, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 53–65 | Cite as

Clavulina-Membranomyces is the most important lineage within the highly diverse ectomycorrhizal fungal community of Abies religiosa

  • Andrés Argüelles-Moyao
  • Roberto Garibay-Orijel
  • Laura Margarita Márquez-Valdelamar
  • Elsa Arellano-Torres
Original Article


Abies religiosa is an endemic conifer of Mexico, where its monodominant forests are the winter refuge of the monarch butterfly. Due to climate change, it has been estimated that by 2090, A. religiosa populations will decline by 96.5 %. To achieve success, reforestation programs should consider its ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi. We used ITS nrDNA sequences to identify the ECM fungi associated with A. religiosa and, based on its abundance and frequency, determined the diversity and community structure in a pure A. religiosa forest near Mexico City. Using sequence metadata, we inferred the species geographic distribution and host preferences. We conducted phylogenetic analyses of the Clavulinaceae (the most important family). The ECM community held 83 species, among which the richest genera were Inocybe (21 species), Tomentella (10 species), and Russula (8 species). Besides its low species richness, the Clavulina-Membranomyces lineage was the most dominant family. Clavulina cf. cinerea and Membranomyces sp. exhibited the highest relative abundance and relative frequency values. Phylogenetic analyses placed the Clavulinaceae genotypes in three different clades: one within Membranomyces and two within Clavulina. A meta-analysis showed that the majority of the ECM fungi (45.78 %) associated with A. religiosa in Mexico have also been sequenced from North America and are shared by Pinaceae and Fagaceae. In contrast, because they have not been sequenced previously, 32.2 % of the species have a restricted distribution. Here, we highlight the emerging pattern that the Clavulina-Membranomyces lineage is dominant in several ECM communities in the Neotropics, including Aldinia and Dicymbe legume tropical forests in the Guyana Shield, the Alnus acuminata subtropical communities, and the A. religiosa temperate forests in Mexico.


Fungal community ecology ITS nrDNA Religious fir Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt Clavulina Membranomyces 



This research was funded by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México grant PAPIIT-IN218210 and by the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología grant CONACYT-239266. AAM received from Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT) two fellowships for graduate studies 314537 and 374558. This article is a requisite for AAM to obtain the PhD degree by the Posgrado en Ciencias Biologicas, UNAM. AAM offers recognition to Julieta Alvarez Manjarrez for her invaluable help in the phylogenetic analyses. We thank the contribution of two anonymous reviewers and the editor.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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ESM 1 (PDF 1581 kb)
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Supplementary Table 1 (PDF 135 kb)
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Supplementary Table 2 (PDF 165 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrés Argüelles-Moyao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Roberto Garibay-Orijel
    • 1
  • Laura Margarita Márquez-Valdelamar
    • 1
  • Elsa Arellano-Torres
    • 3
  1. 1.Instituto de BiologíaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoDel. CoyoacánMéxico
  2. 2.Posgrado en Ciencias BiológicasUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoDel. CoyoacanMéxico
  3. 3.Departamento de Ecología y Recursos Naturales, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoDel. CoyoacánMéxico

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