Specificity of diatom communities attached on the carapace of the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis)

  • Vincent Roubeix | vincent.roubeix@laposte.net HydroBioStat, Aix-en-Provence, France. http://orcid.org/0000-0002-3809-8678
  • Lucie Attia DREAL Occitanie, Laboratoire d’Hydrobiologie, Toulouse , France.
  • Rémy Chavaux DREAL Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Laboratoire d'Hydrobiologie, Lyon, France.
  • Frank Very DREAL Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Laboratoire d'Hydrobiologie, Clermont-Ferrand, France.
  • Anthony Olivier La Tour du Valat, Institut de Recherche pour la Conservation des Zones Humides Méditerranéennes, Le Sambuc, Arles, France.
  • Luc Ector Environmental Research and Innovation (ERIN) Department, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), Belvaux, Luxembourg.
  • Véronique Vassal DREAL PACA, Laboratoire d’Hydrobiologie, Pôle d’activités Les Milles, Aix-en-Provence, France.


Periphytic diatoms growing on aquatic turtle carapaces provide an interesting example of biofouling on an animal substrate. This study dealt with the question of the specificity of epizoic diatom communities for the case of the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis) and across five water bodies in South-Eastern France. 375 diatom taxa have been identified on the European pond turtle carapace. The results showed that the epizoic communities of the five sites were significantly different from each other. The epizoic diatom communities could be clearly distinguished from epilithic and epiphytic communities only in two out of five sites. The differences in composition at the two sites resulted from the greater abundance of some species and life forms. However, the characteristic pattern of diatom communities on the carapaces was not the same at the two sites. It therefore appeared that the European pond turtle’s carapace did not harbour specific diatom communities and can rather be considered a neutral substrate.



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Emys orbicularis, epizoic habitat, microalgae, selection, specificity
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How to Cite
Roubeix, V., Attia, L., Chavaux, R., Very, F., Olivier, A., Ector, L., & Vassal, V. (2021). Specificity of diatom communities attached on the carapace of the European pond turtle (<em>Emys orbicularis</em&gt;). Advances in Oceanography and Limnology, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/aiol.2021.9119