Testate amoebae taxonomy and trait diversity are coupled along an openness and wetness gradient in pine-dominated Baltic bogs.

07:00 EST 30th January 2020 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Testate amoebae taxonomy and trait diversity are coupled along an openness and wetness gradient in pine-dominated Baltic bogs."

Sphagnum peatlands host a high abundance of protists, especially testate amoebae. Here, we designed a study to investigate the functional diversity of testate amoebae in relation to wetness and forest cover in Baltic bogs. We provided new data on the influence of openness/wetness gradient on testate amoebae communities, showing significant differences in selected testate amoebae (TA) traits. Three key messages emerged from our investigations: 1) we recorded an effect of peatland surface openness on testate amoebae functional traits that led us to accept the hypothesis that TA traits differ according to light intensity and hydrology. Mixotrophic species were recorded in high relative abundance in open plots, whereas they were nearly absent in forested sites; 2) we revealed a hydrological threshold for the occurrence of mixotrophic testate amoebae that might be very important in terms of peatland functioning and carbon sink vs. source context; and 3) mixotrophic species with organic tests were nearly absent in forested sites that were dominated by heterotrophic species with agglutinated or idiosomic tests. An important message from this study is that taxonomy of TA rather indicates the hydrological gradient whereas traits of mixotrophs the openness gradient.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: European journal of protistology
ISSN: 1618-0429
Pages: 125674


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