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First records of myxomycetes from Ascension Island

Stephenson, S. L. (2009) First records of myxomycetes from Ascension Island.

Sydowia 61 (1): 105–115

Ascension Island (7° 57’ S, 14° 22’ W) is a small (total area of only 98 km2), isolated island in the South Atlantic, located approximately 1600 km from the coast of Africa. Although much of the biota is relatively well documented, groups such as the myxomycetes (plasmodial slime molds or myxogastrids) remain understudied or even unknown. During early March of 2007, specimens of myxomycetes that had fruited in the field under natural conditions and samples of dead plant material for laboratory isolation of these organisms in moist chamber cultures were collected at a number of localities on Ascension Island. As a result of this effort, 36 species representing 17 genera were recorded. Presumably, most of these reached the island as a result of long-distance dispersal by wind, but some species may have arrived along with the large-scale introductions of various plants that have occurred over the past two centuries.

 

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