Title

Macrofungi of Sumak Allpa: A Biodiversity Survey of an Island’s Fungal Community in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Presenter

Bryan Semonsen

Abstract

Sumak Allpa, a small island in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest, was the site of study for a baseline biodiversity survey of macrofungi. Sampling from three main forest types (secondary forest, primary forest, and varzea), a total of 140 morphological species were identified from 468 collected specimens, and statistical analysis was used to predict true species richness. Comparisons of the forest types revealed distinct micro-communities with intriguing trends, such as a lower biodiversity of the varzea, and a significantly higher percentage of soil-inhabiting species in primary forest. The significance of these findings is discussed, but more specific research is necessary to better understand this unique tropical ecosystem. The results of the study support and expound upon previous research that emphasizes the dire need for more biodiversity studies of fungal communities and longer-term research, especially in the understudied tropical rainforests of South America.

Faculty Sponsor

Heidi Dobson

Sponsor Department/Programs

Biology

Tracks

Plant Life

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Location

Science 159

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

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Macrofungi of Sumak Allpa: A Biodiversity Survey of an Island’s Fungal Community in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Science 159

Sumak Allpa, a small island in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest, was the site of study for a baseline biodiversity survey of macrofungi. Sampling from three main forest types (secondary forest, primary forest, and varzea), a total of 140 morphological species were identified from 468 collected specimens, and statistical analysis was used to predict true species richness. Comparisons of the forest types revealed distinct micro-communities with intriguing trends, such as a lower biodiversity of the varzea, and a significantly higher percentage of soil-inhabiting species in primary forest. The significance of these findings is discussed, but more specific research is necessary to better understand this unique tropical ecosystem. The results of the study support and expound upon previous research that emphasizes the dire need for more biodiversity studies of fungal communities and longer-term research, especially in the understudied tropical rainforests of South America.

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