, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 173-179

The terrestrial Protozoan fauna of South Georgia

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Summary

75 taxa of Protozoa (18 flagellates, 9 naked rhizopods, 20 testate rhizopods and 28 ciliates) were found in 14 samples of mineral materials, peats, soils and guano collected from the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia. The results confirm the existence of distinct natural communities of protozoan species related to the different classes of habitat in the sub-Antarctic and maritime Antarctic, but suggest that species characteristic of the maritime Antarctic also occur in the sub-Antarctic and species characteristic of bryophyte peats also occur in soils with angiosperm vegetation. The diversity of the fauna of different habitats can be related to degree of soil development and successional stage of associated vegetation. Comparison of the data on the testate rhizopod fauna of South Georgia with those from other sub-Antarctic locations shows a clear trend of faunal pauperization with latitude.