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Tree encroachment may lead to functionally-significant changes in peatland testate amoeba communities

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  • Richard J. Payne
  • Angela Creevy
  • Elena Malysheva
  • Joshua Ratcliffe
  • Roxane Andersen
  • Andrey N. Tsyganov
  • James G. Rowson
  • Katarzyna Marcisz
  • Małgorzata Zielińska
  • Mariusz Lamentowicz
  • Elena D. Lapshina
  • Yuri Mazei


Publication details

JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
DateAccepted/In press - 2 Apr 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 8 Apr 2016
DatePublished (current) - 1 Jul 2016
Number of pages4
Pages (from-to)18-21
Early online date8/04/16
Original languageEnglish


Climate change is likely to cause increased tree recruitment on open peatlands but we currently have little idea what consequences this vegetation change may have below-ground. Here we use transects across forested to open bog ecotones at three Russian peatland complexes to assess potential changes in the most abundant group of peatland protists - the testate amoebae. We show that the testate amoeba communities of forested and open bog are markedly different with a very abrupt boundary at, or near, the vegetation ecotone. Changes along our transects suggest that tree encroachment may reduce the trophic level of testate amoeba communities and reduce the contribution of mixotrophic testate amoebae to primary production. Our study strongly suggests that increased tree recruitment on open peatlands will have important consequences for both microbial biodiversity and microbially-mediated ecosystem processes.

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© 2016, Elsevier Ltd. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details

    Research areas

  • Carbon, Climate, Forest, Peatland, Protist, Tree

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