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Assemblages of myxomycetes associated with four different microhabitats in an old-growth red spruce/ northern hardwood forest in West Virginia

Steven L. Stephenson, Lavanya Tawari, Shraddha Tewari & Carlos Rojas

Sydowia 72: 13-19

Published online on January 28th, 2020

The assemblages of myxomycetes (also called plasmodial slime molds or myxogastrids) associated with four different microhabitats in an old-growth red spruce/northern hardwood forest community in the mountains of West Virginia were investigated with the use of the moist chamber culture technique. The four microhabitats were the bark of red spruce trees, fallen twigs from red spruce, fallen twigs of hardwood trees, and the mixture of dead leaves collected from the forest floor. Thirty moist chamber cultures were prepared with samples collected from each of the four microhabitats. A total of 27 species of myxomycetes representing 13 genera were recorded from the 120 moist chamber cultures. Arcyria cinerea was the overwhelming dominant, making up 41 % of the 190 specimens appearing in the cultures. Except for A. cinerea, each of the four microhabitats supported a relatively distinct assemblage of myxomycetes. The mean coefficient of community value for all pairwise combinations of the different habitats was only 0.312, and 17 of the 27 species were restricted to a single microhabitat.

Keywords: Arcyria cinerea, ecology, moist chamber cultures, slime molds, temperate forests.

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