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Title: Fungal communities living within leaves of native Hawaiian dicots are structured by landscape‐scale variables as well as by host plants

A phylogenetically diverse array of fungi live within healthy leaf tissue of dicotyledonous plants. Many studies have examined these endophytes within a single plant species and/or at small spatial scales, but landscape‐scale variables that determine their community composition are not well understood, either across geographic space, across climatic conditions, or in the context of host plant phylogeny. Here, we evaluate the contributions of these variables to endophyte beta diversity using a survey of foliar endophytic fungi in native Hawaiian dicots sampled across the Hawaiian archipelago. We used Illumina technology to sequence fungal ITS1 amplicons to characterize foliar endophyte communities across five islands and 80 host plant genera. We found that communities of foliar endophytic fungi showed strong geographic structuring between distances of 7 and 36 km. Endophyte community structure was most strongly associated with host plant phylogeny and evapotranspiration, and was also significantly associated with NDVI, elevation and solar radiation. Additionally, our bipartite network analysis revealed that the five islands we sampled each harboured significantly specialized endophyte communities. These results demonstrate how the interaction of factors at large and small spatial and phylogenetic scales shapes fungal symbiont communities.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Molecular Ecology
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 3102-3115
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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