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The Occurrence and Distribution of Acrasieae in Forests of Subtropical and Tropical America

James C. Cavender and Kenneth B. Raper
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 55, No. 4 (Apr., 1968), pp. 504-513
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2440581
Page Count: 10
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The Occurrence and Distribution of Acrasieae in Forests of Subtropical and Tropical America
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Abstract

Forests of the subtropical and tropical regions of North America harbor cellular slime molds not found in the soils of temperate deciduous forests investigated previously. However, most species found in the temperate forest are common in the tropics. Although the diversity of forms is greater in the soils of tropical forests the numbers of Acrasieae per unit of soil are comparable. Characteristic of tropical and subtropical forest soils are Acrasieae bearing crampon bases, of which four new species of Dictyostelium are presently known. Also present, but less frequently isolated, are two other new species of the genus Dictyostelium and two still undescribed species of the Guttulinaceae. Occasional isolates of D. purpureum and D. discoideum were found that produce macrocysts, which seem, also, to be confined to tropical and subtropical areas. Macrocysts were previously known only in D. mucoroides and D. minutum isolated from temperate forest soils. The occurrence and distribution of Acrasieae in warm temperate desert and mesquite-scrub, in subtropical hammock, and in tropical thorn, deciduous, seasonal evergreen, rain, and cloud forests were investigated. Acrasieae were well represented in all of these forests except desert. The number of species and the total populations were largest in seasonal evergreen forests. The composition of the cellular slime mold populations and the dominant species within these populations could be related to the soil environment as expressed by the dominant vegetation.

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