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Community of dark-spored myxomycetes in ground litter and soil of taiga forest (Nizhne-Svirskiy Reserve, Russia) revealed by DNA metabarcoding

Shchepin, Oleg N., Schnittler, Martin, Erastova, Daria A., Prikhodko, Ilya S., Borg Dahl, Mathilde, Azarov, Daniil V., Chernyaeva, Ekaterina N., Novozhilov, Yuri K.
Fungal ecology 2019 v.39 pp. 80-93
DNA barcoding, Myxogastrea, boreal forests, chronosequences, conservation areas, fructification, fruiting bodies, niches, soil, soil microorganisms, Russia
The diversity of dark-spored myxomycetes in forest ground litter and soil from four study plots across a fire chronosequence in Nizhne-Svirskiy Nature Reserve (northwest of Russia) was assessed by a DNA metabarcoding approach. The history of fire disturbances and the season of sampling influenced the composition of myxomycete assemblages. Several species showed substrate preferences different from what is known from fruiting body records. A high abundance of nivicolous species in the majority of the samples suggests that this ecological group constitutes a common element of soil microbial communities in lowland taiga forests. Four species are reported for the Leningrad region for the first time. Our results support the hypothesis that amoebae populations of myxomycetes may have much wider ecological niches than indicated by records of fructifications, and further environmental studies may provide valuable new insights on myxomycete ecology and distribution.