Response of peatland testate amoebae to simulated distal volcanogenic deposition of sulfate

Payne, Richard; Gauci, Vincent and Charman, Dan J. (2010). Response of peatland testate amoebae to simulated distal volcanogenic deposition of sulfate. Microbial Ecology, 59(1) pp. 76–83.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00248-009-9552-6

Abstract

Peatlands subjected to sulfate deposition have been shown to produce less methane, believed to be due to competitive exclusion of methanogenic archaea by sulfate-reducing bacteria. Here, we address whether sulfate deposition produces impacts on a higher microbial group, the testate amoebae. Sodium sulfate was applied to experimental plots on a Scottish peatland and samples extracted after a period of more than 10 years. Impacts on testate amoebae were tested using redundancy analysis and Mann-Whitney tests. Results showed statistically significant impacts on amoebae communities particularly noted by decreased abundance of Trinema lineare, Corythion dubium, and Euglypha rotunda. As the species most reduced in abundance are all small bacterivores we suggest that our results support the hypothesis of a shift in dominant prokaryotes, although other explanations are possible. Our results demonstrate the sensitivity of peatland microbial communities to sulfate deposition and suggest sulfate may be a potentially important secondary control on testate amoebae communities.

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