Title
Environmental factors influencing soil testate amoebae in herbaceous and shrubby vegetation along an altitudinal gradient in subarctic tundra (Abisko, Sweden)
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
Stuttgart ,
Subject
Biology
Source (journal)
European journal of protistology. - Stuttgart
Volume/pages
49(2013) :2 , p. 238-248
ISSN
0932-4739
ISI
000318055600007
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Shifts in community composition of soil protozoa in response to climate change may substantially influence microbial activity and thereby decomposition processes. However, effects of climate and vegetation on soil protozoa remain poorly understood. We studied the distribution of soil testate amoebae in herbaceous and shrubby vegetation along an altitudinal gradient (from below the treeline at 500 m to the mid-alpine region at 900 m a.s.l.) in subarctic tundra. To explain patterns in abundance, species diversity and assemblage composition of testate amoebae, a data set of microclimate and soil chemical characteristics was collected. Both elevation and vegetation influenced the assemblage composition of testate amoebae. The variation was regulated by interactive effects of summer soil moisture, winter soil temperature, soil pH and nitrate ion concentrations. Besides, soil moisture regulated non-linear patterns in species richness across the gradient. This is the first study showing the effects of winter soil temperatures on species composition of soil protozoa. The effects could be explained by specific adaptations of testate amoebae such as frost-resistant cysts allowing them to survive low winter temperatures. We conclude that the microclimate and soil chemical characteristics are the main drivers of changes in protozoan assemblage composition in response to elevation and vegetation.
E-info
https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/iruaauth/e7ca95/47b1202c0bb.pdf
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