Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
It has been established that substantial amounts of fungal mass accumulate in standing decaying smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) marshes in the southeastern United States (e.g., in standing decaying leaf blades with a total fungal organic mass that accounts for about 20% of the decay system organic mass), but it has been hypothesized that in marshes farther north this is not true. We obtained samples of autumnal standing decaying smooth cordgrass from sites in Florida to Maine over a 3-year period. The variation in latitude could not explain any of the variation in the living fungal standing crop las determined by ergosterol content) or in the instantaneous rates of fungal growth las determined by acetate incorporation into ergosterol at a standard temperature, 20 degrees C), which led to the conclusion that the potential levels of fungal production per unit of naturally decaying grass are not different in northern and southern marshes. Twenty-one percent of the: variation in the size of the living fungal standing crop could be explained by variation in the CIN ratio (the higher the CIN ratio the smaller the fungal crop), but the C/P ratio was not related to the size of the fungal crop. Instantaneous rates of fungal growth were negatively related to the size of the living fungal crop (r = -0.35). but these rates were not correlated with C/nutrient ratios. The same two predominant species of ascomycetes tone Phaeosphaeria species and one Mycosphaerella species) were found ejecting ascospores from standing decaying smooth cordgrass blades at all of the sites examined from Florida to Maine.
Macrophyte Juncus-Effusus; Spartina-Alterniflora; Smooth Cordgrass; Leaf-Litter
Newell, SY; Blum, LK; Crawford, RE; Dai, T; and Dionne, M, Autumnal biomass and potential productivity of salt marsh fungi from 29 degrees to 43 degrees North latitude along the United States Atlantic coast (2000). Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 66(1), 180-185.