Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 947–957 | Cite as

Polypore fungal diversity and host density in a moist tropical forest

  • Gregory S. Gilbert
  • Astrid Ferrer
  • Julieta Carranza


In a moist tropical forest in Panama, the wood-decay polyporefungi comprise many rare species (more than half found only once) andexhibit diversity that exceeds that of the supporting tree community.The most abundant fungal species were non-specialists, each found onseveral host species from multiple plant families. In diverse fungalcommunities, each of many species should infect a given host species ina density-dependent manner, so that the infected proportion of a hostpopulation should increase with host density. Applied across hostspecies, hosts with denser populations should support greater fungaldiversity. For 10 tree species, fungal incidence and diversity increasedwith abundance of the host in the community, consistent withacross-species density-dependent infection. Fungal diversity associatedwith individual trunks did not, however, vary with host-species density.Both host density and persistence of decaying logs may be important indetermining fungal diversity associated with tree species.

Barro Colorado Island Density dependence Fungi Panama Polypores 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregory S. Gilbert
    • 1
  • Astrid Ferrer
    • 2
  • Julieta Carranza
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Environmental StudiesUniversity of CaliforniaSanta CruzUSA
  2. 2.Smithsonian Tropical Research InstituteBalboa, AncónRepublic of Panama
  3. 3.Universidad de Costa RicaEscuela de BiologíaSan PedroCosta Rica

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