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Title: A Study of Fungal Communities Associated with Oak Forests of Swat and Dir Districts, KPK, Pakistan
Authors: Naseer, Arooj
Keywords: Botany
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: University of the Punjab , Lahore
Abstract: The present research work focuses on the study of ectomycorrhizal fungal communities associated with oak forests of Swat and Dir Districts, KPK, Pakistan. During the study, analyses of above ground and below ground fungal taxa associated with oaks were based on different molecular markers, along with morpho-anatomical characterization. Seven sampling areas viz. Kalam (stand 1), Shawar Valley (stand 2), Toa (stand 3), Sultanr (stand 4), Lamati (stand 5), Jetkot (stand 6) and Biar (stand 7) were selected in temperate areas of Swat and Dir Districts, KPK, Pakistan. For ectomycorrhizal communities study, 50 soil cores were randomly taken from each stand. Ectomycorrhizal fungi were identified by morphotyping and sequence analyses of ITS, LSU and SSU of DNA. For above ground communities study, collected sporocarps were morpho anatomically and phylogenetically characterized. A total of 256 fungal taxa were identified belonging to 58 genera. Among these, 223 species belonging to 41 genera and 28 families were designated as ectomycorrhizal. Ascomycota was represented by 9 families and Basidiomycota by 19 families. Above ground taxa was represented by 53 species belonging to 24 genera and 15 families. From below ground, 183 taxa were identified belonging to 33 genera and 25 families. Thirteen taxa were found from above ground as fruit bodies with their counter parts from below ground in the form of ectomycorrhizal morphotypes. The 34 species were found non mycorrhizal, 28 of which were collected as fruiting bodies belonging to 17 genera. The ectomycorrhizal community consisted of a few frequent and many rare fungal taxa. The community was analyzed in term of alpha, beta and gamma diversity by different diversity indices. Effects of edaphic, climatic factors as well as soil factors on fungal communities were also analyzed. From stand 1, Hortiboletus followed by Russula constituted the major part of above ground community while Russula and Cortinarius dominated the below ground community. From stand 2, Scleroderma was found to be most abundant, dominant and diverse genus. From stand 3, Rhizopogon and Cortinarius were found abundant as fruiting bodies while Amanita and Pachyphloeus dominated the below ground communities. From stand 4, Lactarius and Tricholoma were dominating above ground community and below ground community was dominated by Xerocomus. From stand 5, Russula was common in form of fruiting bodies along with Amanita as well as with Lactarius in the form of morphotypes. From stand 6 and 7, Scleroderma dominated above ground community while Russula dominanted below ground component of community. It was observed that host species and age, soil pH, soil nutrients and soil organic matter influenced the distribution pattern of fungal species. The stand 3 (Toa) with high pH represented hyperdiverse fungal taxa in form of fruiting bodies. The sampling stand 1 (Kalam) with maximum amount of P, EC and organic matter showed maximum frequency and colonization of fungal taxa from below ground community. These findings were supported by Principal Component Analysis (PCA), Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) and Nonmetric Multidimensional Scaling (NMDS) analysis. These results indicate high fungal diversity associated with these forests. This hyperdiversity of taxa is due to many factors as these forests are natural forests of hundreds of years old, undisturbed, lack any anthropogenic activities and without undergoing any disaster which support such a divers communities associated with these forests. This study focused on parameters for community studies in terms of abundance, diversity, frequency and dominance to describe the distribution pattern of ectomycorrhizal fungi. Mopho-anatomical and molecular data deposited in different repositories could be utilized as a source of perspective for further taxonomic and phylogenetic work. The generated data during this study would helpful in forest and nursery management as well as restoration of rapidly declining oak forests to conserve them.
Gov't Doc #: 18590
Appears in Collections:PhD Thesis of All Public / Private Sector Universities / DAIs.

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