Taxonomic diversity of fungi deposited from the atmosphere
Authors and Affiliations
Fungi release spores into the global atmosphere. The emitted spores are deposited to the surface of the Earth by sedimentation (dry deposition) and precipitation (wet deposition), and therefore contribute to the global cycling of substances. However, knowledge is scarce regarding the diversities of fungi deposited from the atmosphere. Here, an automatic dry and wet deposition sampler and high-throughput sequencing plus quantitative PCR were used to observe taxonomic diversities and flux densities of atmospheric fungal deposition. Taxon-specific fungal deposition velocities and aerodynamic diameters (da) were determined using a collocated cascade impactor for volumetric, particle-size-resolved air sampling. Large multicellular spore-producing dothideomycetes (da≥10.0μm) were predominant in dry deposition, with a mean velocity of 0.80cms-1 for all fungal taxa combined. Higher taxonomic richness was observed in fungal assemblages in wet deposition than in dry deposition, suggesting the presence of fungal taxa that are deposited only in wet form. In wet deposition, agaricomycetes, including mushroom-forming fungi, and sordariomycetes, including plant pathogenic species, were enriched, indicating that such fungal spores serve as nuclei in clouds, and/or are discharged preferentially during precipitation. Moreover, this study confirmed that fungal assemblage memberships and structures were significantly different between dry and wet deposition (P-test, p<0.001). Overall, these findings suggest taxon-specific involvement of fungi in precipitation, and provide important insights into potential links between environmental changes that can disturb regional microbial communities (e.g., deforestation) and changes in precipitation patterns that might be mediated by changes in microbial communities in the atmosphere.