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Darwiniana, nueva serie

versión impresa ISSN 0011-6793

Darwiniana vol.47 no.1 San Isidro ene./jun. 2009

 

SISTEMÁTICA Y TAXONOMÍA DE PLANTAS VASCULARES

Diversity Of Saprotrophic Anamorphic Ascomycetes From Native Forests In Argentina: An Updated Review

Natalia Allegrucci, Marta N. Cabello & Angélica M. Arambarri

Instituto de Botánica Spegazzini, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, 1900 La Plata, Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina; nataliaallegrucci@yahoo.com (author for correspondence).

Original recibido el 9 de mayo de 2008;
aceptado el 14 de abril de 2009.

Abstract. Eight regions of native forests have been recognized in Argentina: Chaco forest, Misiones rain forest, Tucumán-Bolivia forest (Yunga), Andean-Patagonian forest, "Monte", "Espinal", fluvial forests of the Paraguay, Paraná and Uruguay rivers, and "Talares" in the Pampean region. We reviewed the available data concerning biodiversity of saprotrophic microfungi (anamorphic Ascomycota) in those native forests from Argentina, from the earliest collections, done by Spegazzini, to present. Among the above mentioned regions most studies on saprotrophic microfungi concentrates on the Andean-Patagonian forest, the fluvial forests of the Paraguay, Paraná and Uruguay rivers and the "Talares", in the Pampean region. There are only a few records of fungal species in other native forests. No record of anamorphic species of Ascomycota was previously available for "Monte" forests. From a comprehen-sive bibliographic review, a total of 344 species were registered, of which 81 (23,5%) are new species.This work manifests the lack of explorations in important areas of the country, and demonstrates the need to increase those studies.

Keywords. Anamorphic Ascomycota; Argentina; Biodiversity; Forests.

Resumen. Diversidad de Ascomycetes Anamórficos Saprótrofos de los bosques nativos de Argentina: una revisión actual.

En Argentina se reconocen ocho regiones de bosques nativos: bosque Andino-Patagónico, Talares de la Región Pampeana, Parque Chaqueño, Selva Misionera, Selva Tucumano-Boliviana, Monte, Espinal y Bosques Pluviales de los ríos Paraguay, Paraná y Uruguay. El objetivo de este trabajo ha sido reunir y revisar la información sobre la biodiversidad de microhongos saprótrofos (Ascomycetes anamórficos) citados en los bosques nativos de Argentina, desde las primeras colecciones de Spegazzini hasta el presente. De las regiones anteriormente mencionadas los bosques Andino-Patagónicos, Bosques Pluviales de los ríos Paraguay, Paraná y Uruguay y recientemente los Talares de la provincia de Buenos Aires son aquellos donde se han realizado más exploraciones de microhongos saprótrofos. Por otro lado se obtuvieron muy pocos registros de especies fúngicas del resto de los bosques; para la región de Monte en particular no se han realizado hasta el presente estudios de hongos anamórficos, por lo cual no se cuenta con registros de especies anamórficas de Ascomycetes. Como resultado de una revisión bibliográfica exhaustiva, se registraron 344 especies, de las cuales 81 (23,5%) son nuevas especies. Este trabajo pone de manifiesto la falta de exploraciones de áreas de importancia en nuestro país, y muestra la necesidad de incrementar estos estudios.

Palabras clave. Argentina; Ascomycetes anamórficos; Biodiversidad; Bosques.

