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Aquatic hyphomycetes in hyporheic freshwater habitats of southwest India

Sudheep, Naga Mangala, Sridhar, Kandikere Ramaiah
Limnologica 2012 v.42 no.2 pp. 87-94
Hyphomycetes, baits, carbon, chromium, correlation, energy flow, freshwater, freshwater ecosystems, fungi, habitats, inoculum, iron, leaves, minerals, nickel, organic matter, pH, particulates, rivers, sediments, species diversity, spores, streams, surface water, Europe, India, North America
The hyporheic zones constitute a major site of storage of organic matter and energy flow in freshwater ecosystems. To complement the studies carried out in North America and Europe, we evaluated the sediment quality and occurrence of aquatic hyphomycetes in coarse particulate organic matter (CPOM; ≥5mm) and fine particulate matter (FPM; ≤1mm) in three locations of Kaiga stream and eight locations of Kadra dam of the River Kali in Western Ghats. The pH of sediments of stream and dam was acidic (5.8–6.6) and the average organic carbon of stream sediments was higher than dam sediments (8.6% vs. 3.9%). Among the eight minerals monitored, Fe was highest in all sediments and Ni was below detectable limit in four dam sediments. Spores of aquatic hyphomycetes were directly released from the CPOM fractions of sediments upon bubble chamber incubation, while the FPM fractions produced spores indirectly by colonization of sterile leaf baits followed by bubble chamber incubation. The species richness and diversity in CPOM was higher than FPM in stream as well as dam sediments. The Sorensen's similarity indices between the fungal flora of CPOM in stream (66.7–81.8%) and dam (69.2–88%) locations were generally higher than FPM. The spore output per mg CPOM was between 1215 (dam) and 3384 (stream). The species richness was negatively correlated with Cr (P<0.01; r=−1.000) of stream sediments, while it was negatively correlated with organic carbon (P<0.05; r=−0.740) and positively correlated with K (P<0.05; r=0.750) of dam sediments. Occurrence and survival of aquatic hyphomycetes in hyporheic habitats of freshwater bodies indicate the importance of such zones as reservoir of fungal inoculum necessary in fundamental functions such as organic matter processing and energy flow. The present study provides baseline data on the sediment quality and fungal composition of stream and dam locations of River Kali of Kaiga region, which will develop as center of industrial activities in future.