Are tropical fungal endophytes hyperdiverse?

Anne E Arnold, Zuleyka Maynard, Gregory S. Gilbert, Phyllis D. Coley, Thomas A. Kursar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

488 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fungal endophytes are ubiquitous fungi that inhabit healthy plant tissues without causing disease. Endophytes have been found in every plant species examined to date and may be important, but often overlooked, components of fungal biodiversity. In two sites in a lowland, moist tropical forest of central Panama, we quantified endophyte colonization patterns, richness, host preference, and spatial variation in healthy leaves of two co-occurring, understory tree species [Heisteria concinna (Olacaceae) and Ouratea lucens (Ochnaceae)]. From 83 leaves, all of which were colonized by endophytes, we isolated 418 endophyte morphospecies (estimated 347 genetically distinct taxa), most of which were represented by only a single isolate (59%). Among morphospecies encountered in more than one leaf (nonsingletons), we found evidence of host preference and spatial heterogeneity using both morphospecies frequencies and presence/absence records. Based on these data, we postulate that tropical endophytes themselves may be hyperdiverse and suggest that extrapolative estimates that exclude them will markedly underestimate fungal species diversity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-274
Number of pages8
JournalEcology Letters
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

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endophyte
endophytes
host preference
host preferences
Olacaceae
Ochnaceae
leaves
Panama
tropical forests
tropical forest
understory
plant tissues
spatial variation
species diversity
lowlands
colonization
fungus
biodiversity
fungi
morphospecies

Keywords

  • Barro Colorado Island
  • Fungal endophytes
  • Host preference
  • Jaccard's index
  • Ochnaceae
  • Olacaceae
  • Panama
  • Tropical forests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Arnold, A. E., Maynard, Z., Gilbert, G. S., Coley, P. D., & Kursar, T. A. (2000). Are tropical fungal endophytes hyperdiverse? Ecology Letters, 3(4), 267-274. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1461-0248.2000.00159.x

Are tropical fungal endophytes hyperdiverse? / Arnold, Anne E; Maynard, Zuleyka; Gilbert, Gregory S.; Coley, Phyllis D.; Kursar, Thomas A.

In: Ecology Letters, Vol. 3, No. 4, 2000, p. 267-274.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Arnold, AE, Maynard, Z, Gilbert, GS, Coley, PD & Kursar, TA 2000, 'Are tropical fungal endophytes hyperdiverse?', Ecology Letters, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 267-274. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1461-0248.2000.00159.x
Arnold, Anne E ; Maynard, Zuleyka ; Gilbert, Gregory S. ; Coley, Phyllis D. ; Kursar, Thomas A. / Are tropical fungal endophytes hyperdiverse?. In: Ecology Letters. 2000 ; Vol. 3, No. 4. pp. 267-274.
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