INTRODUCTION

Fungi represent some of the most vital organisms on the planet, not only due to the role they perform in ecosystems, but also due to their influence on man and related activities (Mueller & Bills, 2004). However, scarce information on most species is available, and estimations about their number are likely to be significantly different. This need to obtain further data on the taxonomic biodiversity has greatly influenced evolutionary biology. An estimate of 1.5 million fungal species is currently used, though it has been severely criticized. Data about geographical distributions, levels of endemicity and host specificity must be taken into account when the whole fungal diversity is evaluated (Muller & Schmit, 2007).
Functional properties of the ecosystem are stabilized by fungal species diversity (Kennedy & Gewin, 1997). In consequence, the response of microbial biodiversity to certain environmental conditions is essential to understand the impact of anthropogenic action on its sustainability (Turco et al., 1994).
Despite the importance of fungi in the above mentioned processes, little attention has been paid to their role in ecosystems and conservation of biodiversity (Hawksworth, 2001). Unlike agricultural crops, native forests as well as soil and water are vital systems with autoconservation and autoregulation capacity. They present maximal complexity, covering a wide range of tangible and intangible benefits that are indispensable for life on this planet. Accor-ding to the Forest Department, Ministry of Social Development, Argentina in 2002 (modified by Frangi et al., 2004), eight major forest areas can be characterized in Argentina: 1) Chaco forest, 2) Misiones rain forest, 3) Tucumán-Bolivia forest (Yunga), 4) Andean-Patagonean forest, 5) "Monte", 6) "Espinal", 7) fluvial forests that are near the Paraguay, Paraná and Uruguay rivers, and 8) "Talares" in the Pampean region. The aim of this work was to review the available information concerning biodiversity of microfungi (anamorphic Ascomycota) that live in native forests of Argentina, starting from the early collections of Spegazzini to present.

CURRENT DATA ON ANAMORPHIC ASCOMYCOTA IN NATIVE FORESTS

Table 1 shows the list of anamorphic Ascomycota species identified in each area of native forests from Argentina.

Table 1. List of anamorphic Ascomycota species identified in each area of native forests of Argentina. Abreviations: 1, Chaco forest; 2, Misiones rain forest; 3, Tucumán-Bolivia forest (Yunga); 4, Andean-Patagonean forest; 5, "Monte"; 6, "Espinal"; 7, Fluvial forests close to Paraguay, Paraná and Uruguay rivers; 8, "Talares" in the Pampean region; *, new species.












1. Chaco forest

No systematic study on these fungi has been carried out. For this reason, knowledge about mycobiota in this area is poor; only 4 micromycete species were identified.

2. Misiones rain forest

Lignolytic and cellulolytic Basidiomycota species could be found in this forest, though a few anamorphic species were identified. These studies were done by Spegazzini (1898, 1908, 1919) who described 26 micro fungal species, of which 23 were found to be new species.

3. Tucumán-Bolivia forest (Yunga)

Despite the vast diversity of vascular plants in this region, as well as in the Misiones rain forest, anamorphic Ascomycota have not been studied yet. The early collections were performed by Spegazzini (1919) who described 4 species (3 then described as new species). Catania & Romero (2006) described Hyphomycetes and Coelomycetes species, associated with the bark and wood of Podocarpus paltatorei Pilg.

4. Andean Patagonian forest

In these forests, 107 species have been identified in soil, dead leaves, ligneous remains, and water courses. Identification revealed that 27 had been described as new species (Gamundí et al., 1977; Godeas et al., 1977; Gamundí et al., 1979; Arambarri, 1981; Arambarri et al., 1981; Gamundí et al., 1983; Arambarri & Spinedi, 1984; Gode-as et al., 1985; Gamundí et al., 1987; Gamundí et al., 1988; Arambarri & Godeas, 1994a and b;

5. "Monte"

No anamorphic species have been identified in these forests which represent one of the most arid regions in Argentina.

6. "Espinal"

Mycobiota of this region is poorly known, though several studies concerning anamorphic fungi in Geoffroea decorticans (Gill. ex Hook. et Arn.) Burkart were carried out; 22 species were identified, 3 of them were discovered to be new species (Bianchinotti, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1998).

