Polar Biology

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 395–406 | Cite as

Testacean communities in perturbed soils: the influence of the wandering albatross

  • Sofie Vincke
  • Bart Van de Vijver
  • Pieter Ledeganck
  • Ivan Nijs
  • Louis Beyens
Original Paper


On Île de la Possession (Crozet Archipelago, sub-Antarctica), the testate amoebae (Protozoa, Rhizopoda) fauna in soils around abandoned and occupied nests of the wandering albatross (Diomedea exulans) was investigated. A comparison with control samples, a cluster analysis and several ordination techniques indicated that the presence of the breeding albatrosses induced modifications in physico-chemical soil characteristics and in the soil inhabiting testacean fauna. Only 11 testate species occurred frequently in the soils in the albatross’ zone. Soils around occupied nests had significantly higher moisture values, less acid pH values, an increased specific conductance and elevated phosphate and ammonium concentrations. Highly influenced testacean communities were characterised by high abundances of Difflugiella oviformis and extremely high abundances of Trinema lineare, resulting in a very low diversity and evenness within these communities. The intermediary situation of one abandoned nest indicated that soils around abandoned nests evolve gradually back to undisturbed soils. Although an overall negative influence on the testacean diversity, a limited albatross’ influence may increase the living fraction within the testacean soil communities.


Specific Conductance Undisturbed Soil Testate Amoeba Species Abundance Data Characteristic Taxon 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The sampling was made possible by the logistic and financial support of the French Polar Institute (IPEV) in the frame of two Terrestrial Programs BIOSOL 136 (Dr. Yves Frenot & Ir. M. Lebouvier, Université de Rennes, France) and DIVCRO 405 (Prof. Dr. Louis Beyens & Prof. Dr. Ivan Nijs, Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium). Dr. Niek Gremmen is thanked for his valuable comments and advice on statistical questions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sofie Vincke
    • 1
  • Bart Van de Vijver
    • 2
  • Pieter Ledeganck
    • 1
  • Ivan Nijs
    • 3
  • Louis Beyens
    • 1
  1. 1.Campus Drie Eiken, Department of Biology, Research Group of Polar Ecology, Limnology and PaleobiologyUniversiteit AntwerpenWilrijkBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Bryophytes and ThallophytesNational Botanic Garden of BelgiumMeiseBelgium
  3. 3.Campus Drie Eiken, Department of Biology, Research Group of Plant and Vegetation EcologyUniversiteit AntwerpenWilrijkBelgium

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