Title of Project

Application of Culture Manipulation to Investigate Life Histories, Diversity and Ubiquity of Naked Amoebae from Mangroves

Project Type

Event

Location

Miniaci Performing Arts Center

Start Date

8-4-2005 12:00 AM

End Date

8-4-2005 12:00 AM

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Apr 8th, 12:00 AM Apr 8th, 12:00 AM

Application of Culture Manipulation to Investigate Life Histories, Diversity and Ubiquity of Naked Amoebae from Mangroves

Miniaci Performing Arts Center

Three high school students from the University School of NSU manipulated cultures of mangrove amoebae to investigate the hypothesis that naked filose amoebae are actually stages in the life cycle of dinoflagellates. As these protists have been implicated in harmful algal blooms, any new information concerning their life histories would help to develop successful models for predicting bloom events. Additional objectives of the culture manipulation trials include the identification of emerging species, naming and describing of novel species, and enumeration of the diversity of species found under a variety of culture conditions. This final aspect addresses the hypothesis that most, if not all, protists enjoy worldwide distribution as a result of their small size, which facilitates their dispersal. If this is the case, their absence in samples may be due to undersampling of habitats and inadequate methods for detection of rare species. Sufficient manipulation of cultures should reveal the ‘emergence’ of species previously undetected. If found to be distributed ubiquitously, then microorganisms cannot be considered invaders and concern about their presence, at least with respect to invasion biology, is misguided. In these trials, cultures of naked amoebae isolated from South Florida mangroves were established and subjected to weekly changes in nutrient source or salinity. Morphotypes of protists (amoebae, flagellates, ciliates) were recorded following each change and datasets were analyzed for correlation between naked filose amoebae and dinoflagellates, as well as general changes in species composition when compared with a control not subjected to culture manipulation.