7. Fluvial forests close to Paraguay, Paraná and Uruguay rivers

Several systematic studies on Hyphomycetes were carried out in Río Santiago, province of Buenos Aires. In this area, 71 species isolated from floating decaying material were identified; 23 of them were then described as new species (Arambarri et al., 1987a, 1987b, 1987c, 1987d, 1989; Arambarri & Cabello, 1990; Cabello, et al., 1990; Cazau, et al., 1990; Arambarri et al., 1991; Arambarri et al., 1992; Cazau et al., 1993; Cabello et al., 1993; Cabello et al., 1998).

8. "Talares" in the Pampean region

In this area, 110 species present in soil and dead leaves were identified (Cabello & Arambarri, 2002; Elíades et al., 2004; Allegrucci et al., 2005). Also, Dematiocladium celtidis (Crous et al., 2005) was determined to be a new genus and species, and Thozetella buxifolia (Allegrucci et al., 2004) described as a new species.

CONCLUSIONS

Based on the available bibliography dealing with diversity of anamorphic Ascomycota species in different regions of native forests in Argentina, and beginning with the early collections done by Spegazzini to date, 344 fungal species have been identified, 81 of them (23,5 %) were found to be new to science.
A total of 31 families were recorded, 30 belonging to Ascomycota and only one to Basidiomycota. Trichocomaceae and Nectriaceae were the most abundant families, while the remaining recorded families were: Amphisphaeriaceae, Apiosporaceae, Asterinaceae. Bionectriaceae, Ceratostomataceae, Chaetomiaceae, Chatosphaeriaceae, Chionosphaeraceae, Diaportaceae, Dipodascaceae, Helotiaceae, Herpotrichiellaceae, Hyaloscyphaceae, Hypocreacea, Lasiosphaeriaceae, Leptosphaeriaceae, Magnaporthaceae Massarinaceae, Microascaceae,, Montagnulaceae, Mycisphaereleceae, Mycosphaerelaceae, Myxotrichaceae, Onygenaceae, Orbilliaceae, Pleomassariceae, Pleosporaceae, Pseudoeurotiaceae, Sclerotiniaceae, and Tubeufiaceae.
Of the native forests here reported, the "Talares" in the Pampean region, followed by the Andean-Patagonian forests and fluvial forests of Paraguay, Paraná and Uruguay rivers, were the most studied areas, with the greatest record of species: 110, 107 and 71, respectively. The "Talares" exhibited the largest number of these fungal species, though only 1.8 % were identified as new ones.
The Andean-Patagonian forest has been extensively investigated from the mycological point of view, concerning not only anamorphic Ascomycota but also other taxonomical groups of fungi. In these forests newly described anamorphic Ascomycota species accounted for 25 % of the total. On the other hand, there are few records of fungal species in Chaco forest, Misiones rain forest, Tucumán-Bolivia forest (Yunga) and "Espinal". The only studies about this group of fungi in Misiones rain forest were done by Spegazzini (1898, 1908, 1919). Since then, no new collection has been carried out in spite of its being one of the richest areas in vascular plant diversity. A few records of saprotrophic micro fungi (26 species) are available, presenting a very large percentage of first described species (88%). On the other hand, no record about the occurrence of anamorphic fungi in "Monte" region is available.
The Andean Patagonean forest and the "Talares" do not have a vast diversity of vascular plant species concerning arboreal and understory components in comparison with other timberlands of Argentina such as Misiones jungle or the "Yungas". As diversity of the vascular plant community correlates to the soil microbiota (Bills et al., 2004), those highly diverse forest communities from Argentina are promising areas for mycological research, also considering the high rate of new species resultant from earlier studies done in those areas. In addition, forest communities from Argentina are very diverse not only in terms of biological composition and evolutionary origin, but also in abiotic factors, being interesting case studies for the mycological microbiota.
Rapidly developing regions like the Misiones rain forest which is one of the most valuable sites of wet subtropical ecosystems deserve immediate investigation to overcome the challenge of biodiversity loss.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This work was supported by CONICET, PIP No 5931, Argentina. A. M. Arambarri is a researcher of CONICET and M. N. Cabello is a researcher of CIC, N. Allegrucci is a recipient of a fellowship from CONICET.

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