Apr 30, 2008

High diversity of fungi may mitigate the impact of pollution on plant litter decomposition in streams

Microbial Ecology
Sofia DuarteFernanda Cássio


We investigated how a community of microbial decomposers adapted to a reference site responds to a sudden decrease in the water quality. For that, we assessed the activity and diversity of fungi and bacteria on decomposing leaves that were transplanted from a reference (E1) to a polluted site (E2), and results were compared to those from decomposing leaves either at E1 or E2. The two sites had contrasting concentrations of organic and inorganic nutrients and heavy metals in the stream water. At E2, leaf decomposition rates, fungal biomass, and sporulation were reduced, while bacterial biomass was stimulated. Fungal diversity was four times lower at the polluted site. The structure of fungal community on leaves decomposing at E2 significantly differed from that decomposing at E1, as indicated by the principal response curves analysis. Articulospora tetracladia, Anguillospora filiformis, and Lunulospora curvula were dominant species on leaves decomposing at E1 and were the most negatively affected by the transfer to the polluted site. The transfer of leaves colonized at the reference site to the polluted site reduced fungal diversity and sporulation but not fungal biomass and leaf decomposition. Overall, results suggest that the ...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Anguillospora filiformis
Filamentous fungus
Contrast Used
Lunulospora curvula
Plant Leaves

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