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- PublicationAccès libreEnvironmental DNA COI barcoding for quantitative analysis of protists communities: A test using the Nebela collaris complex (Amoebozoa;Arcellinida; Hyalospheniidae)Environmental DNA surveys are used for screening eukaryotic diversity. However, it is unclear how quantitative this approach is and to what extent results from environmental DNA studies can be used for ecological studies requiring quantitative data. Mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase (COI) is used for species-level taxonomic studies of testate amoebae and should allow assessing the community composition from environmental samples, thus bypassing biases due to morphological identification. We tested this using a COI clone library approach and focusing on the Nebela collaris complex. Comparisons with direct microscopy counts showed that the COI clone library diversity data matched the morphologically identified taxa, and that community com-position estimates using the two approaches were similar. However, this correlation was improved when microscopy counts were corrected for biovolume. Higher correlation with biovolume-corrected community data suggests that COI clone library data matches the ratio of mitochondria and that within closely-related taxa the density of mitochondria per unit biovolume is approximately constant. Further developments of this metabarcoding approach including quantifying the mitochondrial density among closely-related taxa, experiments on other taxonomic groups and using high throughput sequencing should make if possible to quantitatively estimate community composition of different groups, which would be invaluable for microbial food webs studies.
- PublicationAccès libreResponse of Sphagnum Testate Amoebae to Drainage, Subsequent Re-wetting and Associated Changes in the Moss Carpet: Results from a Three Year Mesocosm ExperimentSphagnum peatlands represent a globally significant pool and sink of carbon but these functions are threatened by ongoing climate change. Testate amoebae are useful bioindicators of hydrological changes, but little experimental work has been done on the impact of water table changes on communities.
Using a mesocosm experimental setting that was previously used to assess the impact of drought disturbance on communities and ecosystem processes with three contrasted water table positions: wet (–4 cm), intermediate (–15 cm) and dry (–25 cm), we studied the capacity of testate amoeba communities to recover when the water table was kept at –10 cm for all plots. The overall experiment lasted three years. We assessed the taxonomic and functional trait responses of testate amoeba communities. The selected traits were hypothesised to be correlated to moisture content (response traits: shell size, aperture position) or trophic role (effect traits: mixotrophy, aperture size controlling prey range).
During the disturbance phase, the mixotrophic species Hyalosphenia papilio dominated the wet and intermediate plots, while the community shifted to a dominance of “dry indicators” (Corythion dubium, Nebela tincta, Cryptodifflugia oviformis) and corresponding traits (loss of mixotrophy, and dominance of smaller taxa with ventral or ventral-central aperture) in dry plots. During the recovery phase we observed two contrasted trends in the previously wet and intermediate plots: communities remained similar where the Sphagnum carpet remained intact but species and traits indicators of drier conditions increased in plots where it had degraded. In the former dry plots, indicators and traits of wet conditions increased by the end of the experiment.
This is one of the first experiment simulating a disturbance and subsequent recovery in ex-situ mesocosms of Sphagnum peatland focusing on the response of testate amoebae community structure as well as functional traits to water table manipulation. The results generally confirmed that testate amoebae respond within a few months to hydrological changes and thus represent useful bioindicators for assessing current and past hydrological changes in Sphagnum peatlands.