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Abstract Detail

MSA - Ecology/Pathology

Kerekes, Jennifer  [1], Bruns , Thomas [1].

Diversity and ecology of saprotrophic fungal communities in California grasslands and forest ecosystems.

Fungi, particularly saprotrophs, are responsible for recycling the majority of carbon from dead organic matter and have the ability to break down and release nutrients that can then be readily available for other organisms. This study focuses primarily on the Basidiomycota, the main decomposers of recalcitrant components of plant litter, such as lignin and cellulose. Relatively little is known about saprotrophic diversity and community structure, especially as compared with bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi. Sterile bait bags filled with wheat straw or small conifer wooden dowel rods, were used to select for saprotrophic fungi present in the soils in adjacent grassland and forested plots dominated by Pseudotsuga menziesii in the Marin Municipal Water District watershed on Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, California. Preliminary results indicate higher species richness in the grassland plots as compared with the forested plots and higher species richness on the straw substrate as compared with the wood substrate. There was an overall decrease in the species richness on the substrates over time likely due to the change in resource quality. Functional diversity and phylogenetic structure of the fungal assemblages will be characterized across the different ecosystems. A combination of molecular techniques (PCR, T-RFLP, Cloning and DNA sequencing), phylogenetic analyses, and culture experiments are used to test the differences among the fungal communities across different substrates, ecosystems and time. Results and discussion on our hypotheses will be presented.

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1 - University of California, Berkeley, Plant and Microbial Biology, 111 Koshland Hall, Berkeley, CA, 94720-3102, USA

fungal communities.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P2
Location: Event Tent/Cliff Lodge
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: P2EP036
Abstract ID:674