Organic rich sediments were obtained from seven core tops taken in Lake Quistococha, near the city of Iquitos in the Peruvian Amazon. Subsamples from 0 to 4. cm depth in each core were analyzed under dissecting light microscopy to carry out the first investigation of Arcellinida (testate lobose amoebae) from a lacustrine environment in this ecologically important region. The fauna was characterized by a low diversity, low abundance community dominated by centropyxids. This fauna is similar to 'stressed' assemblages reported from temperate latitudes, except that test concentrations were two orders of magnitude lower than typical in temperate lakes. Principle arcellinidan stressors in Lake Quistococha likely include the low pH 4 conditions in the lake, and a general lack of suitable minerogenic material to construct tests in the organic rich lake substrate. The low pH conditions are the result of runoff and seepage of water high in dissolved organic carbon from the adjacent similarly low pH 4 terrestrial peatland. The dearth of minerogenic material is the result of the lake being isolated from riverine input for the past ~2000 years, even during flooding events. Other limiting factors contributing to depressed arcellinidan populations may include nutrient supply, predation pressure, competition, and post-mortem taphonomic factors.
- Testate lobose amoebae
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