Mycological diversity on Jack Pine and Black Spruce bark by Payuk Lake, Manitoba.

Jennifer Doering, Matthew Doering, Yaseen Mottiar, Tom Booth


Fungi provide an essential role to the ecosystem they inhabit by decomposing dead organic material; however they have been little studied in Northern Manitoba. Payuk Lake is located within a chain of lakes that make up the headwaters of the Grass River. This region is currently under consideration for conservation. The objectives of this study were to investigate the mycological diversity of Payuk Lake, MB, and to examine the difference in mycological diversity between Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana) and Black Spruce (Picea mariana) and the heights on each tree trunk. Bark samples were collected from three heights on Jack Pine and Black Spruce trees along the ridges of Payuk Lake. The bark samples were dried and placed in moist chambers for three weeks and described using the dissecting and compound light microscopes. A total of 18 organisms were cultured from the bark samples, nine of which were classified as myxomycetes. Two-way cluster analysis showed that the most common organisms were zygomycetes, and the uncommon were myxomycetes. Cluster analysis also showed distinct clustering between tree species and heights. Shannon’s diversity index was not significant between Jack Pine and Black Spruce, but trends were evident. The diversity of fungi, and other organisms, could be large and should be further investigated to better understand the importance of the Payuk Lake region and to help conserve the headwaters of the Grass River.

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