Palaeoecology of testate amoebae in a tropical peatland

Graeme T. Swindles*, Mariusz Lamentowicz, Monika Reczuga, Jennifer M. Galloway

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    We present the first detailed analysis of subfossil testate amoebae from a tropical peatland. Testate amoebae were analysed in a 4-m peat core from western Amazonia (Peru) and a transfer function developed from the site was applied to reconstruct changes in water table over the past ca. 8,000 years. Testate amoebae were in very low abundance in the core, especially in the lower 125 cm, due to a combination of poor preservation and obscuration by other organic matter. A modified preparation method enabled at least 50 testate amoebae to be counted in each core sample. The most abundant taxa preserved include Centropyxis aculeata, Hyalosphenia subflava, Phryganella acropodia and Trigonopyxis arcula. Centropyxis aculeata, an unambiguous wet indicator, is variably present and indicates several phases of near-surface water table. Our work shows that even degraded, low-abundance assemblages of testate amoebae can provide useful information regarding the long-term ecohydrological developmental history of tropical peatlands.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)181-189
    Number of pages9
    JournalEuropean Journal of Protistology
    Early online date10 Nov 2015
    Publication statusPublished - 01 Sep 2016


    • Amazonia
    • Palaeoecology
    • Peatlands
    • Testate amoebae
    • Tropical rainforest

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Microbiology


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