A survey for protostelids from old-growth beech forests of northeastern Germany resulted in 14 species found in both ground and aerial litter, constituting the first survey of these organisms from Central Europe. Additionally the myxomycete Echinostelium bisporum was recorded as new for Germany. A detailed investigation of randomly sampled dead Fagus leaves (16 leaves on ground, 16 aerial leaves, three replicate cultures per leaf) resulted in 7 species; a hyperbolic regression of the respective species accumulation curve gives the theoretical value of 8.3 species. Protostelids occurred especially at aerial leaves with a high frequency (0.94). A program simulating random spore hits was written to calculate the minimum spore fallout necessary to explain this frequency. The resulting average value of about 3 spores per leaf can well be matched by the potential spore productivity estimated to be about 1000 spores per leaf for the most common species, Protostelium mycophaga.
Key wordscanopy dispersal abilities diversity Myxomycetes
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