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Storing amoebae

John Andrew McMullen andy.mcmullen at zetnet.co.uk
Mon Sep 29 07:45:04 EST 1997

Hello there,

I am studying testate amoebae as a component of my PhD, 
"Palaeoecology and the conservation management of lowland raised 
bogs", in order to determine past hydrological conditions. However it 
has lead me to undertake study of  their contemporary 'field ecology' 
since I find them quite fascinating and I also encounter them 
frequently in the bryophytes I bring home to study. However, as I am 
not always able to study samples the instance I bring them home I 
store them in my fridge. Will this cause the counts I make to be 
biased towards the ecology of my fridge as opposed to the original 
habitat I removed the sample from? Unfortunately (?) I study 450 
miles from my university (Southampton) and do not have access to any 
specialist equipment so if any bias is incurred through fridge 
storage how can I avoid this without specialist/expensive means? 

I intend to publish my data as a paper at some point and it will 
focus on the Cairngorm Mountains, Scotland, where I live. I am also 
currently doing annotated lists for some of the local Nature reserves 
where I already record bryophytes. This is driven, in part, by my 
desire to raise the profile of such beasties because while I like 
Pandas and Whales, etc. I do get perturbed that they always steal the 
limelight from less cuddly biota. Does anybody know if any one has 
looked seriously at the conservation of protists yet, an area that 
must surely be dogged by the lack of data we have currently 
available? Or am I being naive and idealistic (again)?

J. Andy McMullen
Buailteach, Crathie, Ballater, Aberdeenshire, AB35 5TE
Tel./fax: 013397 42453
e-mail: andy.mcmullen at zetnet.co.uk

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