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Disruption of photoautotrophic intertidal mats by filamentous fungi
Carreira, C; Staal, M.; Falkoski, D.; de Vries, R.P.; Middelboe, M.; Brussaard, C.P.D. (2015). Disruption of photoautotrophic intertidal mats by filamentous fungi. Environ. Microbiol. 17(8): 2910-2921. dx.doi.org/ 10.1111/1462-2920.12835
In: Environmental Microbiology. Blackwell Scientific Publishers: Oxford. ISSN 1462-2912, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Carreira, C, more
  • Staal, M.
  • Falkoski, D.
  • de Vries, R.P.
  • Middelboe, M., more
  • Brussaard, C.P.D., more

Abstract
    Ring-like structures, 2.0–4.8?cm in diameter, observed in photosynthetic microbial mats on the Wadden Sea island Schiermonnikoog (the Netherlands) showed to be the result of the fungus Emericellopsis sp. degrading the photoautotrophic top layer of the mat. The mats were predominantly composed of cyanobacteria and diatoms, with large densities of bacteria and viruses both in the top photosynthetic layer and in the underlying sediment. The fungal attack cleared the photosynthetic layer; however, no significant effect of the fungal lysis on the bacterial and viral abundances could be detected. Fungal-mediated degradation of the major photoautotrophs could be reproduced by inoculation of non-infected mat with isolated Emericellopsis sp., and with an infected ring sector. Diatoms were the first re-colonizers followed closely by cyanobacteria that after about 5 days dominated the space. The study demonstrated that the fungus Emericellopsis sp. efficiently degraded a photoautotrophic microbial mat, with potential implications for mat community composition, spatial structure and productivity.

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