Biodiversity Science ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (5): 608-617.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14112

• Orginal Article • Previous Article     Next Article

Distribution of gymnamoebae communities along an elevational gradient in Changbai Mountains

Fang Liu1, 3, Qi Li1, *(), Congcong Shen2, Haiyan Chu2, Wenju Liang1   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Forest and Soil Ecology, Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110164
    2 State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008
    3 University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Received:2014-06-03 Accepted:2014-08-01 Online:2014-10-09
  • Li Qi

As an important component of soil food web, gymnamoebae play a significant role in nutrient cycling and energy flows of terrestrial ecosystems by linking soil microorganisms and macro- and meso-fauna. Along an elevational gradient (700 m, 1,000 m, 1,300 m, 1,600 m, 1,900 m, 2,200 m) in Changbai Mountains, the community composition and structure of gymnamoebae were compared using most probable number (MPN) method and plate cultivation technique. The result suggested that gymnameobae richness differed significantly among the various elevational levels and was positively correlated with soil pH. The lowest richness was observed in an Betula ermanii forest with monospecies dominance (1,900 m), while the highest richness was observed in the 1,000 m ecotone. Shannon-Wiener diversity index and Pielou envenness index performed similar patterns with richness, with no significant differences observed among different elevational levels. The community composition of gymnamoebae was more similar among 1,300 m, 1,600 m and 1,900 m and between 2,200 m and 700 m elevations. Canonical correspondence analysis showed that gymnamoebae community structure was correlated with soil pH, ammonium nitrogen and C/N ratio. However, gymnamoebae communities were not influenced by altitude and soil water content. In conclusion, unlike macroorganisms (e.g. trees and animals), the richness and diversity of gymnamoebae did not show monotonically decreasing or hump-shaped patterns along the elevational gradient, and soil physicochemical characteristics were the main factors that influencing their distribution. In addition, gymnamoebae community composition and structure might be also indirectly regulated by vegetation type through litter and root exudates.

Key words: gymnamoebae, diversity, elevational gradient, soil physicochemical characteristics, vegetation zone

Fig. 1

Soil physicochemical characteristics along an elevational gradient in Changbai Mountains. Different letters above the bars indicate differences between elevations at the 0.05 significance level (n=5)."

Table 1

Detection frequency and feeding guild of different gymnamoebae genera along elevational gradients"

Taxa (genus) with abbreviations
Detection frequency of gymnamoebae (p)
Feeding guild
700 m 1,000 m 1,300 m 1,600 m 1,900 m 2,200 m
棘变虫属 Acanthamoeba (Acant) +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ O
变形虫属 Amoeba (Amoeb) + B
Acrachnula (Acrac) + + + + F
粘虫属 Biomyxa (Biomy) ++ P
卡变虫属 Cashia (Cashi) + ++ + B+Y
指变虫属 Dactylamoeba (Dacty) ++ + P+A
刺变虫属 Echinamoeba (Echin) +++ ++++ +++ +++ +++ +++ B
丝变虫属 Filamoeba (Filam) ++ +++ ++ + B
拟斑瘤菌虫属 Guttulinopsis (Guttu) + +++ + B
哈氏虫属 Hartmannella (Hartm) + +++ ++ + ++ +++ B
马氏虫属 Mayorella (Mayor) ++ B+P+A
纳氏虫属 Naegleria (Naegl) + +++ +++ + + ++ B
核形虫属 Nuclearia (Nucle) +++ +++ + + F+A
副变虫属 Paramoeba (Param) ++ P+A
平变虫属 Platyamoeba (Platy) +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ B
多卓变虫属 Polychaos (Polyc) + P+A
根变虫属 Rhizamoeba (Rhiza) + + + P
囊变虫属 Saccamoeba (Sacca) ++ ++ +++ + + B
Stachyamoeba (Stach) + +++ + + ++ B
甲变虫属 Thecamoeba (Theca) +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ B+P
毛变虫属 Tricamoeba (Trica) ++ #
简变虫属 Vahlkampfia (Vahlk) +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ B
蒲变虫属 Vannella (Vanne) + ++ ++ B
杆变虫属 Vexillifera (Vexil) +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ ++ B

Fig. 2

Abundance (a), Shannon-Wiener diversity index (b), Margalef richness index (c), and Pielou evenness index (d) of gymnamoebae community along an elevational gradient in Changbai Mountains. These bars represent the standard error of the mean. Different letters above the bars indicate differences between elevations at the 0.05 significance level (n=5)."

Fig. 3

Cluster analysis dendrogram of gynameobae genera across six elevations using nearest neighbors method based on squared Euclidean distance."

Fig. 4

Canonical correspondence analysis biplot of gymnamoebae community along an elevational gradient in Changbai Mountains in relation to soil physicochemical factors. (a) biplot of samples and soil physicochemical factors; (b) biplot of gymnamoebae genus and soil physicochemical factors. Soil physicochemical factors: TC, Total carbon content; TN, Total nitrogen content; C/N, Carbon nitrogen ratio; WC, Water content; NH4+-N, Ammonium nitrogen. Genus abbreviations is represented by the first five letters of Latin name as listed in Table 1, e.g., Vahlk = Vahlkampfia )."

Fig. S1

Partially selected naked amoeba picture identified from Changbai Mountains. a, Thecamoeba striata; b, Thecamoeba similis; c, floating form of Thecamoeba sp.; d, Vahlkampfia atopa; e, Vahlkampfia avara; f, Mayorella penardi; g, Mayorella cantabrigiensis; h, floating form of Vannella sp.; i, Vanella lata n. sp.; j, Platyamoeba stenopodia; k, Biomyxa sp.; l, Acrachnula sp.; m, Acanthamoeba sp.; n, Echinamoeba silvestris.;"

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