ECOTRAIT: Examining the links between functional traits and ecological processes in lake Arcellinida.
This research aims to advance knowledge and understanding of the relationships between test morphology and ecological processes in lake Arcellenida (testate lobose amoebae) through the analysis of ‘functional traits’ (FT), and their applications for biomonitoring. Specific objectives include:
Specific objectives include:
- to examine the character and causes of functional trait variability in modern and palaeo-limnological settings;
- to develop novel biometric approaches using SEM imagery and 3D imaging software to aid in trait delimitation;
- to examine the relationships between Arcellinida shell (test) morphology and phylogenetic characteristics for select 'morphospecies';
- to evaluate the significance of trait-based approaches for understanding spatial and temporal changes in species compostion.
Impact of Research
Testate amoebae are one of the most important biological proxies for Holocene (last ~10 ka) climate reconstruction in terrestrial environments, particularly peatlands, and are significant bioindicators in lakes - the research is thus of broad relevance to ecologists and other researchers interested in determining the character and causes of environmental change in these settings.
The high-resolution palaeoecological work on sediment cores from lakes with a known history of disturbance is of wider importance for understanding the resilience of benthic limnological groups to perturbations, with implications for water quality management.
Major grants and funding
- Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions (MSCA) Fellowship.
- QUB-FAPESP research priming award (Mobility Program) (with Dan Lahr, University of São Paulo).
- Macumber, A.L., Roe, H.M., Prentice, S.V., Sayer, C.D., Bennion, H., Salgado, H. (2020). Freshwater testate amoebae (Arcellinida) response to eutrophication as revealed by test size and shape indices. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 8: 568904 https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fevo.2020.568904/full
- Macumber, A.L., Blandenier, Q., Todorov, M., Duckert, C., Lara, E., Lahr, J.D.G., Mitchell, E.A.D., Roe, H.M. (2020). Phylogenetic divergence within the Arcellinida (Amoebozoa) is congruent with test size and metabolism type. European Journal of Protistology, 72: 125645. doi: 10.1016/j.ejop.2019.125645 Link
- Dr Andrew Macumber, QUB, Research Fellow
- Professor Helen Roe, QUB, Principal Investigator
- Professor Edward Mitchell, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, Co-Investigator
- Dr Dan Lahr, University of São Paulo, Collaborator
- Professor Helen Bennion, UCL, Collaborator
- Professor Carl Sayer, UCL, Collaborator
- Dr Jorge Salgado, Universidad Católica de Colombia, Colombia, Collaborator
- Dr Enrique Lara, Real Jardin Botánico de Madrid, Spain, Collaborator
- Dr Quentin Blandenier, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, Collaborator