Faculté des sciences

Toward the use of testate amoeba functional traits as indicator of floodplain restoration success

Fournier, Bertrand ; Malysheva, Elena ; Mazei, Yuri ; Moretti, Marco ; Mitchell, Edward A.D.

In: European Journal of Soil Biology, 2012, vol. 49, p. 85-91

Functional traits (FT) offer a new framework to understand the ecology of organisms and overcome taxonomic difficulties that currently limit the study of minute soil taxa. FT are likely to be selected by environmental filters and hence they may provide more direct information on ecosystem characteristics than the species composition of a community. We tested the potential of testate amoeba... Plus

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    Summary
    Functional traits (FT) offer a new framework to understand the ecology of organisms and overcome taxonomic difficulties that currently limit the study of minute soil taxa. FT are likely to be selected by environmental filters and hence they may provide more direct information on ecosystem characteristics than the species composition of a community.
    We tested the potential of testate amoeba (TA) functional traits as bioindicators of selected ecosystem processes in the context of a restored floodplain in north-western Switzerland. The floodplain was divided into six functional process zones (FPZs) associated to distinct post-restoration successional stages. We selected TA FT and computed three functional indices: functional richness (FRic), divergence (FDiv), evenness (FEve), and dispersion (FDis). We then compared the patterns of functional indices and classical diversity indices such as species richness, diversity and evenness. We assessed whether traits converged or were over-dispersed in the different FPZs using a randomization procedure. Finally, we related environmental variables and functional traits using the “Fourth Corner” statistic. This procedure enabled us to highlight relations that can potentially be used for bioindication. Promising candidates include the relationships between shell biovolume and vegetation structure and between shell compression and plant litter input variables.