Protozoa from aboveground and ground soils of a tropical rain forest in Puerto Rico

Bamforth S (2007) Protozoa from aboveground and ground soils
of tropical rain forest in Puerto Rico. Pedobiologia 50:515–525

forests, but little is known about the protozoa that stimulate bacterial activity and turnover. I examined litter and ground soils, epiphytic bryophyte soils on tree trunks and branches, and adventitious roots of lianas attached to tree trunks, within 2m above ground in the Luquillo Experimental Forest, within the Caribbean National Forest, Puerto Rico. Amoebae numbered 69,000–170,000, ciliates 1000–25,000, and testate amoebae 58,000–190,000 g1 dry wt. of litter, but were reduced by 0.25–0.5 of these abundances in the underlying soils. In the aboveground soils, amoebae numbered 64,000–145,000, ciliates 1000–8000, and testate amoebae 84,000–367,000 g1 dry wt. of soil. Eighty species of ciliates and 104 species of testate amoebae were found. About 50% of the individuals in ciliate and 33% in testate amoebae populations were small r-selected species, illustrating that functional differences between species determine community composition. Although protozoan numbers are best described as ‘‘protozoan potential’’ because many individuals may be dormant, the high moisture content of tropical rain forest litter and soils suggest almost continually connected soil water films (necessary for protozoan transport), and together with the large numbers and biodiversity of protozoa, suggest that a major proportion of these protozoa contribute to the bacterial decomposition channel of organic matter. & 2006 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
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