Current concepts in community level ecosystem function suggest that many related species are functionally redundant, certain species are essential for stable community processes, and that the magnitude of ecological processes is a consequence of functional complementarity. Unfortunately, the assessment of environmental function at the community level does not provide information on which species are present, which species are functionally redundant or complementary, or the phylogenetic relationships with respect to species distribution and function. This research examines freshwater bog and stream fungi, providing the opportunity to compare species distribution and functional roles across contrasting aquatic environments. To capture a diverse group of fungi, this study focused on three sites from each of two contrasting freshwater habitats in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Fungal isolates for this project were obtained from submerged detritus or substrates on or beneath the streambed. Isolate identity was determined through ITS sequence match using BLASTn against the NCBI database. Qualitative and quantitative assays were used to determine isolate function. Preliminary analysis suggested that habitat and collection time were important main affects in which species were isolated and correspondence analysis suggested that the isolated communities from each habitat were different. Preliminary analysis of enzymes involved in the breakdown of detritus have demonstrated that: 1) many aquatic fungal isolates produce the same plant degrading enzymes, 2) some isolates have a greater magnitude in function, and 3) some isolates perform one environmental function well but may require the presence of other species to persist within the environment.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||85th Annual Meeting Mycological Society of America; 16-19 July 2017, Athens, Georgia|
|State||Published - 2017|