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Research Paper | October 1, 2015

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Diversity of sterile fungi along altitudinal gradients of Mt. Makiling Forest Reserve, Philippines

Z.A. Aborot, K.M.D. Perdigon, R.B. Opulencia

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.7(4), 43-50, October 2015

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Abstract

Mt. Makiling Forest Reserve (MFR), a well-known forest in the Philippines, functions as an instruction, research and training laboratory for the advancement of scientific and technical knowledge on the protection, conservation and development of forests and other natural resources. However, data are scarce on the diversity of fungi in MFR as previous studies relied on characteristics of spores to enumerate fungal population. Sterile fungi have been ignored or discarded. In this study, 37 and 22 sterile fungi were isolated during the wet season and dry season, respectively, from the leaf litter of MFR. The sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of the ribosomal RNA were used to determine the diversity of sterile fungi along 100 meters above sea level (masl) to 1000 masl altitudinal gradients of the forest. Based on the similarity of sequences at the 97% criterion, the fungal isolates were classified into 28 molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs). However, fungal diversity and species richness seemed to decrease with increasing altitude during dry and wet season. While analysis of a bigger fungal population is warranted, the results of this study suggest that fungal communities in MFR are not significantly affected by vegetation and abiotic factors such as temperature and precipitation.

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Diversity of sterile fungi along altitudinal gradients of Mt. Makiling Forest Reserve, Philippines

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