Distribution and ecology of myxomycetes in the high-elevation oak forests of Cerro Bellavista, Costa Rica
Rojas Alavarado, Carlos Alonso
Stephenson, Steven L.
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Myxomycetes associated with a high-elevation (.3000 m) oak forest in the Talamanca Range of Costa Rica were studied for 7 mo. Field collections were supplemented with collections obtained from moist chamber cultures prepared with samples of bark and ground litter of Quercus costaricensis. Various microenvironmental parameters including pH, substrate moisture and diameter, height above the ground and canopy openness were recorded for each field collection, whereas macroenvironmental data for temperature and precipitation were obtained from a meteorological station near the study area. Niche breadth and niche overlap indices were calculated to assess possible resource partitioning by myxomycetes. Thirty-seven species were recorded, including 11 new records for Costa Rica, eight for Central America and one for the neotropics. Both PCA and NMS multivariate analyses indicated that pH and height above the ground explained most of the observed variation, although substrate diameter also seemed to be an important factor. Precipitation showed an inverse correlation with the number of fruitings, confirming its importance as a macroenvironmental factor. Niche overlap values were not higher for closely related species and values for niche breadths were similar for most of the more common species, suggesting that most members of the assemblage of myxomycetes present in the study site are ecological generalists.
External link to the item10.3852/mycologia.99.4.534
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