Testate amoebae community analysis as a tool to assess biological impacts of peatland use
Daza Secco, E., Haimi, J., Högmander, H., Taskinen, S., Niku, J., & Meissner, K. (2018). Testate amoebae community analysis as a tool to assess biological impacts of peatland use. Wetlands Ecology and Management, 26 (4), 597-611. doi:10.1007/s11273-018-9594-y
Published inWetlands Ecology and Management
© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018.
As most ecosystems, peatlands have been heavily exploited for different human purposes. For example, in Finland the majority is under forestry, agriculture or peat mining use. Peatlands play an important role in carbon storage, water cycle, and are a unique habitat for rare organisms. Such properties highlight their environmental importance and the need for their restoration. To monitor the success of peatland restoration sensitive indicators are needed. Here we test whether testate amoebae can be used as a reliable bioindicator for assessing peatland condition. To qualify as reliable indicators, responses in testate amoebae community structure to ecological changes must be stronger than random spatial and temporal variation. In this study, we simultaneously assessed differences between the effects of seasonality, intermediate scale spatial variation and land uses on living testate amoebae assemblages in natural, forested and restored peatlands. We expected the effects of seasonality on testate amoebae communities to be less pronounced than those of land use and within site variation. On average, natural sites harboured the highest richness and density, while the lowest numbers were found at forestry sites. Despite small changes observed in taxa dominance and differences in TA community structure between seasons and years at some sites, spatial heterogeneity, temperature, pH, nor water table depth seemed to significantly affect testate amoebae communities. Instead, observed differences were related to type of land use, which explained 75% of the community variation. Our results showed that testate amoebae community monitoring is a useful tool to evaluate impacts of human land use on boreal peatlands. ...