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Piepenbring M.,Biologicum | Hofmann T.A.,Autonomous University of Chiriqui | Unterseher M.,University of Greifswald | Kost G.,University of Marburg
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2012

In order to document the species richness of plants and fungi in a tropical area, a trail of 500 m in tropical lowlands in the Chiriquí province, on the Pacific side of western Panama, was sampled each month during 2 years with 2 h dedicated to plants and 2 h dedicated to fungi, each by two botanists or mycologists respectively. The 24 sampling events yielded approximately 4,000 records of plants corresponding to 311 species as well as 1,614 records of fungi corresponding to approximately 567 species. Lists of more or less certain names of plants and fungi as well as voucher specimens are provided. The randomized species accumulation curve for plants approaches an asymptote and estimators yield stable values of 310-318 predicted plant species in the area of investigation. The curve for records of fungal species, however, did not saturate and all applied estimator functions failed to predict the total richness of fungi for the area convincingly. Two plant collections correspond to new records for Panama and 54 species and infraspecific taxa are new for the Chiriquí province. The identification of fungi is still in process and yielded two species probably new to science as well as 17 new records of species for Panama to date. In order to assess biodiversity patterns (e. g. fungi to plant ratios) of tropical fungi more accurately, it is necessary to repeat such investigations in other areas and to improve the tools for taxonomic identification of these highly diverse but mostly microscopic organisms. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source

Hofmann T.A.,Autonomous University of Chiriqui | Piepenbring M.,Goethe University Frankfurt
Tropical Plant Pathology | Year: 2014

New records of species of Asterinaceae with intercalary appressoria infecting plants in Central America and Panama are described and illustrated in detail. New records are Asterolibertia licaniicola on the new host Licania arborea (Chrysobalanaceae), Asterolibertia nodulosa on the new hosts Oxandra venezuelana and Xylopia sp. (Annonaceae), and Cirsosia splendida on the new hosts Chrysobalanus icaco and Hirtella triandra (Chrysobalanaceae). The teleomorph C. splendida is linked for the first time to the asexual morph Homalopeltis chrysobalani based on morphological observation. For the presented fungi an identification key is provided and infection strategies are discussed. Nomenclatural novelties are introduced, Leprieuria radiata becomes a synonym of H. chrysobalani and Asterina nodulifera is recombined into Asterolibertia nodulifera. © 2014 Brazilian Phytopathological Society. Source

Hofmann T.A.,Autonomous University of Chiriqui | Piepenbring M.,Goethe University Frankfurt
Mycologia | Year: 2011

Two new species of the genus Asterina are described from living leaves collected in provinces Chiriquí and Bocas del Toro in western Panama. Asterina alloplecti on Alloplectus ichtyoderma (Gesneriaceae) differs from other Asterina on Gesneriaceae by its stalked appressoria and host relationship. Asterina compsoneurae on Compsoneura sprucei (Myristicaceae) can be distinguished from other members of Asterina on Myristicaceae by its larger ascomata, larger, prominently spinose ascospores and host relationship. New records for Panama are Asterina corallopoda from a new host plant species (Solanum trizygum, Solanaceae), A. diplopoda, A. ekmanii from a new host plant species (Gonzalagunia rudis, Rubiaceae), A. siphocampyli from a new host plant genus and species (Burmeistera vulgaris, Campanulaceae) and A. styracina from a new host-plant species (Styrax argenteus, Styracaceae). This study increases the number of species of Asterina known for Panama from 12 to 19 and the number of Asterinaceae from 14 to 21. Asterina corallopoda, A. diplopoda, A. ekmanii, A. siphocampyli and A. styracina are illustrated for the first time. A phylogeny inferred from the analysis of LSU rDNA sequences of species of Asterina is presented. The diversity and host-plant patterns of known Neotropical species of Asterina are discussed. © 2011 by The Mycological Society of America. Source

Rodriguez Justavino D.,Autonomous University of Chiriqui | Kirschner R.,National Central University | Piepenbring M.,Goethe University Frankfurt
Fungal Diversity | Year: 2014

Three new species of Meliolaceae, Appendiculella monsterae on Monstera deliciosa (Araceae), Asteridiella nitidae on Buddleja nitida (Scrophulariaceae), and Irenopsis chrysophylli on Chrysophyllum sp. (Sapotaceae), are described based on material collected in Panama. Eighteen species of Meliolaceae are reported for the first time for Panama, which include four first records for the Americas, viz. Ast. formosensis, Meliola indica, and M. pisoniae, previously known only from Asia, and M. dissotidis hitherto known only from Africa. Six species of plants are cited as hosts for meliolaceous fungi for the first time. In a phylogenetic hypothesis based on 28S nrDNA sequences, the position of Meliolales, including Appendiculella, Asteridiella, Endomeliola, Irenopsis, and Meliola, is found to be basal to Sordariomycetidae, Hypocreomycetidae, and Xylariomycetidae within Sordariomycetes. The five genera of Meliolaceae form a strongly supported clade. We suggest adopting the concept of the subclass Meliolomycetidae. The monophyly of Asteridiella cannot be confirmed. A hypothetical close relationship between Asteridiella and Appendiculella is not supported, but Endomeliola appears closely related to a species of Asteridiella. Two Meliola species on the same host family are closely related. © 2014, Mushroom Research Foundation. Source

Bader Y.M.,University of Oldenburg | Reich T.,University of Oldenburg | Wagner S.,University of Oldenburg | Steve A.,Autonomous University of Chiriqui | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Bryology | Year: 2013

Bryophyte biomass and diversity vary strongly with altitude in the tropics. Low abundance and low species numbers in lowland rain forests are most likely due to reduced diurnal activity times combined with high nocturnal respiration rates at high temperatures. This may exclude many montane species from the warm lowlands. However, an alternative hypothesis explains the observed pattern, namely a limited desiccation tolerance of montane species, precipitation being more concentrated but less frequent in most lowland forests compared to montane cloud forests. To test this hypothesis, we studied the desiccation tolerance of four montane and four lowland bryophyte species. The effects of prolonged drought were quantified with chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm) and the extent of electrolyte leakage. Both montane and lowland species survived dry periods of ≥80 days, which far exceeds the duration of dry periods in the wet lowland tropics. We can thus exclude intolerance to long dry spells as an explaination for the absence of the tested montane species in the lowlands. We should continue to focus on other mechanisms to explain the altitudinal gradient of bryophyte abundance and diversity in the tropics, in order to understand this pattern, as well as to predict future trends under climatic warming. © British Bryological Society 2013. Source

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