Diversity and distribution of testate amoeba (Testaceae) in the moss Pleurozium schreberi
Testate amoebae are worldwide-distributed protists living in soils, freshwaters, and wetlands, but their presence and diversity in Lithuania are poorly known. The published information mainly reflects collections from freshwater, meanwhile knowledge about the diversity of these protozoa in bryophytes remains limited. To overcome this limitation, a study was conducted on the moss Pleurozium schreberi by sampling it from several localities to provide information on the distribution of testate amoebae and the composition of the species. In this study, 19 species of testate amoebae were recorded. The species richness varied from six to 15 species per sample. The most frequently occurring testate amoebae were eurybiont species Corythion dubium, Trinema enchelys, Euglypha strigosa, Centropyxis aerophylla-complex, and Euglypha laevis. The most diverse genus was Euglypha (five species). The peculiarities of habitats and environmental contamination are possible factors that determined the character of the composition and structure of testate amoebae communities. These data help to improve knowledge of the geographical distribution of testate amoebae in eastern Europe and their diversity in Lithuania.