, Volume 27, Issue 12, pp 753-766
Date: 20 Aug 2004

The moss dwelling testacean fauna of Île de la Possession

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Abstract

An ecological study of the moss dwelling testacean fauna (Protozoa, Rhizopoda) on Île de la Possession (Crozet Archipelago, sub-Antarctica) revealed 83 taxa, belonging to 21 genera. The moss flora was dominated by cosmopolitan and ubiquitous taxa, such as Trinema lineare, T. enchelys, Euglypha laevis and E. rotunda. A cluster analysis and a correspondence analysis identified three communities: (1) a Corythion dubium assemblage found in a drier, slightly acidic terrestrial moss vegetation, (2) the Arcella arenaria, and (3) the Difflugiella crenulata assemblages, both characteristic of wetter, circumneutral habitats. The latter typified submerged mosses growing in running water, while the A. arenaria assemblage seemed to prefer mosses in standing waterbodies. Moisture conditions appeared to play a key role in determining the distribution pattern of testacean communities, while pH was only a secondary factor. A logistic regression emphasised the effect of the habitat type in controlling the variance in testacean assemblages. Moreover, the close relationship between bryophyte species and habitat type had a significant influence on the distribution pattern of the testate amoebae. Weighted averaging and calibration were used to estimate moisture optima and tolerances of the testate amoebae.