Ectomycorrhizal fungal sporocarp diversity and discovery of new taxa in Dicymbe monodominant forests of the Guiana Shield

Henkel, Terry; Aime, M.; Chin, Mimi; Miller, Steven; Vilgalys, Rytas; Smith, Matthew
August 2012
Biodiversity & Conservation;Aug2012, Vol. 21 Issue 9, p2195
Academic Journal
Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi historically were considered poorly represented in Neotropical forests but in the central Guiana Shield substantial areas are dominated by leguminous ECM trees. In the Upper Potaro Basin of Western Guyana, ECM fungi were sampled for 7 years during the rainy seasons of 2000-2008 in three 1-ha plots in primary monodominant forests of the ECM canopy tree Dicymbe corymbosa ( Fabaceae subfam. Caesalpinioideae). Over the plot sampling period sporocarps of 126 species of putative or confirmed ECM fungi were recovered. These taxa represented 13 families and 25 genera of primarily Agaricomycetes, but also Ascomycota ( Elaphomycetaceae), the majority of which are new to science. Russulaceae contained the most species (20 Russula; 9 Lactarius), followed by Boletaceae (8 genera, 25 spp.), Clavulinaceae (17 Clavulina), and Amanitaceae (16 Amanita). An additional 46 species of ECM fungi were collected in forests of the Upper Potaro Basin outside the study plots between 2000 and 2010, bringing the regional number of ECM species known from sporocarps to 172. This is the first long-term ECM macrofungal dataset from an ECM-dominated Neotropical forest, and sporocarp diversity is comparable to that recorded for ECM-diverse temperate and boreal forests. While a species accumulation curve indicated that ECM sporocarp diversity was not fully recovered inside of the plots, ~80% of the total species were recovered in the first year. Sequence data from ECM roots have confirmed the ECM status of 56 taxa represented by corresponding sporocarp data. However, >50% of ECM fungal species from roots remain undiscovered as sporocarps, leading to a conservative estimate of > 250 ECM species at the Potaro site. Dicymbe forests in Guyana are a hotspot for ECM fungal diversity in the Neotropics.


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