This study is a first attempt aimed to establish a record of identification and taxonomic characterization of arenicolous filamentous fungi in Mayagüez Bay, Western Puerto Rico. The primary goal of this study was to provide a better understanding of the fungi present between sand grains at certain ecological conditions in three different stations of Mayagüez Bay: Guanajibo, El Seco, and El Maní during the period of January through December, 2003. Bimonthly samplings consisted of temperature, salinity and pH measurements, and sand samples for determinations of fungi abundance and distribution. These samples were collected using conventional methods and different media culture were used for identification. Filamentous fungi grew and develop successfully in marine conditions, where they can withstand salinity variations. There were significant differences in species composition among sampling stations. The highest number of species was from el Seco sampling station, being Aspergillus spp. with 16.18% of representation, Alternaria spp. (12.54%), A. flavus (12.33%), A. terreus (11.35%), C. cladosporioides (11.33%), Cladosporium spp. (9.83%), Curvularia spp. (9%), Mucor spp. (3.89%), A. niger (3.67%), Penicillium spp. (1.15%), C. herbarum (1.08%), C. oxisporum (0.14%), Dreschelera spp. (0.05%), D. Biseptata (0.03%), Fusarium spp. (0.02%), Geotrichum spp. (7.40%), M. Ramossissimus (0.01%), Trichoderma spp. (0.01%), P. rubrum (0.001%), and Rhizopus spp. with 0.001% representation of the total genus identified. Salinity variations had a significant effect upon abundance of fungi, especially during the months of May thru August, when the temperatures were higher and the salinity levels increased in sand due to seawater evaporation. These data suggest that salinity concentrations may be regulating the abundance of fungi at stations with lower salinity concentrations in standard salinity units (35 ssu) during the coldest months of the year. The study of arenicolous fungi in Mayagüez Bay receives relevance due to the high amount of illegal fishing, illegal swimmers, in addition to recreational fishing and acuatic sports.
Full conference title:
15th Annual Focus on Fungal Infections
- FFI 15th (2005)