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Fakultät für Biologie, Chemie und Geowissenschaften

Abteilung Mykologie: Prof. em. Dr. Gerhard Rambold

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Blaschke, M; Siemonsmeier, A; Harjes, J; Okach, DO; Rambold, G: Comparison of survey methods for fungi using metabarcoding and fruit body inventories in an altitudinal gradient, Archives of Microbiology (2023), doi:10.1007/s00203-023-03606-9
Metabarcoding of environmental samples is nowadays an established method in biodiversity research. When it comes to studying fungal populations in various ecotypes, fruit body inventories are the traditional method to assess the diversity of fungal communities. In this study, both methods — metabarcoding of soil samples and a traditional fruit body inventory — were conducted on 144 sample plots in an altitudinal gradient in the Bavarian Forest (Germany) and the results were compared. Metabarcoding detected significantly more species than the traditional fruit body inventory. The majority of taxa recorded in the fruit body inventory belonged to the Basidiomycota, whereas in the metabarcoding data, the distribution of species between Basidiomycota and Ascomycota was approximately balanced. Species of several orders forming inconspicuous or hypogeous fruit bodies were detected only by metabarcoding, while several wood decomposers were recorded only in the fruit body inventory. The proportion of detected wood-colonising species with melanized spores was considerably higher with metabarcoding than with the fruit body inventory, where more than 70% of recorded wood-colonisers had hyaline spores. Based on the metabarcoding data, a decline of species richness with increasing altitude was evident, but this was not visible in the fruit body inventory data. Detrended correspondence analyses yielded similar results for relative species community similarities with both survey methods.
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