Myxogastria - Distribution and Ecology - Relationship To Other Creatures

Relationship To Other Creatures

The relationships of the Myxogastria to other creatures have not been thoroughly researched as of 2012. Their natural predators include many arthropods, especially beetles such as the rove beetles, round fungus beetles, wrinkled bark beetles, Eucinetidae, Clambidae, Eucnemidae (false click beetles), Sphindidae, Cerylonidae, minute brown scavenger beetles, mites and springtails. Various Nematodes have also been observed to be their predators; they attach their posterior portion on the cytosol of the plasmodia or even live within the strands. Certain Diptera species have evolved to specialise in this way: these are mostly representatives of the Mycetophilidae, Sciaridae and Drosophilidae. The species Epicypta testata was especially frequently found, especially on Enteridium lycoperdon, Enteridium splendens, Lycogala epidendrum and Tubifera ferruginosa.

Some true fungi specialise in the colonisation of the Myxogastriae: almost all of these are species of sac fungi. The most common such fungus is Verticillium rexianum – mainly species from Comatricha or Stemonitis. Gliocladium album and Sesquicillium microsporum are often found on Physaridae, while Polycephalomyces tomentosus is often found on certain species of Trichiidae. Nectriopsis violacea specialises on Fuligo septica. Bacterial associates, mainly from the family Enterobacteriaceae, were discovered on plasmodia. The combination of plasmodia and bacteria can bind atmospheric nitrogen or produce enzymes which make possible the decomposition of e.g. lignin, carboxymethylcellulose or xylan. In a few cases, the plasmodia acquired salt tolerance or tolerance of heavy metals through this association.

Read more about this topic:  Myxogastria, Distribution and Ecology

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