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Testate amoeba response to acid deposition in a Scottish peatland

Payne, Richard J. (2010) Testate amoeba response to acid deposition in a Scottish peatland. Aquatic Ecology, 44 (2). pp. 373-385. ISSN 1573-5125

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Peatlands around the world are exposed to anthropogenic or volcanogenic sulphur pollution. Impacts on peatland microbial communities have been inferred from changes in gas flux but have rarely been directly studied. In this study, the impacts of sulphuric acid deposition on peatland testate amoebae were investigated by analysis of experimental plots on a Scottish peatland almost 7 years after acid treatment. Results showed reduced concentration of live amoebae and changes in community structure which remained significant even when differences in pH were accounted for. Several possible explanations for the impacts can be proposed including taphonomic processes and changes in plant communities. Previous studies have inferred a shift from methanogenic archaea to sulphate-reducing bacteria in sulphate-treated peats; it is possible that the impacts detected here might relate to this change, perhaps through testate amoeba predation on methanotrophs.

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