Exploring the diversity and ecology of testate amoebae in West Siberian peatlands

Yuri Mazei,

Viktor Chernyshov,

Sergei Bukhkalo,

Natalia Mazei,

Angela L. Creevy,

Richard J. Payne


Testate amoebae are valued for their functional significance and application as indicators of environmental conditions, particularly in peatland ecosystems. Research on testate amoebae has increased dramatically in recent years but there are still large parts of the world which have seen very little research. Here we consider testate amoeba communities of the West Siberian Lowland, the world’s largest peatland region and therefore one of the largest potential habitats for testate amoebae. Extensive sampling identified 89 taxa and showed that testate amoeba communities are structured by their physical and biological environment. We identified significant relationships between amoeba communities and both moisture content and vegetation composition. Despite the assemblages containing many widely-distributed species, some taxa considered typical of peatlands (e.g. Archerella flavum and Hyalosphenia papilio) were comparatively rare or absent, paralleling findings further south in Asia. We suggest that testate amoebae in this region deserve further study and may have useful applications in palaeoecological reconstruction and as bioindicators of the impacts of oil and gas extraction. 

Słowa kluczowe: Testate amoebae, protist, Western Siberia, diversity, ecology, wetland, mire

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