Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Richard C. Funk


A faunal study of soil invertebrates collected from pincushion moss (Leucobryum glaucum) and underlying soil in a mixed deciduous forest of Charleston, Illinois, was performed because it was discovered that moss habitats have been largely overlooked by investigators.

The results from this study suggest that moss habitats provide a buffer area from the external physical environment, provide protection from predators, a place for oviposition and may be used as a food source. Twenty-seven orders of invertebrates were collected (66,023 individuals). Acarina (57.9%) and Collembola (37.9%) made up the majority of the invertebrate population. Three abiotic factors (temperature, moisture content and pH) were considered in relation to their effect on the fauna. Collembola populations fluctuated more than the Acarina population possibly indicating that they were more sensitive to environmental fluctuations than were the Acarina. This sensitivity may be attributed to the behavioral and anatomical differences. It is evident from the literature and this research that there is a need for more work on moss/invertebrate associations.

Included in

Zoology Commons