A new post by Edward Mitchell on ‘From Inside the Shell’. The blog is run by Dan Lahr (Brazil), Vincent Jassey and Edward Mitchell (Switzerland), and Bob Booth (USA) – a truly international effort and a great way to stay up to date with cutting edge testate amoebae research. Check it out!
By Edward A. D. Mitchell,
Laboratory of Soil Biodiversity, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland
With the advent of high throughput sequencing, estimates of global diversity are being totally revised as well. For us protistologists – arguably much more importantly – so is the picture of how diversity is distributed among the different branches of the tree of life. The image that emerges is one that shows a huge unknown diversity among protists, at all levels, from major groups (i.e. “environmental clades”) and within known groups (i.e. from more or less divergent groups to complexes of cryptic and pseudo-cryptic species). This is fascinating and to say the least mind-boggling and a much welcome development for making a case about the need to study protists more intensively. It is indeed impossible today to ignore this diversity and the many functional roles that protists play in all ecosystems.
But this unknown diversity also calls…
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