Date of Award


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University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

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The objectives of this study were: (1) to survey the corticolous myxomycete bionta of a relatively undisturbed and pollution free natural area, (2) to determine whether affinities exists between species of corticolous myxomycetes and species of trees on which they occur, and (3) to determine whether the occurrence of corticolous myxomycetes is seasonal in nature. To accomplish these objectives 42 trees growing in Panoia Mountain State Park, a natural preserved area located approximately 20 miles southeast of Atlanta, were selected for the study. The genera and species of the trees selected were Quercus falcata and Q. prinus, Pinus taeda and P. echinata, Carya glabra, Cornus florida, and Liriodendron tulipifera. Seven collection sites were selected in the Park and each site represented a different ecological setting where one or more trees of each of the seven tree species grew within a few yards of each other.

Bark samples were removed at six-week intervals from the selected trees and were subsequently incubated in moisture chambers under laboratory conditions. Frequent examinations of these bark samples were made for the appearance of myxomycete fruiting bodies.

In this study, twenty-three species of myxomycetes, representing 12 genera, have appeared on bark collected from trees in Panola Mountain State Park. These species were: Arcyria carnea, A· cinerea, and A· pomiformis; Comatricha elegans, C· fimbriata, C· lurida, C· nigra, and C· suksdorfii; Cribraria microcarpa, C· minutissima, and C· violacea;Diderma rugosum; Didymium sguamulosum and Dmegalosporum; Echinostelium minutum; Lamproderma scintillans; Licea operculata; Metatrichia vesparium; Perichaena chrysosperma; Physarum notabile, P· nudum, and P· viride; Trichia floriformis. The appearance of some species was seasonal and some species were restricted to the bark of certain tree species. Echinostelium minutum, for example, was the most ubiquitous species. It was found throughout the year on bark of all trees sampled.

Cribraria minutissima also appeared throughout the year but only on Pinus taeda. Comatricha fimbriata was common in the fall on bark ofQuercus falcata.

Data from these studies suggest that affinities exist between bark of some species of trees and species of myxomycetes; that the appearance of some species of corticolous myxomycetes may vary with the season of the year; and that bark of living trees apparently represent a natural substratum for myxomycete bionta. Some of the species of myxomycetes found in this study represent species previously unreported from the state of Georgia.