, Volume 21, Issue 9, pp 2287-2298
Date: 01 Feb 2012

Diversity and community composition of ectomycorrhizal fungi in a dry deciduous dipterocarp forest in Thailand

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Large forest areas of South-East Asia, are dominated by the Dipterocarpaceae tree family, which contains many important timber species. Unlike many other tropical trees, Dipterocarpaceae rely on ectomycorrhizal (ECM) root symbiosis for their mineral nutrition. This study aims to document the richness and community composition of ECM fungi in a dry deciduous forest in Thailand. Combining morphological and molecular identification methods revealed 69 species of ECM fungi that belong to 17 phylogenetic lineages. The /russula-lactarius, /tomentella-thelephora, /sordariales, /sebacina and /cantharellus lineages were the most species-rich. The fungal richness is comparable to other tropical rain forest sites, but the phylogenetic community structure has elements of both tropical and temperate ecosystems. Unlike tropical rain forests, the Cenococcum geophilum complex was one of the most frequent fungal taxa that had a relatively high ITS genetic diversity over the small sampling area. This study provides the first snapshot insight into the fungal community of dry dipterocarp forests. However, it is necessary to broaden the spatial and temporal scales of sampling to improve our understanding of the below-ground relations of dry and humid tropical forests.