Encyclopedia of Geobiology

2011 Edition
| Editors: Joachim Reitner, Volker Thiel

Protozoa (Heterotroph, Eukaryotic)

  • Jens Boenigk
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9212-1_169

Synonyms

Protist (pro parte); Protoctista (pro parte)

Definition

Protozoa (historical) Animals that can be reduced to the status of one cell.

Protozoa (modern) All eukaryotes after exclusion of the derived kingdoms such as Animalia, Fungi, Plantae, and Chromista.

Introduction

Protozoa are a loose grouping of organisms with similar (usually unicellular) organization and heterotrophic mode of nutrition. They are found in most soils, fresh water, and oceans. As components of the micro- and meiofauna, Protozoa are important consumers of bacteria and an important food source for microinvertebrates. While most are solitary individuals, various colonial forms exist. The taxonomic relationships of protozoans to one another and to other protists continue to be revised. Most are free-living, but some are commensalistic, mutualistic, or parasitic. Pathogenic Protozoa include species of Plasmodium, the cause of human malaria, Trypanosoma gambiense, the cause of African trypanosomiasis, and Entamoeb...

Keywords

Biomass Cellulose Respiration Geochemistry Photosynthesis 
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access

Bibliography

  1. Adl, S. M., Simpson, A. G. B., Farmer, M. A., Andersen, R. A., Anderson, O. R., Barta, J. R., Bowser, S. S., Brugerolle, G., Fensome, R. A., Fredericq, S., James, T. Y., Karpov, S., Kugrens, P., Krug, J., Lane, C. E., Lewis, L. A., Lodge, J., Lynn, D. H., Mann, D. G., McCourt, R. M., Mendoza, L., Moestrup, Ø., Mozley-Standridge, S. E., Nerad, T. A., Shearer, C. A., Smirnov, A. V., Spiegel, F. W., and Taylor, M. F. J. R., 2005. The new higher level classification of eukaryotes with emphasis on the taxonomy of protists. The Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology, 52(5), 399–451.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cavalier-Smith, T., 2003. Protist phylogeny and the high-level classification of Protozoa. European Journal of Protistology, 39, 338–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Hausmann, K., Hülsmann, N., and Radek, R., 2003. Protistology, 3rd edn. Schweizerbart’Sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 379 p.Google Scholar
  4. Margulis, L., Corliss, J. O., Melkonian, M., and Chapman, D. J., 1990. Handbook of Protoctista. Boston, MA:  Jones & Barlett, 1024 p.Google Scholar
  5. Scarmadella, J. M., 1999. Not plants or animals: a brief history of the origin of Kingdoms Protozoa, Protista and Protoctista. International Microbiology, 2, 207–216.Google Scholar
  6. von Oken, L., 1805. Die Zeugung. Bamberg, Würtzburg: Göbhardt.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jens Boenigk
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for LimnologyAustrian Academy of Sciences5310 MondseeAustria