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Abstract Detail

MSA - Ecology/Pathology

Rojas, Carlos [1], Stephenson, Steven L. [1].

Ecological dynamics of two communities of lignicolous myxomycetes in Costa Rica.

During the last decade, ecological studies of myxomycetes have provided mycologists around the world with a more complete understanding of the biology of the group. For this reason, the present study was designed to increase our understanding of the ecology of tropical lignicolous myxomycetes. An exhaustive survey for myxomycetes was carried out on two series of logs, one in a tropical rain forest and the other in a seasonal dry forest, in Costa Rica during 2007. Microenvironmental factors that could be measured were used to calculate niche breadth and resource competition by means of niche overlap in all species for both types of forest. Similarly, a series of parameters that are presumed to be associated with potential biotic advantages was used to recalculate the same estimators for the same groups under study. Likewise, both the geometric series and the broken stick model of community structure were compared with the empirical data in order to evaluate what theoretical model better explained the observed distribution of species. Overall, logs in the seasonal dry forest displayed both higher richness and diversity of myxomycetes than logs in the rain forest. Furthermore, mathematical estimations based on the observed data suggested that the seasonal dry forest could be more diverse than the rain forest. In most cases, niche breadth and overlap decreased when biotic parameters were analyzed. This suggests that such parameters might be important for obtaining a better estimate of the realized niche as supposed to the use of only macroenvironmental factors which could be related more to the estimation of the fundamental niche instead. For both types of forests, the geometric series model explained better the structure of the observed data. This suggests that niche preemption could be playing a more prominent role in the “shaping” of these tropical myxomycete communities than previously thought.

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1 - University of Arkansas, Department of Biological Sciences, Science and Engineering 632 , Fayetteville, Arkansas, 72701, United States

community structure
Niche breadth.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P2
Location: Event Tent/Cliff Lodge
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: P2EP020
Abstract ID:485