In: Sydowia 72, (2020): 215-219; ISSN 0082-0598, DOI 10.12905/0380.sydowia72-2020-0215, Published online on July 06, 2020
Mosses as spore traps for myxomycetes
Steven L. Stephenson1,* & Carlos Rojas2
1 Department of Biological Sciences, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701, USA
2 Department of Biosystems Engineering and Engineering Research Institute, University of Costa Rica,
San Pedro de Montes de Oca, 1150, Costa Rica
Stephenson S.L & Rojas C. (2020) Mosses as spore traps for myxomycetes. – Sydowia 72: 215–219.
Small-mesh nylon bags filled with autoclaved samples of mosses were placed out in the field in northwest Arkansas and central
Costa Rica to assess the extent to which mosses could serve as spore traps for myxomycetes. The bags were suspended from
low hanging tree branches and left in place for more than four months. When the bags were recollected, the mosses were processed
for myxomycetes using the moist chamber culture technique. Thirty-eight (95 %) of the moist chamber cultures prepared
with samples of bryophytes from bags placed out in Costa Rica were positive for myxomycetes, and 36 (90 %) of these cultures
produced fruiting bodies. In contrast, only 28 (70 %) of the moist chamber cultures prepared with samples of bryophytes placed
out in northwest Arkansas were positive for myxomycetes, and just 7 (18 %) of these produced fruiting bodies. Sixteen species in
eight genera were represented among the 98 specimens appearing in both sets of cultures. Clearly, mosses are effective at trapping
airborne spores of myxomycetes.
Keywords: airborne spores, moist chamber cultures, nylon mesh bags, slime molds, temperate forests, tropical forests.