Introduction, and ecological and systematic background, to the Terricola (Tricladida)

Winsor, L., Johns, P.M., and Yeates, G.W. (1998) Introduction, and ecological and systematic background, to the Terricola (Tricladida). Pedobiologia, 42 (5-6). pp. 389-404.

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Terrestrial flatworms are carnivorous soil animals which maintain their moisture requirements by vertical migration through a continuum of microhabitats between soil, litter and vegetation. Over 800 species are known and several show human-mediated distribution patterns. Recent molecular studies of the Tricladida have cast doubt on the monophyly of the Terricola. The taxonomy of the terrestrial flatworms is in a state of flux, and the classification of austral taxa hampered at present by the apparent numerous species complexes. Worldwide only some 55% of named species are adequately known histologically, and further comparable anatomical descriptions are essential for advancing their taxonomy. Distribution of the Terricola, especially at subfamily level, is best explained by the vicariance mechanisms of plate tectonics. The low vagility of the Terricola makes them particularly useful for biogeographical studies.

Item ID: 27178
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-1511
Keywords: flatworms, habits, ecology, distribution, taxonomic characters, soil biota
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Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2013 00:04
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060808 Invertebrate Biology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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