Evaluating the Taxonomic Identity in Four Species of the Lobose Testate Amoebae Genus Arcella Ehrenberg, 1832
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The taxonomic identity in microbial eukaryotes remains an impediment to discussing ecology, biogeography and phylogeny, mainly due to a lack of standards in organism descriptions and few comparative works. The lobose testate amoebae (Arcellinida) present an ideal study system, as progress is severely hindered due to taxonomic confusion. In the present survey, we have examined the morphology, biometry and ecology of 2400 individuals in the genus Arcella Ehrenberg, 1832, collected from the Tiete River in Sao Paulo, Brazil. We then contrasted these new data with 26 previously described species, varieties and forms, looking for consistencies and trying to establish distinct entities. Using a combination of morphology and multivariate statistics we were able to determine 4 distinct taxa (Arcella hemisphaerica, Arcella discoides, Arcella gibbosa and Arcella brasiliensis), each of them encompassing a number of other non-distinct nominal taxa. We describe in detail each of the 4 taxa with notes on ecology and biogeography, and list the indistinguishable names in an effort to make identification and taxonomy in the testate amoebae a more objective and precise exercise by clarifying the taxonomic identity.
25 - 09 - 2015
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