Effect of Lead Pollution on Testate Amoebae Communities living in Sphagnum fallax: an experimental study
We studied the effects of lead pollution on testate amoebae communities living on Sphagnum fallax by growing this moss under controlled conditions. A progressive series of lead (Pb) concentration was used in the growing solution of the mosses: 0 (control), 625 and 2500 µg.L-1. The mosses were sampled and analysed for accumulated Pb and testate amoeba communities after 0, 6, 12, and 20 weeks. Species richness, total density and total biomass of testate amoebae declined in response to the Pb treatment and changed over time. The Pb × Time cross-effect was significant for species richness, and total density but not for the total biomass and Shannon diversity. Furthermore, the testate amoebae species richness and the total density were negatively correlated to the Pb concentrations actually accumulated in the moss at the end of the experiment. Species-specific responses of testate amoebae to Pb pollution were identified. Our results thus confirm the sensitivity of testate amoebae to lead pollution.