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Langmuir ; 35(14): 5069-5074, 2019 04 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30888172


Difflugia are testate amoebae that use particulate inorganic matter to build a protective shell (generally called a test or theca). Difflugia globulosa were grown both in culture containing only naturally occurring theca-building materials and under conditions where synthetic particles were present also. The presence of monodisperse Stöber silica microspheres of 1, 3, and 6 µm in diameter or 4 µm polystyrene spheres dramatically increased the rate of Difflugia growth, and foreign microspheres became the overwhelmingly dominant construction material. Optical and electron microscopy of the 6 µm particle studies revealed that Difflugia construct spherical vase-shaped thecae with strikingly reproducible composition, morphology, and size. Time-lapse photography revealed construction techniques and masonry skills as Difflugia herded particles together, trapped them using phagocytosis, and applied the particles with biocement from inside the developing theca. The reported observations identify taxonomy complications, biomicrofabrication possibilities, and a discrete environmental impact of synthetic particle pollutants.

Amoeba/metabolismo , Microesferas , Material Particulado/metabolismo , Poliestirenos/metabolismo , Dióxido de Silício/metabolismo , Amoeba/química , Amoeba/crescimento & desenvolvimento , Tamanho da Partícula , Material Particulado/química , Poliestirenos/química , Dióxido de Silício/química , Propriedades de Superfície
Ecol Evol ; 8(16): 7865-7878, 2018 Aug.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30250669


Lakes and their topological distribution across Earth's surface impose ecological and evolutionary constraints on aquatic metacommunities. In this study, we group similar lake ecosystems as metacommunity units influencing diatom community structure. We assembled a database of 195 lakes from the tropical Andes and adjacent lowlands (8°N-30°S and 58-79°W) with associated environmental predictors to examine diatom metacommunity patterns at two different levels: taxon and functional (deconstructed species matrix by ecological guilds). We also derived spatial variables that inherently assessed the relative role of dispersal. Using complementary multivariate statistical techniques (principal component analysis, cluster analysis, nonmetric multidimensional scaling, Procrustes, variance partitioning), we examined diatom-environment relationships among different lake habitats (sediment surface, periphyton, and plankton) and partitioned community variation to evaluate the influence of niche- and dispersal-based assembly processes in diatom metacommunity structure across lake clusters. The results showed a significant association between geographic clusters of lakes based on gradients of climate and landscape configuration and diatom assemblages. Six lake clusters distributed along a latitudinal gradient were identified as functional metacommunity units for diatom communities. Variance partitioning revealed that dispersal mechanisms were a major contributor to diatom metacommunity structure, but in a highly context-dependent fashion across lake clusters. In the Andean Altiplano and adjacent lowlands of Bolivia, diatom metacommunities are niche assembled but constrained by either dispersal limitation or mass effects, resulting from area, environmental heterogeneity, and ecological guild relationships. Topographic heterogeneity played an important role in structuring planktic diatom metacommunities. We emphasize the value of a guild-based metacommunity model linked to dispersal for elucidating mechanisms underlying latitudinal gradients in distribution. Our findings reveal the importance of shifts in ecological drivers across climatic and physiographically distinct lake clusters, providing a basis for comparison of broad-scale community gradients in lake-rich regions elsewhere. This may help guide future research to explore evolutionary constraints on the rich Neotropical benthic diatom species pool.

Ecology ; 93(8): 1853-66, 2012 Aug.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22928414


A high-resolution (2-9 year sampling interval) fossil pollen record from the Galápagos Islands, which spans the last 2690 years, reveals considerable ecosystem stability. Vegetation changes associated with independently derived histories of El Niño Southern Oscillation variability provided evidence of shifts in the relative abundance of individual species rather than immigration or extinction. Droughts associated with the Medieval Climate Anomaly induced rapid ecological change that was followed by a reversion to the previous state. The paleoecological data suggested nonneutral responses to climatic forcing in this ecosystem prior to the period of human influence. Human impacts on the islands are evident in the record. A marked decline in long-term codominants of the pollen record, Alternanthera and Acalypha, produced a flora without modern analogue before 1930. Intensified animal husbandry after ca. 1930 may have induced the local extinction of Acalypha and Alternanthera. Reductions in populations of grazing animals in the 1970s and 1980s did not result in the return of the native flora, but in invasions by exotic species. After ca. 1970 the trajectory of habitat change accelerated, continuously moving the ecosystem away from the observed range of variability in the previous 2690 years toward a novel ecosystem. The last 40 years of the record also suggest unprecedented transport of lowland pollen to the uplands, consistent with intensified convection and warmer wet seasons.

Ecossistema , Atividades Humanas , Desenvolvimento Vegetal , Plantas/classificação , Clima , Equador , Humanos , Espécies Introduzidas , Pólen , Dinâmica Populacional , Fatores de Tempo , Tempo (Meteorologia)