Literature review on testate amoebae as environmental indicators and as a functional part of the microbial community in northern peatlands

Olivia Kuuri-Riutta, Minna Väliranta, Eeva Stiina Tuittila

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkelijulkaisuKatsausartikkelivertaisarvioitu


In this review we assess past and current trends in the use of testate amoebae in peatland science, concentrating mainly on studies conducted in northern peatlands. We also discuss the potential of testate amoebae for future research. Testate amoebae are unicellular protists that are covered by protective tests which are easily identifiable and are stored in peat over millennia. Testate amoeba species are specialised to live in a thin water film coating the mosses that creates different microhabitats for species varying in size and shape. They are therefore considered good indicators for hydrology, in particular. In peatlands they represent dominant consumers in the microbial food web, but mixotrophic species also contribute to photosynthesis. Due to their functional role in peatland microbial communities, and as related to challenges in identification and taxonomy, there has been increasing interest towards understanding their functional traits. We suggest that more fundamental research about testate amoeba taxonomy, autecology and functional ecology is needed, but at the same time we can conclude that testate amoebae are a useful tool for contemporary topics in peatland science, including climate-induced changes in peatland functioning and peatland restoration.

LehtiMires and Peat
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - 25 syysk. 2022
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA2 Katsausartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä


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