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Acta botánica mexicana

On-line version ISSN 2448-7589Print version ISSN 0187-7151


CHACON, Santiago; UTRERA-BARILLAS, Elsa  and  GARCIA-MARTINEZ, Miguel A.. Temporal shifts in a Xylaria assemblage (Ascomycota, Xylariaceae) resulting from management activities in a protected cloud forest. Act. Bot. Mex [online]. 2019, n.126, e1378.  Epub Feb 17, 2020. ISSN 2448-7589.

Background and Aims

Tropical montane cloud forest (TMCF) is one of the most threatened ecosystems worldwide. Natural protected areas (NPAs) have been established to prevent further loss of these forests in Mexico. To assess whether management activities temporally impact the biodiversity of NPAs, the use of indicator groups, such as some groups of macromycetes, has been proposed. The aim of this study was to assess the temporal shifts over the last 36 years in the alpha, beta, and gamma diversity of a Xylaria assemblage in a NPA of TMCF as a result of anthropogenic management activities.


Collections were performed in a 31 ha NPA of TMCF in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, during three 10 year and one six year sampling periods (1980-2016), taking into account specimens deposited in the herbarium XAL and collections performed by the authors, mainly in the two latter periods. Species number and abundance, compositional similarity, species turnover, and gamma diversity of assemblages were determined and compared among the sampling periods.

Key results

Of 3480 individuals belonging to 30 Xylaria species, the most abundant species were X. scruposa, X. anisopleura, X. berteroi, X. cubensis, X. feejeensis, X. albocinctoides, and X. arbuscula. The inventory completeness was 99.9%. Species richness varied from six (1990-1999) to 28 species (2010-2016). Jaccard index separated two assemblage clusters. Gamma diversity was more influenced by beta diversity than alpha diversity.


Xylaria assemblages are a useful bioindicator group and monitoring them over time may provide information about the impacts of management on TMCF ecosystems. Temporal dynamics of these assemblages partly depend on the historically implemented management in the NPA of TMCF. Effective conservation outcomes for TMCF will only be achieved if current management strategies are maintained and integrated into the long-term management framework of NPAs containing TMCF.

Keywords : Ascomycetes; fungal diversity; temporal changes; urban ecosystems; urban forest.

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