Latitudinal Diversity Gradients in Free-living Microorganisms – Hoogenraadia a Key Genus in Testate Amoebae Biogeography
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The extent to which free-living microorganisms show cosmopolitan distributions has been a contentious aspect of microbial ecology over the last few decades. Testate amoebae are a group of free living protists that can provide important evidence for the nature of the biogeography of microorganisms because there are relatively good data on the distribution of their morpho-species (compared to many other microbial groups). Many testate amoebae appear to exhibit ubiquitous distributions, while some taxa have proven to be endemic to limited regions. The genus Hoogenraadia (Gauthier-Lièvre and Thomas 1958) is of particular interest in this context as it appears to be restricted to relatively low latitudes. There are six described species of the genus: H. africana Gauthier-Lièvre and Thomas 1958, H. asiatica Wang and Min 1987, H. cryptostoma Gauthier-Lièvre and Thomas 1958, H. humicola Bonnet 1976, H. ovata Bonnet 1976, and H. sylvatica Vucetich 1974. However, information on these taxa is scattered through a number of different papers – here we provide a summary of what is known about the taxonomy and ecology of this genus. We also reinterpret recent new records of putative H. africana from China (suggesting this identification is not reliable). As an example of a protist taxon largely restricted to the tropics this genus is of particular interest in microbial biogeography and this paper discusses its morphology, ecology and distribution in this context.
18 - 09 - 2015
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