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Tuesday, April 24 • 1:40pm - 2:00pm
Biodiversity Of TA In WNC

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The primary objectives were to describe patterns of community composition of testate amoeba (TA), to develop hypotheses to explain differences within the communities, and to determine if taxa occupy similar ecological niches with respect to substrate moisture, total elemental C and N, and pH. TA are a diverse polyphyletic group of shelled protozoans that dominate Sphagnum peatlands. TA have been used as proxies for water quality, environmental acidity, and land use changes globally, however little work has been done using these microorganisms in the southeastern U.S. This research will provide data to aid in the analysis of long term studies evaluating environmental and climatic changes in the fen during the Holocene. Sphagnum peat moss and soil were sampled from hiking trail and non-trail sites within Panthertown valley of Nantahala forest during the fall of 2016, and Franklin bog in spring of 2017. Non-trail sites represent pristine sites and trail sites represent disturbed sites determined by their respective qualitative level of trampling. The categories were compared to look for correlations between anthropogenic disturbance and the residential TA population assemblages. The methods include qualitative and quantitative analysis for each sample; moisture class, water table depth, pH, total elemental carbon/nitrogen content, as well as TA identification. TA processing followed standard wash and filtration preparation protocol. Statistical analysis included, Shannon’s diversity index to determine the biodiversity of each sample, multivariate ordinations to compare species and environmental variables. Panthertown had high TA biodiversity and statistics indicated that populations were dynamic and changing. Environmental stresses due to drought may have caused variation in species richness.

Tuesday April 24, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm PDT
014 Zeis Hall

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