Relationship between testate amoebae and atmospheric heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Zn, Ni, Cu, Mn and Fe) accumulated in the moss Barbula indica Hanoi, Vietnam
We studied the relationships between testate amoeba communities and heavy metal (Pb, Cd, Zn, Ni, Cu, Mn, and Fe) concentrations in the moss Barbula indica sampled at 29 sites in and around the city of Hanoi (Vietnam). Our first approach was to compare the heavy metal concentrations and testate amoeba variables between the city (zone 1) and the surrounding (zone 2). Mean moss concentrations of Pb, Cd, Zn, Ni, and Cu were significantly higher and testate amoeba species richness and abundance were significantly lower in zone 1 and the abundance of eight taxa differed significantly between the two zones. We then studied the correlation between heavy metals and testate amoebae. Species richness and abundance were correlated negatively to Pb concentration. Shannon H0 was negatively correlated to both Pb and Cd. The abundance of several species was negatively correlated with Pb, Cd, Zn, and Ni; however, at the community level, Pb emerged as the only significant variable in a redundancy analysis. Our results suggest that testate amoebae are sensitive to and may be good bioindicators for heavy metal pollution, especially lead. Further research is needed to understand the causal relationships underlying the observed patterns.