Title
Are soil biota buffered against climatic extremes? An experimental test on testate amoebae in arctic tundra (Qeqertarsuaq, West Greenland) Are soil biota buffered against climatic extremes? An experimental test on testate amoebae in arctic tundra (Qeqertarsuaq, West Greenland)
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
New York ,
Subject
Biology
Source (journal)
Polar biology. - New York
Volume/pages
32(2009) :3 , p. 453-462
ISSN
0722-4060
ISI
000263389000014
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Climate warming is likely to have pronounced impacts on soil biota in arctic ecosystems. In a warmer climate, heatwaves are more frequent and intense, but it is unclear to what extent soil communities are buffered against this. We studied the effects of an artificially induced heatwave on the structure of testate amoebae communities in dry heath tundra in Qeqertarsuaq (Disko Island, West Greenland) during the summer of 2003. While the heatwave was severe enough to induce significant leaf mortality in the aboveground vegetation, overall testate amoebae abundance did not react to the difference in temperature. However, in the heated plots transient shifts in species populations occurred during the exposure, followed by increases in species richness weeks after the heatwave had ended. The most important taxa appearing after the heating period belonged to bacterivorous genera, in agreement with a transient peak in bacterial colony forming units, caused by the heatwave. Lobose testate amoebae resisted the heating and its associated desiccation better than their filose counterparts.
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