Species diversity and resource relationships of South Georgian fungi

The occurrence and distribution of the South Georgia fungal flora, particularly Ascomycotina and Basidiomycotina, is assessed in terms of habitat and substrate preference. The 113 taxa reported comprise 37 basidiomycetes, 49 ascomycetes, six myxomycetes and at least 21 lower fungi. Peat and litter substrata associated with tall tussock grassland have a rich macro-fungal flora, and numerous species occur in bog and mire communities, some in abundance from mid to late summer. Many micro-fungi and ascomycetes colonize dying leaves and inflorescences of specific vascular plants, and a few colonize bryophytes and lichens. At least a dozen species, probably non-indigenous, are associated with rotting timber and other imported materials at former whaling stations. An intensive survey of the South Georgia mycoflora is necessary to gain better understanding of their role in decomposition and nutrient cycling processes in the principal plant communities.


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Authors: Smith, R.I.L.

1 March, 1994
Antarctic Science / 6
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