Frontiers of Earth Science

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 182–190 | Cite as

Relationships between testate amoeba communities and water quality in Lake Donghu, a large alkaline lake in Wuhan, China

  • Yangmin QinEmail author
  • Bertrand Fournier
  • Enrique Lara
  • Yansheng Gu
  • Hongmei Wang
  • Yongde Cui
  • Xiaoke Zhang
  • Edward A. D. Mitchell
Research Article


The middle Yangtze Reach is one of the most developed regions of China. As a result, most lakes in this area have suffered from eutrophication and serious environmental pollution during recent decades. The aquatic biodiversity in the lakes of the area is thus currently under significant threat from continuous human activities. Testate amoebae (TA) are benthic (rarely planktonic) microorganisms characterized by an agglutinated or autogenous shell. Owing to their high abundance, preservation potential in lacustrine sediments, and distinct response to environmental stress, they are increasingly used as indicators for monitoring water quality and reconstructing palaeoenvironmental changes. However this approach has not yet been developed in China. This study presents an initial assessment of benthic TA assemblages in eight lakes of Lake Donghu in the region of Wuhan, China. Testate amoeba community structure was most strongly correlated to water pH. In more alkaline conditions, communities were dominated by Centropyxis aculeata, Difflugia oblonga, Pontigulasia compressa, Pon. elisa and Lesquereusia modesta. These results are consistent with previous studies and show that TA could be useful for reconstructing past water pH fluctuations in China. To achieve this, the next step will be to expand the database and build transfer function models.


testate amoebae (TA) water quality water pH Lake Donghu China 


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yangmin Qin
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Bertrand Fournier
    • 3
  • Enrique Lara
    • 3
  • Yansheng Gu
    • 1
  • Hongmei Wang
    • 1
  • Yongde Cui
    • 4
  • Xiaoke Zhang
    • 4
  • Edward A. D. Mitchell
    • 3
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental GeologyChina University of GeosciencesWuhanChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesXi’anChina
  3. 3.Laboratory of Soil BiologyUniversity of NeuchâtelNeuchâtelSwitzerland
  4. 4.Institute of HydrobiologyChinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina

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