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Diversity and community ecology of forest epiphyte testate amoebae from European Russia

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Publication details

JournalEuropean Journal of Protistology
DateE-pub ahead of print - 11 Mar 2015
DatePublished (current) - Oct 2015
Issue number5
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)450-459
Early online date11/03/15
Original languageEnglish


Testate amoebae are an abundant group of microorganisms which make a significant contribution to the diversity of protist life. Most of the world's potential habitats for testate amoebae have been barely studied and when such places are investigated they frequently reveal novel communities and species. Here we consider the testate amoeba communities associated with boreal forest epiphytes (mosses and lichens); an environment which we argue has been under-researched. We present a dataset of 165 samples from four regions of western Russia and analyse these data in relation to micro-habitat position and selected environmental data. The testate amoebae of epiphytes are abundant but dominated by ubiquitous species. We show that there are trends toward a lower species richness and test concentration with greater elevation on the trunk and in lichens compared to mosses. There are considerable differences in community composition between sampling regions. Of all measured environmental variables only moisture content showed a significant relationship with testate amoeba community structure. Our data highlight how little is known about testate amoeba communities of this habitat and call for greater research efforts, particularly in less-studied regions and biomes.

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© 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved. This is an author produced version of a paper published in European Journal of Protistology. Uploaded and made available under a Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND licence in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.

    Research areas

  • Arcellinida, Boreal forest, Community ecology, Biodiversity, Euglyphida

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