Author Archives: Petri

Myxomycete diversity on Cryptomeria japonica bark varies with land-use type along montane rivers

Authors: Takahashi, Kazunari
Journal: Karstenia, Volume 59 (2021), Issue 1-2, pages 39-45.
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Key words: Corticolous myxomycetes, Forest depletion, Land-use type, Moist chamber culture, River basin, Species diversity

Abstract: Myxomycetes occur globally, but little is known about the mechanism by which myxomycete diversity and community structure respond to environmental gradients and human activity at local scales. The present study assessed the distribution of corticolous myxomycetes living on the bark of Cryptomeria japonica trees along three rivers originating in the Chugoku Mountains in western Japan. Bark samples were collected from 14 sites along each river, which encompass the river sources as well as the upper, middle, and lower reaches. The environmental characteristics of each site were assessed for three variable types: geography, climate, and land-use. A 1 km2 grid was superimposed onto each survey site, consisting of 100 cells of 1 ha each, and each cell was classified using aerial imagery into a broad land-use type. Of these, three land-use types (forest, farmland, and residential) were regularly used as a comprehensive indicator of landscape. The bark samples were cultured using the moist chamber technique, and the resulting myxomycete fruiting bodies were identified. Sporophores formed on 96% of the 1,490 moist chamber cultures and were classified into 27 taxa (26 species and one variety). Species diversity was highest in natural forests near river sources and decreased with proximity to downstream estuaries. Community similarities between survey sites were analysed using non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS). The first NMDS axis was negatively correlated with distance from estuary and forest coverage. Indicator species were identified for environmental changes along river basins. The relative abundances of Macbrideola argentea, Hemitrichia velutina, and Physarum nutans var. rubrum were positively correlated with forest coverage. In contrast, the relative abundances of Clastoderma debaryanum, Diderma chondrioderma, and Echinostelium minutum were positively correlated with residential area coverage. The distribution of corticolous myxomycetes on C. japonica trees was associated with local landscape changes along the river environments. This is the first report on myxomycetes assemblages along river basins (acting as ecological corridors) and indicates that forest degradation and land-use types strongly affect myxomycete diversity on the bark of living C. japonica trees.

Fungi causing powdery mildew on plants of a Botanical Garden in Southern Finland

Authors: Heiskanen, Ville J. & Valkonen, Jari P. T.
Journal: Karstenia, Volume 59 (2021), Issue 1-2, pages 13-29.
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Key words: botanic garden, Erysiphales, internal transcribed spacer (ITS), powdery mildew, Southern Finland

Abstract: Fungi that cause powdery mildew on plants are plant pathogenic parasites (Erysiphales) and can significantly reduce the ornamental value of plants and cause significant yield losses among cultivated plants. In this study, 94 plant accessions infected with powdery mildew were observed in Kumpula Botanic Garden, Helsinki, Finland, in 2015. The taxonomic affiliation and species richness of powdery mildew fungi were investigated. Morphological studies by microscope distinguished only 14 fungal species, whereas further comparisons of internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences enabled the identification of 28 species. Hence, ITS sequencing improved the reliability of species determination, as compared with the use of morphological characteristics only. The vegetation in an area of six hectares supported a wide range of fungi that cause powdery mildew as well as hyperparasitic microbes, which may balance the impact of pathogens in host plants. The findings of this study emphasize the role of botanical gardens in protecting biological diversity in urban areas.


Table S1. Fungal isolates observed at the anamorph
stage with a focus on their mycelia and conidia.
Table S2. Fungal isolates observed at the teleomorph
stage with a focus on chasmothecia, asci, and

Phenology of myxomycetes in Turrialba, Costa Rica

Authors: Rojas, Carlos & Rojas, Pedro A. & Stephenson, Steven L.
Journal: Karstenia, Volume 59 (2021), Issue 1-2, pages 1-12.
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Key words: biodiversity, climate, El Niño-Southern Oscillation, monitoring, Neotropics, sampling effort, slime molds

Abstract: Long-term monitoring and phenological patterns of microbial communities are rare in the scientific literature. Myxomycetes have life cycle characteristics that allow both to be documented. The present study summarizes the integrated floristic and bioclimatic components of a 30-month assessment of myxomycete sporocarps in a premontane tropical forest in Turrialba, Costa Rica. Based on monthly visits and a standard sampling effort of 120 minutes per visit, myxomycetes were recorded on leaves, twigs, and logs on the ground by two to three people in 20-minute periods associated with six different collecting sites within a 34-hectare successional forest patch. Biological data were analyzed using three recorded climatic variables obtained in situ during the complete period of study. Also, the Oceanic Niño Index (ONI), provided by NOAA, an estimate of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), was evaluated in the analyses. Overall, 54 species and 2245 records of myxomycetes were recorded, with an average of 14.5 species (range between 6-24) and 78.4 records (range between 20-110) detected each month. In general, neither the number of records nor the number of species were associated with individual climate variables, but multiple regression analyses showed that a combination of the accumulated precipitation of the four days before sampling and the average relative humidity can explain most of the fruiting dynamics (R2 = 0.56). When the ONI index was included in the analyses, the explained variability increased (R2 = 0.64), and when a categorization of months based on the same index was used, analyses showed that both the number of records and species evenness were affected by ENSO. At the species level, Hemitrichia calyculata was the only species observed during every month, closely followed by Arcyria cinerea, A. denudata, and Physarum compressum, recorded on most visits. Sporadic fruiting in some species such as Tubifera microsperma, P. tenerum, P. bogoriense, P. melleum, and Metatrichia vesparia could have been associated with local climate oscillations influenced by ENSO patterns. Phenological patterns were observed at the species level, indicating that in the Neotropics, under favorable conditions, myxomycete sporocarps are practically always present, but species assemblages vary temporally. These variations are primarily driven by local climate, but regional climate dynamics also affect fruiting patterns. Presumably, the remaining ecological effect on fruiting patterns in the Neotropics can be attributed to certain finer factors such as ecosystem structure, substrate quality/ availability, and biotic interactions. As such, phenomena such as climate change can have an important effect on the production of sporocarps by tropical myxomycetes, with subsequent effects of their ecological dynamics.

A new epiphytic species, Symphytocarpus macrosporus (Myxomycetes) from Western Siberia, Russia

Authors: Vlasenko, Anastasia & Filippova, Nina & Vlasenko, Vyacheslav
Journal: Karstenia, Volume 58 (2020), Issue 2, pages 393-400.
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Key words: molecular data, morphology, myxomycetes, new records, SEM, SSU rDNA gene sequences, Stemonitidales, taxonomy

Abstract: A new species Symphytocarpus macrosporus is described based on collections made in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area – Yugra, Russia. Thirty- two specimens of the new species were isolated from moist chambers with Picea obovata and Abies siberica bark. The new species is characterized by the presence of pseudoaethalia, without cortex, with peridium remaining as fragments. This new species clearly differs from previously described species of the genus by both morphological and molecular characters. It has large spores, (14)15–17(18) μm diam. with irregular ornamentation of large warts. Such a spore size seems to be the largest for the genus. The holotype specimen of Symphytocarpus macrosporus is stored in the M.G. Popov Herbarium (NSK), Novosibirsk, Russia. It is the first new species described within the genus Symphytocarpus since 1984.