Title

Epibiotic Diatoms Are Universally Present on All Sea Turtle Species

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-2016

Publication Source

PLoS ONE

Volume

11

Issue

6

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0157011

Publisher

Public Library of Science

ISBN/ISSN

19326203

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

The macro-epibiotic communities of sea turtles have been subject to growing interest in recent years, yet their micro-epibiotic counterparts are almost entirely unknown. Here, we provide the first evidence that diatoms are epibionts for all seven extant species of sea turtle. Using Scanning Electron Microscopy, we inspected superficial carapace or skin samples from a single representative of each turtlespecies. We distinguished 18 diatom taxa from these seven individuals, with each sea turtle species hosting at least two diatom taxa. We recommend that future research is undertaken to confirm whether diatom communities vary between sea turtle species and whether these diatom taxa are facultative or obligate commensals.

Keywords

clinical article, commensal, diatom, epibiont, extant species, human, scanning electron microscopy, sea turtle, skin

Disciplines

Biology

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