Aquatic hyphomycetes occur in hyperpolluted waters in Central Germany
Krauss, Gudrun; Bärlocher, Felix; Schreck, Peter; Wennrich, Rainer; Glässer, Walter; Krauss, Gerd-J.
Aquatic hyphomycetes are important participants in the decomposition of organic matter in streams and lakes. They are believed to be highly sensitive to some forms of pollution. In the district of Mansfeld in Central Germany, many surface and groundwaters are contaminated with extremely high levels of heavy metals. In a survey of seven sites in this area, a total of 23 distinct forms of aquatic hyphomycetes (18 identified to species) were found to colonize and sporulate on alder leaves. Even at the two most heavily polluted sites, which also contain high sulfate concentrations, seven and ten species were recovered. Spore production in vitro per mg leaf dry mass varied between 0.3 and 2260. Heliscus lugdunensis and Tetracladium marchalianum occurred at all locations. Since these fungi are adapted to aquatic habitats, their apparent resistance to extremely high levels of metals and other pollutants makes them promising candidates for bioremediation. In addition, they provide an interesting model system to study connections between biodiversity and ecological function in impoverished communities.