Diversity of fungus-growing termites (Macrotermes) and their fungal symbionts (Termitomyces) in the semiarid Tsavo Ecosystem, Kenya.

Risto Vesala, Tuula Niskanen, Kare Liimatainen, Hamadi Boga, Petri Pellikka, Jouko Rikkinen

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkelijulkaisuArtikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu

Kuvaus

Fungus-growing termites of the subfamily Macrotermitinae together with their highly specialized fungal symbionts (Termitomyces) are primary decomposers of dead plant matter in many African savanna ecosystems. The termites provide crucial ecosystem services also by modifying soil properties, translocating nutrients, and as important drivers of plant succession. Despite their obvious ecological importance, many basic features in the biology of fungus-growing termites and especially their fungal symbionts remain poorly known, and no studies have so far focused on possible habitat-level differences in symbiont diversity across heterogeneous landscapes. We studied the species identities of Macrotermes termites and their Termitomyces symbionts by excavating 143 termite mounds at eight study sites in the semiarid Tsavo Ecosystem of southern Kenya. Reference specimens were identified by sequencing the COI region from termites and the ITS region from symbiotic fungi. The results demonstrate that the regional Macrotermes community in Tsavo includes two sympatric species (M. subhyalinus and M. michaelseni) which cultivate and largely share three species of Termitomyces symbionts. A single species of fungus is always found in each termite mound, but even closely adjacent colonies of the same termite species often house evolutionarily divergent fungi. The species identities of both partners vary markedly between sites, suggesting hitherto unknown differences in their ecological requirements. It is apparent that both habitat heterogeneity and disturbance history can influence the regional distribution patterns of both partners in symbiosis.
Alkuperäiskielienglanti
LehtiBiotropica
Vuosikerta49
Numero3
Sivut402-412
Sivumäärä11
ISSN0006-3606
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - toukokuuta 2017
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä, vertaisarvioitu

Tieteenalat

  • 1181 Ekologia, evoluutiobiologia
  • 1183 Kasvibiologia, mikrobiologia, virologia

Lainaa tätä

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title = "Diversity of fungus-growing termites (Macrotermes) and their fungal symbionts (Termitomyces) in the semiarid Tsavo Ecosystem, Kenya.",
abstract = "Fungus-growing termites of the subfamily Macrotermitinae together with their highly specialized fungal symbionts (Termitomyces) are primary decomposers of dead plant matter in many African savanna ecosystems. The termites provide crucial ecosystem services also by modifying soil properties, translocating nutrients, and as important drivers of plant succession. Despite their obvious ecological importance, many basic features in the biology of fungus-growing termites and especially their fungal symbionts remain poorly known, and no studies have so far focused on possible habitat-level differences in symbiont diversity across heterogeneous landscapes. We studied the species identities of Macrotermes termites and their Termitomyces symbionts by excavating 143 termite mounds at eight study sites in the semiarid Tsavo Ecosystem of southern Kenya. Reference specimens were identified by sequencing the COI region from termites and the ITS region from symbiotic fungi. The results demonstrate that the regional Macrotermes community in Tsavo includes two sympatric species (M. subhyalinus and M. michaelseni) which cultivate and largely share three species of Termitomyces symbionts. A single species of fungus is always found in each termite mound, but even closely adjacent colonies of the same termite species often house evolutionarily divergent fungi. The species identities of both partners vary markedly between sites, suggesting hitherto unknown differences in their ecological requirements. It is apparent that both habitat heterogeneity and disturbance history can influence the regional distribution patterns of both partners in symbiosis.",
keywords = "1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology, 1183 Plant biology, microbiology, virology, Basidiomycota , habitat ecology , Lyophyllaceae , Macrotermitinae , savanna , specificity , symbiosis , PHYLOGENETIC-RELATIONSHIPS , MOUNDS , ISOPTERA , MICHAELSENI , SAVANNA , TRANSMISSION , STABILIZES , HYPOTHESIS , NATALENSIS , EVOLUTION",
author = "Risto Vesala and Tuula Niskanen and Kare Liimatainen and Hamadi Boga and Petri Pellikka and Jouko Rikkinen",
year = "2017",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1111/btp.12422",
language = "English",
volume = "49",
pages = "402--412",
journal = "Biotropica",
issn = "0006-3606",
publisher = "Wiley",
number = "3",

}

Diversity of fungus-growing termites (Macrotermes) and their fungal symbionts (Termitomyces) in the semiarid Tsavo Ecosystem, Kenya. / Vesala, Risto; Niskanen, Tuula ; Liimatainen, Kare ; Boga, Hamadi; Pellikka, Petri ; Rikkinen, Jouko.

julkaisussa: Biotropica, Vuosikerta 49, Nro 3, 05.2017, s. 402-412.

