Journal of Industrial Microbiology

, Volume 17, Issue 3–4, pp 284–294 | Cite as

Microfungi from decaying leaves of two rain forest trees in Puerto Rico

  • J D Polishook
  • G F Bills
  • D J Lodge


Fungal species richness and abundance were compared in leaf litter of two tree species,Guarea guidonia andManilkara bidentata, in the Luquillo Mountains of Puerto Rico. Four litter samples yielded a total of 3337 isolates, ranging from 591 to 1259 isolates/sample. The number of species/sample ranged from 134 to 228. Many uncommon litter hyphomycetes were recovered as well as coelomycetes, sterile strains, endophytes, and phytopathogens. Species-abundance distributions revealed a typical pattern of a few abundant species and a high proportion of rare species. Similarities in fungal species composition were not correlated with host species or with the site. Replicate samples examined by the moist chamber technique yielded a total of 24 species among the four litter samples. The particle filtration method indicated that leaves ofG. guidonia were more species-rich, while moist chambers indicated leaves ofM. bidentata were more species-rich. The moist chamber technique underestimated the number and species of viable fungi.


decomposition microbial diversity litter preference spatial heterogeneity Guarea guidonia Manillkara bidentata 


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Copyright information

© Society for Industrial Microbiology 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • J D Polishook
    • 1
  • G F Bills
    • 1
  • D J Lodge
    • 2
  1. 1.Natural Products Drug DiscoveryMerck Research LaboratoriesRahwayUSA
  2. 2.Center for Forest Mycology Research, Forest Products LaboratoryUSDA Forest ServiceLuquilloUSA

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