, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 329–335 | Cite as

Water Level and Salinity Drive Community Structure of Culturable Baldcypress (Taxodium distichum) Endophytes in Southern Louisiana

  • Elizabeth R. KimbroughEmail author
  • Mae L. Berlow
  • Sunshine A. Van Bael
General Wetland Science


Little is known about effects of salinity and flooding on plant symbionts, including baldcypress trees (Taxodium distichum), the dominant trees in many swamp ecosystems in the southeastern US. In this study, we characterize the culturable fungal and bacterial endophytes in the roots and leaves of baldcypress trees at four sites with varying levels of salinity and flooding regimes in southeastern Louisiana. Both salinity and flooding (water level) contributed to endophytic community composition of leaves and roots. We found that diversity and endophyte isolation frequency were higher in roots than in leaves, with leaf bacteria being almost negligible. Our study demonstrates a connection between environmental variables, plant symbionts, and a key restoration species. This work may help in predicting future outcomes of sea level rise for endophytes communities in baldcypress and other wetland plants.


Cypress-tupelo swamp Degradation Endophytic bacteria Endophytic fungi Eutypa lata Flooding Salt 



For help in the field and comments on the manuscript, we thank Dr. Julie Whitbeck. For help in the field and in the lab, we thank Peter Tellez, Kimberly Mighell, Casey Gu, Kathalina Tran, Josh Lerner, Emma Tower, Elaine Broussard, Jennifer Janowsky, and George Washburn. Samples from the site(s) at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve were collected under the National Park Service’s permit JELA-2014-SCI-0012. Funding was from Tulane University’s School of Science and Engineering and Louisiana Board of Regents.

Supplementary material

13157_2018_1098_MOESM1_ESM.xls (698 kb)
ESM 1 (XLS 698 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyTulane UniversityNew OrleansUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA

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