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkelijulkaisuArtikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu

TY - JOUR

T1 - Diversity of fungus-growing termites (Macrotermes) and their fungal symbionts (Termitomyces) in the semiarid Tsavo Ecosystem, Kenya.

AU - Vesala, Risto

AU - Niskanen, Tuula

AU - Liimatainen, Kare

AU - Boga, Hamadi

AU - Pellikka, Petri

AU - Rikkinen, Jouko

PY - 2017/5

Y1 - 2017/5

N2 - Fungus-growing termites of the subfamily Macrotermitinae together with their highly specialized fungal symbionts (Termitomyces) are primary decomposers of dead plant matter in many African savanna ecosystems. The termites provide crucial ecosystem services also by modifying soil properties, translocating nutrients, and as important drivers of plant succession. Despite their obvious ecological importance, many basic features in the biology of fungus-growing termites and especially their fungal symbionts remain poorly known, and no studies have so far focused on possible habitat-level differences in symbiont diversity across heterogeneous landscapes. We studied the species identities of Macrotermes termites and their Termitomyces symbionts by excavating 143 termite mounds at eight study sites in the semiarid Tsavo Ecosystem of southern Kenya. Reference specimens were identified by sequencing the COI region from termites and the ITS region from symbiotic fungi. The results demonstrate that the regional Macrotermes community in Tsavo includes two sympatric species (M. subhyalinus and M. michaelseni) which cultivate and largely share three species of Termitomyces symbionts. A single species of fungus is always found in each termite mound, but even closely adjacent colonies of the same termite species often house evolutionarily divergent fungi. The species identities of both partners vary markedly between sites, suggesting hitherto unknown differences in their ecological requirements. It is apparent that both habitat heterogeneity and disturbance history can influence the regional distribution patterns of both partners in symbiosis.

AB - Fungus-growing termites of the subfamily Macrotermitinae together with their highly specialized fungal symbionts (Termitomyces) are primary decomposers of dead plant matter in many African savanna ecosystems. The termites provide crucial ecosystem services also by modifying soil properties, translocating nutrients, and as important drivers of plant succession. Despite their obvious ecological importance, many basic features in the biology of fungus-growing termites and especially their fungal symbionts remain poorly known, and no studies have so far focused on possible habitat-level differences in symbiont diversity across heterogeneous landscapes. We studied the species identities of Macrotermes termites and their Termitomyces symbionts by excavating 143 termite mounds at eight study sites in the semiarid Tsavo Ecosystem of southern Kenya. Reference specimens were identified by sequencing the COI region from termites and the ITS region from symbiotic fungi. The results demonstrate that the regional Macrotermes community in Tsavo includes two sympatric species (M. subhyalinus and M. michaelseni) which cultivate and largely share three species of Termitomyces symbionts. A single species of fungus is always found in each termite mound, but even closely adjacent colonies of the same termite species often house evolutionarily divergent fungi. The species identities of both partners vary markedly between sites, suggesting hitherto unknown differences in their ecological requirements. It is apparent that both habitat heterogeneity and disturbance history can influence the regional distribution patterns of both partners in symbiosis.

KW - 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology

KW - 1183 Plant biology, microbiology, virology

KW - Basidiomycota

KW - habitat ecology

KW - Lyophyllaceae

KW - Macrotermitinae

KW - savanna

KW - specificity

KW - symbiosis

KW - PHYLOGENETIC-RELATIONSHIPS

KW - MOUNDS

KW - ISOPTERA

KW - MICHAELSENI

KW - SAVANNA

KW - TRANSMISSION

KW - STABILIZES

KW - HYPOTHESIS

KW - NATALENSIS

KW - EVOLUTION

U2 - 10.1111/btp.12422

DO - 10.1111/btp.12422

M3 - Article

VL - 49

SP - 402

EP - 412

JO - Biotropica

JF - Biotropica

SN - 0006-3606

IS - 3

ER -