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Ecology of testate amoebae in peatlands of central China and development of a transfer function for paleohydrological reconstruction

Yangmin Qin, Edward Mitchell, Mariusz Lamentowicz, Richard J. Payne, Enrique Lara, Yansheng Gu, Xianyu Huang & Hongmei Wang

Abstract Testate amoebae are a diverse and abundant group of protozoa that constitute a large proportion of biomass in many ecosystems and probably fill important roles in ecosystem function. These microorganisms have attracted the interest of paleoecologists because the preserved shells of testate amoebae and their known hydrological preferences enable reconstruction of past hydrological change. In ombrotrophic peatlands, surface wetness reflects hydroclimate, so testate amoebae can play an important role in reconstruction of Holocene climate change. Previous studies, however, have been geographically restricted, mostly to North America and Europe. We studied the ecology of testate amoebae in peatlands from central China in relation to hydrology, pH and metal concentrations. We found that testate amoeba community structure was correlated with depth to water table (DWT) and that the hydrological preferences of species generally matched those of previous studies. We developed a weighted average DWT transfer function that enables prediction of water table depth with a cross-validated mean error of < 5 cm. Our results demonstrate the potential for using testate amoebae to reconstruct paleohydrology in China. Such studies could contribute to our understanding of Holocene climate changes in China, particularly regarding past Asian monsoon activity.
   
Citation Qin, Y., Mitchell, E., Lamentowicz, M., Payne, R. J., Lara, E., Gu, Y., Huang, X., & Wang, H. (2013). Ecology of testate amoebae in peatlands of central China and development of a transfer function for paleohydrological reconstruction. Journal of Paleolimnology, 50(3), 319-330.
   
Type Journal article (English)
Date of appearance 2013
Journal Journal of Paleolimnology
Volume 50
Issue 3
Pages 319-330