource for local communities living inside Natural Protected Areas (ANP) of Tamaulipas State in Mexico. The aims of this research work were: 1) determine the spatial distribution pattern of predatory and phytophagous mites, 2) determine the spatiotemporal association between predatory and phytophagous mites, and 3) determine the association among different mite species and some phenological stages of Pequin chili pepper. The most abundant phytophagous mites were Tetranychus merganser and Aculops lycpoersici, and the predatory species were Amblyseius similoides, Euseius mesembrinus and Metaseiulus (Metaseiulus) negundinis. Most mite species showed an aggregated distribution pattern according to the plant phenological stages. However, the distribution of mite species throughout time showed different types of aggregation. On the other hand, we found positive associations among A. lycopersici and T. merganser phytophagous mites with A. similoides, E. mesembrinus and M. (M.) negundinis predators mites. The association between plants and mite species were influenced by the phenological stages of Pequin chili pepper. This is an indication of the complexity among trophic-chain interactions that depend largely on the available resources and competition. These two factors serve as foundations for settlement, development and dispersion patterns of certain species.
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