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Foliar Fungal Endophytes Associated with Native Hawaiian Plants and the Biogeography of their Interactions Across the Archipelago.

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Title:Foliar Fungal Endophytes Associated with Native Hawaiian Plants and the Biogeography of their Interactions Across the Archipelago.
Authors:Cobian, Gerald M.
Contributors:Botany (department)
Foliar Endophytic Fungi
Community Ecology
Elevation Gradient
Date Issued:May 2018
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:Foliar fungal endophytes are a globally ubiquitous group of fungi that form species rich
communities within plant host leaves. While uncertainty exists about the exact mechanisms
determining fungal endophyte community assembly, communities have been shown to be
structured by their host species as well as local environmental conditions. However, our
understanding of the interaction between host specialization and local environmental
conditions is limited, especially at broader spatial scales within the same host species. The aim
of this dissertation was to address this knowledge gap, through the examination of fungal
endophyte communities at the regional and landscape scale within the Hawaiian archipelago.
Specific objectives were to determine whether (1) host selection or island is a stronger
determinate of community structure at the regional scale, (2) habitat filtering or host selection is
a stronger determinate of community structure at the landscape scale by communities within
the same hosts across an elevation gradient on the island of Hawai`i, and (3) whether fungal
endophytes follow similar distribution patterns as their plant hosts at the landscape scale.
Examination of fungal endophyte communities across the Hawaiian Archipelago
revealed that communities are structured by both island and host, but more strongly by island.
At the landscape scale, fungal endophyte communities were significantly structured by host
species, with little to no environmental effect. Similar to other microbial studies, fungal
endophyte species did not display similar patterns as larger organismal groups, and were
largely random in their distribution, indicating that fungal endophytes and their hosts’
distributions are regulated by different factors. Collectively, these studies indicate that fungal
endophyte community structure is scale dependent. At regional spatial scales, in this case the
Hawaiian archipelago, geographic location is a stronger determinate of community structure
than host species, signifying the importance of local ecological conditions, such as local
environmental conditions, dispersal limitations, and evolutionary history. Conversely, at
landscape scales, such as the elevation gradient examined, host was observed to be a
stronger determinant of community structure than geographic location.
Description:Ph.D. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2018.
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Botany

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