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Relationships between Coprophilous Fungi and Fecal Substrates in a Colorado Grassland

Kathleen Angel and D. T. Wicklow
Mycologia
Vol. 67, No. 1 (Jan. - Feb., 1975), pp. 63-74
DOI: 10.2307/3758228
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3758228
Page Count: 12
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Relationships between Coprophilous Fungi and Fecal Substrates in a Colorado Grassland
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Abstract

A survey was made of the kinds of fungi which developed fructifications on different coprophilous substrates from a semiarid grassland in Colorado. Fifty-three species were found on approximately 650 g dry weight of feces. These included cattle feces (37 species/600 g), rabbit feces (27 species/30 g), pronghorn feces (17 species/20 g), and small-mammal feces (12 species/1 g). Given the relatively small amount of substrate examined, and the fact that collections came from adjacent pastures, the population of coprophilous fungi was remarkably diversified. Populations on ruminant feces (cattle and pronghorn) were most similar in species composition, while those on pronghorn and small-mammal feces showed the least similarity. Many of the species sporulated on both freshly dried and partially decomposed cattle droppings during moist-chamber incubation. Some of the problems associated with attempts at quantifying populations of coprophilous fungi are considered, and hypotheses explaining the apparently high diversity of species in this grassland are discussed.

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