Diversity patterns of leaf-associated aquatic hyphomycetes along a broad latitudinal gradient

J. Jabiol, A. Bruder, M.O. Gessner, M. Makkonen, B.G. McKie, E.T.H.M. Peeters, V.C.A. Vos, E. Chauvet

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Information about the global distribution of aquatic hyphomycetes is scarce, despite the primary importance of these fungi in stream ecosystem functioning. In particular, the relationship between their diversity and latitude remains unclear, due to a lack of coordinated surveys across broad latitudinal ranges. This study is a first report on latitudinal patterns of aquatic hyphomycete diversity associated with native leaf-litter species in five streams located along a gradient extending from the subarctic to the tropics. Exposure of leaf litter in mesh bags of three different mesh sizes facilitated assessing the effects of including or excluding different size-classes of litter-consuming invertebrates. Aquatic hyphomycete evenness was notably constant across all sites, whereas species richness and diversity, expressed as the Hill number, reached a maximum at mid-latitudes (Mediterranean and temperate streams). These latitudinal patterns were consistent across litter species, despite a notable influence of litter identity on fungal communities at the local scale. As a result, the bell-shaped distribution of species richness and Hill diversity deviated markedly from the latitudinal patterns of most other groups of organisms. Differences in the body-size distribution of invertebrate communities colonizing the leaves had no effect on aquatic hyphomycete species richness, Hill diversity or evenness, but invertebrates could still influence fungal communities by depleting litter, an effect that was not captured by the design of our experiment. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd and The British Mycological Society. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-448
JournalFungal Ecology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • species-diversity
  • community structure
  • fungal communities
  • stream
  • litter
  • biodiversity
  • temperature
  • leaves
  • colonization
  • decomposition

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    Jabiol, J., Bruder, A., Gessner, M. O., Makkonen, M., McKie, B. G., Peeters, E. T. H. M., Vos, V. C. A., & Chauvet, E. (2013). Diversity patterns of leaf-associated aquatic hyphomycetes along a broad latitudinal gradient. Fungal Ecology, 6(5), 439-448. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.funeco.2013.04.002