By the same authors

Testate amoebae as indicators of water quality and contamination in shallow lakes of the Middle and Lower Yangtze Plain

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Published copy (DOI)


  • Yangmin Qin
  • Richard Payne
  • Xiangdong Yang
  • Min Yao
  • Jiantao Xue
  • Yansheng Gu
  • Shucheng Xie


Publication details

JournalEnvironmental Earth Sciences
DateAccepted/In press - 6 Feb 2016
DatePublished (current) - 1 Apr 2016
Issue number7
Original languageEnglish


Testate amoebae are micro-organisms characterized by an agglutinated or autogenous shell enclosing the cytoplasm. Testate amoebae have been widely proposed as valuable bioindicators in a range of ecosystems (such as soils, peatlands and lakes). The use of testate amoebae as bioindicators of water quality in aquatic ecosystems is much less developed than for other microorganisms and previous research is geographically restricted. We investigated a large range of environmental variables and their relations to testate amoeba communities from 37 shallow lakes in the middle and lower Yangtze River Plain of China. Multiple factor analysis, redundancy analysis (RDA) and a forward-selection approach were used to explore the overall community structure and the links between the environmental variables and testate amoeba composition. Results showed that testate amoebae are widely distributed in most of the lakes despite often high levels of pollution. Our data highlight some links between water quality variables and testate amoeba communities. In particular, our results suggest that heavy metals have a role in shaping testate amoeba assemblage structure, although correlations are comparatively weak, perhaps due to lagged responses. Our results support previous suggestions that testate amoebae may be useful bioindicators in aquatic ecosystems but emphasize the need for an improved mechanistic understanding.

    Research areas

  • Indicator, Lakes, Middle and Lower Yangtze Plain, Testate amoebae

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