First Records and Community Pattern of Arcellinida Inhabiting a Pristine and Remote Island from Southeastern Pacific, Chile

Luisa Baessolo


We investigate for the first time the species composition and community structure of lobose thecamoebians (Arcellinida) inhabiting an unpopulated and pristine island from the southeastern Pacific. Results revealed low alpha diversity and a high proportion of cosmopolitan species. One genus, four species and two subspecies were identified for the first time for southwestern South America. Further, four morphotypes were not identifi ed to species level, and one could not be identifi ed to species or genera level. They are probably endemics of this poorly studied and remote zone. These results were consistent with the moderate endemicity hypothesis of microbial biogeography. We hypothesized that the low diversity of species recorded on the island is due to selective colonization-extinction dynamics, processes that determines the low species richness of insular macro-organisms. However, this hypothesis needs to be evaluated in the future. Statistical analysis showed that testate amoebae were distributed in two discrete communities in the island. The first consisted of organisms inhabiting habitats located within a forest and the second by organisms inhabiting habitats located outside the forest. The suggested primary factor differentiating these both communities was the availability of appropriate habitat for the different species of testate amoebae.

Słowa kluczowe: Chile, Guamblin Island National Park, lobose testate amoebae, North Patagonian rainforest, southwestern South America

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