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1 September 2015 Tardigrades of the Canopy: Evidence of Stratification
Lauren Chang, Devon Powell, William R. Miller, Margaret Lowman
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Mosses and lichens growing on trees and rocks are a common habitat for limnoterrestrial tardigrades all over the world. However, worldwide tardigrade research has been conducted primarily with ground level samples. In order to determine the presence, absence, diversity, distribution and size of tardigrade populations in the canopy, researchers ascended 135 trees of 17 species at nine northeastern Kansas forest sites, and collected tardigrade habitat from varying heights. Analysis of 822 samples clearly evidenced the presence of tardigrade populations in the forest canopy, as well as documented stratification with a statistically significant increase in density of the tardigrades per sample from 6.4 to 11.9 with increased height. This third dimension discovery must now be factored into theories of tardigrade dispersal. Further investigations may hold new, arboreal species.

Lauren Chang, Devon Powell, William R. Miller, and Margaret Lowman "Tardigrades of the Canopy: Evidence of Stratification," Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 118(3-4), 230-236, (1 September 2015).
Published: 1 September 2015
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