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Diversity 2012, 4(4), 453-474; doi:10.3390/d4040453

Aboveground Deadwood Deposition Supports Development of Soil Yeasts

1,* , 2
1 Leibniz Institute DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures, Inhoffenstraße 7B, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany 2 Department of Evolution and Biodiversity of Plants, Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsstraße 150, 44780 Bochum, Germany 3 Institute of Silviculture, University of Freiburg, Tennenbacherstraße 4, 79085 Freiburg, Germany
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 October 2012 / Revised: 27 November 2012 / Accepted: 4 December 2012 / Published: 10 December 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Quality and Ecosystem)
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Unicellular saprobic fungi (yeasts) inhabit soils worldwide. Although yeast species typically occupy defined areas on the biome scale, their distribution patterns within a single type of vegetation, such as forests, are more complex. In order to understand factors that shape soil yeast communities, soils collected underneath decaying wood logs and under forest litter were analyzed. We isolated and identified molecularly a total of 25 yeast species, including three new species. Occurrence and distribution of yeasts isolated from these soils provide new insights into ecology and niche specialization of several soil-borne species. Although abundance of typical soil yeast species varied among experimental plots, the analysis of species abundance and community composition revealed a strong influence of wood log deposition and leakage of organic carbon. Unlike soils underneath logs, yeast communities in adjacent areas harbored a considerable number of transient (phylloplane-related) yeasts reaching 30% of the total yeast quantity. We showed that distinguishing autochthonous community members and species transient in soils is essential to estimate appropriate effects of environmental factors on soil fungi. Furthermore, a better understanding of species niches is crucial for analyses of culture-independent data, and may hint to the discovery of unifying patterns of microbial species distribution.
Keywords: yeasts; soil; wood decomposition; forest; fungi; Cryptococcus podzolicus yeasts; soil; wood decomposition; forest; fungi; Cryptococcus podzolicus
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Yurkov, A.; Wehde, T.; Kahl, T.; Begerow, D. Aboveground Deadwood Deposition Supports Development of Soil Yeasts. Diversity 2012, 4, 453-474.

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