A novel testate amoebae trait-based approach to infer environmental disturbance in Sphagnum peatlands

Marcisz, Katarzyna; Colombaroli, Daniele; Jassey, Vincent E. J.; Tinner, Willy; Kołaczek, Piotr; Gałka, Mariusz; Karpińska-Kołaczek, Monika; Słowiński, Michał; Lamentowicz, Mariusz (2016). A novel testate amoebae trait-based approach to infer environmental disturbance in Sphagnum peatlands. Scientific Reports, 6(33907), p. 33907. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/srep33907

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Species’ functional traits are closely related to ecosystem processes through evolutionary adaptation, and are thus directly connected to environmental changes. Species’ traits are not commonly used in palaeoecology, even though they offer powerful advantages in understanding the impact of environmental disturbances in a mechanistic way over time. Here we show that functional traits of testate amoebae (TA), a common group of palaeoecological indicators, can serve as an early warning signal of ecosystem disturbance and help determine thresholds of ecosystem resilience to disturbances in peatlands. We analysed TA traits from two Sphagnum-dominated mires, which had experienced different kinds of disturbances in the past 2000 years – fire and peat extraction, respectively. We tested the effect of disturbances on the linkages between TA community structure, functional trait composition and functional diversity using structural equation modelling. We found that traits such as mixotrophy and small hidden apertures (plagiostomic apertures) are strongly connected with disturbance, suggesting that these two traits can be used as palaeoecological proxies of peatland disturbance. We show that TA functional traits may serve as a good proxy of past environmental changes, and further analysis of trait-ecosystem relationships could make them valuable indicators of the contemporary ecosystem state.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Palaeoecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Marcisz, Katarzyna; Colombaroli, Daniele and Tinner, Willy

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

2045-2322

Publisher:

Nature Publishing Group

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

05 Oct 2016 16:34

Last Modified:

26 Oct 2016 09:03

Publisher DOI:

10.1038/srep33907

PubMed ID:

27658521

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.89149

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/89149

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