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The diversity and distribution of modern benthic foraminifera has been extensively studied in order to aid the paleoecological interpretation of their fossil record. Traditionally, foraminiferal species are identified based on morphological characters of their organic, agglutinated or calcareous...
Cryptic species are common among protists and have long been known in ciliates. The ciliate genus Tetrahymena contains a large group of morphologically indistinguishable species referred to as the ‘ T. pyriformis ’ complex. These species include those reproductively isolated by mating type as...
Molecular ecology methods based on 18S rRNA amplification and sequencing have revealed an astounding diversity of microbial eukaryotes in every environment sampled so far. This is certainly true of new species and genera, as essentially every new survey discovers a wealth of novel diversity at...
Protists have scarcely been considered in traditional perspectives and strategies in environmental management and biodiversity conservation. This is a remarkable omission given that these tiny organisms are highly diverse, and have performed as key ecological players in evolutionary theatres for...
The silica-scaled chrysophytes—here mainly represented by the freshwater genera Mallomonas and Synura —have special problems in dispersal from one habitat to another because they cannot tolerate desiccation. Their dispersal is limited by the fragile construction and aquatic habit. Dispersal...
Bryophytes disperse by small unicellular spores between 7 μm und usually less than 100 μm. A large percentage of species is sterile and propagates vegetatively either by special brood bodies or fragments of whole plants. It is shown that there is no difference in the effectiveness between...
About 4,500 free-living ciliate morphospecies have been described, applying an average synonymy rate of 20%. We estimate that 83–89% of the ciliate diversity is still undescribed, using the following probabilities: detailed habitat studies suggest that the described number of morphospecies must...
Assessment of the distribution and diversity of free-living protists is currently hampered by a limited taxonomic resolution of major phyla and by neglecting the significance of spatial and temporal scaling for speciation. There is a tremendous physiological and ecological diversity that is...
The myxomycetes (plasmodial slime molds or myxogastrids) are a group of eukaryotic microorganisms usually present and sometimes abundant in terrestrial ecosystems. Evidence from molecular studies suggests that the myxomycetes have a significant evolutionary history. However, due to the fragile...
It has been claimed that microbial taxa will not exhibit endemism because their enormous populations remove dispersal as an effective constraint on geographical range. Here we review evidence that challenges this ubiquity hypothesis for the most speciose group of microbial eukaryotes, the...
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