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Laura A. Katz
Bachelor of Arts
Testate amoeba, Microorganisms, Ecology, Biogeography
Microorganisms make up most of the diversity within the Eukaryotic tree of life, but they remain vastly understudied. The focus of this study, testate amoebae (Arcellinida, Amoebozoa), are one such understudied lineage. Testate amoebae are single-celled, shell-building eukaryotic microorganisms, are important members of their fragile ecosystems and can act as bioindicators for the health of the ecosystem. Since these microorganisms are understudied, in addition to a lack of knowledge on the diversity of testate amoebae, there are also very few data on their distribution. This study aims to elucidate the diversity within Arcellinida, as well as to establish patterns of distribution in two New England bogs. I used a combination of morphological and molecular techniques to assess/evaluate testate amoebae communities. These analyses reveal the considerable heterogeneity within their communities. They also indicate that ecology is a partial driver of community diversity, but to better understand the distribution of these important microbes, future studies might investigate other environmental factors for patterns in distribution.
2020 Evelyn Grey Elizabeth Hoffman. Access limited to the Smith College community and other researchers while on campus. Smith College community members also may access from off-campus using a Smith College log-in. Other off-campus researchers may request a copy through Interlibrary Loan for personal use.
Hoffman, Evelyn Grey Elizaabeth, "Ecological distribution of testate amoebae in New England" (2020). Honors Project, Smith College, Northampton, MA.
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