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Population density and species composition of moss-living tardigrades in a boreo-nemoral forest

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This study investigates for the first time the tardigrade fauna in a variety of different mosses from a coniferous forest and an adjacent clear-cut area in southern Sweden. Tardigrades were found in a majority of the samples. Sixteen species were recorded, of which the cosmopolitan species Macrobiotus hufelandi was the far most common. Some mosses, particularly species with “wefts” growth form, contained more tardigrades than other mosses, indicating that growth form may have an impact on tardigrade abundance. Mosses of the same species collected from a forest and from a clear-cut, respectively, did not show a general trend in the overall abundance of tardigrades, but the forest tended to contain more species. Five species of tardigrades (Murrayon dianae, Isohypsibius sattleri, Platicrista angustata, Diphascon belgicae and Diphascon pingue) never previously reported from Sweden were recorded.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2003

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