Microbial Ecology

, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 90–103 | Cite as

A Multivariate Analysis of Soil Yeasts Isolated from a Latitudinal Gradient

  • Helen S. VishniacEmail author


Yeast isolates from soil samples collected from a latitudinal gradient (>77°S to >64°N) were subjected to multivariate analysis to produce a statistical foundation for observed relationships between habitat characteristics and the distribution of yeast taxa (at various systematic levels) in soil microbial communities. Combinations of temperature, rainfall (highly correlated with net primary productivity), and electrical conductivity (EC) could explain up to ca. 44% of the distribution of the predominant yeast species, rainfall and pH could explain ca. 32% of the distribution of clades in the most common orders (Filobasidiales and Tremellales), whereas vegetation type (trees, forbs, and grass) played the same role for orders. Cryptococcus species with appropriate maximum temperatures for growth predominated in most soils. Cryptococcus species in the Albidus clade of the Filobasidiales predominated in desert soils; Cryptococcus species of other clades in the Filobasidiales and Tremellales predominated in wetter and more-vegetated soils, with Tremellalean species favored in soils of lower pH or higher EC. The predominance of Cryptococcus species in soils has been attributed to their polysaccharide capsules, particularly important when competing with bacteria in arid soils.


Canonical Correspondence Analysis Chihuahuan Desert Total Inertia Desert Site Maximum Growth Temperature 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The patient assistance of Michael Palmer was helpful with statistical aspects of this article. Thanks are also due to Penelope Boston, E. Imre Friedmann, and Becky Johnson for expert assistance in collecting and transporting some soil samples and to Gianluigi Cardinali, Walter Hempfling, and Cletus Kurtzman for productive time spent in their laboratories.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Molecular GeneticsOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA

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