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Wednesday, April 26 • 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Biodiversity Of Testate Amoeba In Western North Carolina

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Our primary objectives were to describe patterns of community composition of testate amoeba (TA) within Panthertown Valley, to develop hypotheses to explain differences within the community, and to determine if taxa occupy similar ecological niches with respect to substrate moisture, total elemental C and N, and pH. Panthertown is a high elevation Southern Appalachian fen with a unique vegetation community, including a diverse Sphagnum community. TA are a diverse polyphyletic group of shelled protozoans that dominate Sphagnum peatlands. TA have been used as proxies for water quality, environmental acidity, and land use changes globally, however little work has been done on using these microscopic organisms in the southeastern US. Sphagnum peat moss and soil were sampled from hiking trail and non-trail sites within Panthertown during the fall of 2016. Non-trail sites represent less disturbed sites with more biotic integrity and trail sites represent disturbed sites with less biotic integrity. Both sites were compared to look for correlations between anthropogenic disturbance and the residential TA population assemblages. The methods include qualitative and quantitative analysis of moisture class and water table depth. Samples were analyzed for pH, total element carbon/nitrogen content, and TA identification. TA processing followed standard wash/filtration preparation protocol. Statistical analysis included Shannon’s diversity index to determine the biodiversity of each sample, multivariate ordinations to compare species and environmental variables, and descriptive statistics of the individual samples. This research will provide valuable data to aid in the analysis of long term studies evaluating environmental and climatic changes in the fen during the Holocene.

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Wednesday April 26, 2017 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Concourse - Wilma Sherrill Center

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