Series: Monografie Faunistyczne (formerly Monografie Fauny Polski) Volume: 16
286 pages, 31 plates with b/w photos; 153 b/w line drawings and b/w maps, 8 tables
Language: English with Polish summary
From the introduction:
"Tardigrada, the group of micrometazoans interesting in several respects, inhabit various habitats in all latitudes, from the depths of the ocean to the highest mountains. The phenomenal physiological adaptations of the majority of "terrestrial" tardigrades allowing them to survive even very unfavourable habitat conditions in the state of cryptobiosis, their mysterious origin, and partly their specific grace, contribute to the growing interest in these animals. It is evidenced by three international symposia devoted to them (Italy, 1975; Poland, 1977; USA, 1982), as well as the ever-increasing number of persons working on this group and publications on it.
The degree of our knowledge about the Tardigrada, however, is still very low. This concerns all disciplines connected with them, starting with their anatomy and ending with their phylogenesis. No exception is our meagre knowledge of their biology, ecology and distribution, which is caused by the animals' small size, great troubles with rearing, and basic technical difficulties with picking out complex microhabitat factors, which in most cases escape our attention These difficulties are additionally aggravated by the chaos in systematics, especially at the species level.
For this reason, every attempt at a faunistic synthesis of any area, a picture, even approximate, of the influence of the most crucial ecological factors, as well as tracing emerging regularities in the Tardigrada distribution, can be useful for further, more detailed studies. Such a synthesis is attempted in the present work, Which is a survey and an extension of the research on the tardigrades of Poland carried out hitherto. It should be stressed that it covers almost exclusively the fauna of tardigrades inhabiting mosses. Marine, soil and fresh-water tardigrades are almost totally unknown in Poland and require separate studies."
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