Factors related to diversity of decomposer fungi in tropical forests
Author: Lodge, D.J.
Source: Biodiversity and Conservation, Volume 6, Number 5, 1997 , pp. 681-688(8)
Abstract:Recent studies suggest that host-preferences are common among certain groups of tropical fungal decomposers but rare in others, and sometimes occur where we least expect them. Host preferences among microfungi and ascomycetes that decompose leaf litter are common but usually involve differences in relative frequencies more than presence/absence, so their diversity may be loosely correlated with species richness of host trees. Strong host-specificity appears to be rare among wood decomposer fungi, whereas characteristics of their substrata and habitat are very important for this group. Anthropogenic disturbance predisposed a tropical forest to subsequent hurricane damage, and the resulting direct and indirect effects on host diversity and habitat heterogeneity were reflected in the decomposer fungal community more than sixty years after the original disturbance. While species richness of dictyostelid slime molds and functional diversity of their bacterial prey increased with disturbance, the more diverse microfungi and ascomycetes were apparently negatively affected by disturbance.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: Center for Forest Mycology Research, Forest Products Lab, USDA Forest Service, PO Box 1377, Luquillo, PR 00773 USA
Publication date: January 1, 1997