Fungal Diversity

, Volume 59, Issue 1, pp 109–130 | Cite as

Diversity of nivicolous myxomycetes of the Teberda State Biosphere Reserve (Northwestern Caucasus, Russia)

  • Y. K. Novozhilov
  • M. Schnittler
  • D. A. Erastova
  • M. V. Okun
  • O. N. Schepin
  • E. Heinrich


Nivicolous myxomycete assemblages were surveyed on the northwest of the Greater Caucasian ridge in May-June 2010 and 2011 at a north facing transect between 1,700 and 2,920 m elevation of the summit Malaya Khatipara situated within the Teberda State Biosphere Reserve. Morphological characters of 396 collections representing 45 taxa (39 species, 3 varieties, and 3 forms) of myxomycetes in 8 genera and 5 families were recorded. Many (13) taxa are classified as rare (a species represents <0.5 % of all records). Only seven species were found to be widely distributed (present in 50 % or more of the 17 studied localities). To confirm the assignment of specimens to morphospecies, we obtained independently from determination 145 partial sequences of the 18S SSU rRNA gene from 35 taxa of Lamproderma, Meriderma, Physarum and Diderma, which turned out to represent 58 genotypes. Most of the taxa represented by more than one sequence had several genotypes, with an average of 1.7 genotypes per taxon. Except for three taxonomically difficult groups of species, partial SSU sequences did well correspond with the respective morphospecies and where similar or identical to sequences of specimens from the European Alps, making this marker a good candidate for barcoding in myxomycetes. Species richness and diversity increased from subalpine crooked-stem birch forests (23 species, 2 varieties, H′ = 2.8, E = 0.88, D = 0.08) to alpine dwarf shrub communities (34 species and 2 varieties, 2 forms, H′ = 3.2, E = 0.89, D = 0.05) but decreased again for alpine meadows (27 species and 2 varieties, 2 forms, H′ = 3.1, E = 0.91, D = 0.06). Species richness and alpha-diversity reached maximum values for ground litter, whereas leaves and stems of living shrubs above ground harboured a more depauperate myxomycete assemblage.


Alpine ecosystems Distribution Genotypes Molecular signatures Myxogastria Amoebozoa Plasmodial slime moulds Species inventory Species richness Species delimitation 



We gratefully acknowledge logistical help provided by A.N. Bok (Teberda State Biosphere Reserve) and V.N. Khramtzov (Komarov Botanical Institute RAS) as well as technical support of SEM by L.A. Kartzeva (Komarov Botanical Institute). For help with sequencing we are indebted to A. Klahr, for help with alignments to A.M. Fiore-Donno (both Greifswald). Travel and laboratory work were supported by the grant RFBR 10–04–00536a to the first author as well as a scientific program “Bioraznoobrazie” from the Russian Academy of Sciences. Travel for the second author was supported by grants from Greifswald University, sequencing in part by a grant from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SCHN1080/2-1). We are grateful to David Mitchell for comments and linguistic correction and Marianne Meyer for help with identification of specimens.

Supplementary material

13225_2012_199_MOESM1_ESM.xls (214 kb)
Supplement S1 List of specimens found in this survey, presented as a data base in Microsoft Excel. 2003. (XLS 214 kb)
13225_2012_199_MOESM2_ESM.fas (218 kb)
Supplement S2 Alignment of the partial SSU sequences for Stemonitales (including the genus Diachea which can be seen as a member of the Physarales as well) in fasta format; including matching sequences drawn from GenBank as well as unpublished comparison material. To avoid long-branch attraction in the resulting trees, Stemonitopsis spp. and Lamproderma arcyrionema, showing extremely divergent partial SSU sequences, have been omitted. (FAS 217 kb)
13225_2012_199_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (10 kb)
Supplement S3 Maximum likelihood phylogenetic tree of the partial SSU sequences for Stemonitales, reconstructed with IQTree software ( under the GTR + I + G model, in Newick format, readable with free software like FigTree v.1.3.1. ( Although the topology of the tree basically corresponds to a tree constructed using complete SSU sequences published by Fiore-Donno et al. (2012), it should be noted that the short partial SSU sequences are not suitable to derive correct phylogenetic relationships between species. (PDF 9 kb)
13225_2012_199_MOESM4_ESM.fas (115 kb)
Supplement S4 Alignment of the partial SSU sequences for Physarales (including the genus Diachea) in fasta format; including matching sequences drawn from GenBank as well as unpublished comparison material. (FAS 114 kb)
13225_2012_199_MOESM5_ESM.pdf (8.2 mb)
Supplement S5 Maximum likelihood phylogenetic tree of the partial SSU sequences for Physarales, reconstructed with IQTree software under the GTR + I + G model, in Newick format. (PDF 8360 kb)


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Copyright information

© Mushroom Research Foundation 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. K. Novozhilov
    • 1
  • M. Schnittler
    • 2
  • D. A. Erastova
    • 1
  • M. V. Okun
    • 1
    • 3
  • O. N. Schepin
    • 1
  • E. Heinrich
    • 2
  1. 1.Komarov Botanical Institute of the Russian Academy of SciencesPetersburgRussia
  2. 2.Institute of Botany and Landscape EcologyErnst Moritz Arndt University GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany
  3. 3.CIBIV – Center for Integrative Bioinformatics in Vienna, Max F. Perutz Laboratories (MFPL)University of Vienna, Medical University of ViennaViennaAustria

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