Testate amoebae (TA) are a common and diverse group of protists and are especially abundant in peatlands. The structure of peatland TA communities is well correlated to surface moisture and water table depth (WTD). For that reason, TA are widely used as proxy indicators in ecological and palaeoecological studies. Peatlands are abundant across Asia, but the diversity and ecology of the TA that inhabit these systems are poorly documented. It is therefore unclear whether TA can be used as palaeohydrological indicators in the manner in which they commonly are in Europe and North-America. There is particular uncertainty as to the efficacy of this approach in the lower latitudes. We compiled existing and new data on testate amoebae from 1124 Sphagnum-dominated samples from 42 individual peatlands covering broad latitudinal (25°–66° N) and longitudinal (68°–129° E) ranges. Using a consensus taxonomic framework, we built a checklist of TA and developed TA-based hydrological transfer functions for Asian peatlands. The results showed that three models, weighted averaging (WA), weighted average partial least squares (WA-PLS), and maximum likelihood (ML), predicted similar WTD values for full samples, while the modern analogue technique (MAT) produced the strongest (R2boot = 0.58) relationship between observed and estimated water-table depths (WTDs). Removing outlier samples improved the R2 values of observed vs. estimated WTDs, with ML then demonstrating the strongest predictive power (R2boot = 0.68, RMSEPboot = 8.98 cm). The predictive capability of the developed WTD transfer function is comparable to equivalent models for Europe and North America and thus can be used for palaeohydrological reconstructions for boreal to subtropical peatlands in Asia.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by National Science Foundation of China (NO. 41502167 , 41771217 ) and the ‘ 111 project’ of China (grant No. BP0820004 ), ‘Belt and Road Project’ in CUG ( T2018014 ), and Russian Science Foundation (grant No. 19-14-00102 ). We thank Guillaume Lentendu for preparing the Fig. 1 . We thank the two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments.
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- Consensus taxonomy
- Dataset harmonisation
- Testate amoebae
- Water table depth
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Global and Planetary Change
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics