Plant Ecology and Evolution 151(2): 231-240, doi: 10.5091/plecevo.2018.1432
The first report of composition and occurrence of myxomycete assemblages in protected and unprotected plantation forests: a comparative study in Thai Nguyen City, Northern Vietnam
expand article infoJohn Carlo Redeña-Santos, Duong Van Thao, Martin Schnittler§, Nikki Heherson Dagamac|
‡ Advanced Educational Program, Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry, Quyết Thắng, Thái Nguyên, Vietnam§ Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology, University of Greifswald, Soldmannstr. 15, 17487 Greifswald, Germany| University of Greifswald ·, Greifswald, Germany
Open Access

Background and aims – In spite of the cosmopolitan distributions of myxomycetes, relatively few studies have been conducted in subtropical forests of Southeast Asia, particularly in Northern Vietnam, where comprehensive reports of myxomycetes are lacking up to this date. Hence, a rapid biodiversity assessment was conducted in protected and unprotected plantation forests of Thai Nguyen City to compare the species composition of myxomycete communities between the two different forest management types.

Methods – A total of 360 substrate samples were haphazardly collected within 5 m × 5 m plots established within three protected and three unprotected forests. The moist chamber cultures prepared from these samples were regularly checked for myxomycete fructifications over a period of 12 weeks. Analyses of diversity (species richness) and community composition were performed using the software EstimateS and the vegan package in R.

Key results – The study yielded a total of 505 records representing 54 species belonging to 17 genera. All species recorded herein were new records for Northern Vietnam; among them five were new for the entire country. The rarefaction curves showed higher numbers of myxomycete species to be expected for protected forest (43.0) in comparison to unprotected forests (39.4). However, calculations of species diversity indices showed higher values in unprotected forest than in protected forest. The species composition between the two forest types showed clear overlaps with many shared (56%) species.

Conclusions – Forest conservation strategies do not affect freely dispersing myxomycetes implicating that spore dispersal of myxomycetes is caused not only by natural factors but also by anthropogenic activities. The production of high number of myxomycete species for this study seems to point out that the subtropical forests of Vietnam harbours many undiscovered myxomycete species for Southeast Asia.

α diversity, β diversity, Amoebozoa, forest management, morphospecies, plasmodial slime moulds


  • Adamonytė G., Motiejūnaitė J., Iršenaitė R. (2016) Crown fire and surface fire: effects on myxomycetes inhabiting pine plantations. Science of the Total Environment 572: 1431–1439.
  • Beltrán-Tejera E., Mosquera J., Lado C. (2010) Myxomycete diversity from arid and semiarid zones of the Canary Islands (Spain). Mycotaxon 113: 439–442.
  • Burgess M., Hillers A., Bannah D., Mohamed S., Swaray M., Turay B.S., Vickery J., Lindsell J. (2017) The importance of protected and unprotected areas for colony occupancy and colony size in White-necked Picathartes (Picathartes gymnocephalus) in and around Gola Rainforest National Park, Sierra Leone. Bird Conservation International 27: 244–255.
  • Carascal M.B., Rea M.A.D., Dagamac N.H.A., dela Cruz T.E.E. (2017) Myxomycetes associated with grassland litter in the Philippines. Current Research in Environmental and Applied Mycology 7: 56–63.
  • Chen X., Lupi F., Jianguo L. (2017) Accounting for ecosystem services in compensating for the costs of effective conservation in protected areas. Biological Conservation 215: 233–240.
  • Colwell R.K. (2014) EstimateS: statistical estimation of species richness and shared species from samples. Version 7. User’s Guide and application. Available from [accessed 23 Apr. 2014].
  • Corpuz I.R., Martinez C.C., Petilla K.N., Baranda J.C., Buaya A., dela Cruz T.E.E. (2012) Occurrence and diversity of myxomycetes (plasmodial slime molds) in Mt. Palay-palay National Park, Cavite, Philippines. Acta Manilana 60: 57–65.
  • Dagamac N.H.A., Stephenson S.L., dela Cruz T.E.E. (2012) Occurrence, distribution and diversity of myxomycetes (plasmodial slime molds) along two transects in Mt. Arayat National Park, Pampanga, Philippines. Mycology 3: 119–126.
  • Dagamac N.H.A., Stephenson S.L., dela Cruz T.E.E. (2014) The occurrence of litter myxomycetes at different elevations in Mt. Arayat National Park, Pampanga, Philippines. Nova Hedwigia 98: 187–196.
  • Dagamac N.H.A., Rea-Maminta M.A.D., dela Cruz T.E.E. (2015a) Plasmodial slime molds of a tropical karst forest, Quezon National Park, the Philippines. Pacific Science 69: 411–422.
  • Dagamac N.H.A., Rea-Maminta M.A.D., Batungbacal N.S., Jung S.H., Bulang C.R.T., Cayago A.G.R., dela Cruz T.E.E. (2015b) Diversity of plasmodial slime molds (myxomycetes) on coastal, mountain, and community forest of Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, the Philippines. Journal of Asia-Pacific Biodiversity 8: 322–329.
  • Dagamac N.H.A., Novozhilov Y.K., Stephenson S.L., Lado C., Rojas C.A., dela Cruz T.E.E, Unterseher M., Schnittler M. (2017a) Biogeographical assessment of myxomycete assemblages from Neotropical and Asian Palaeotropical forest. Journal of Biogeography 44: 1524–1536.
  • Dagamac N.H.A., dela Cruz T.E.E., Rea-Maminta M.A.D., Aril-dela Cruz J.V., Schnittler M. (2017b) Rapid assessment of myxomycete diversity in the Bicol Peninsula, Philippines. Nova Hedwigia 104: 31–46.
  • Devkota M.P., Joshi G.P., Parajuli P. (2010) Diversity, distribution and host range of mistletoe in protected and unprotected areas of Central Nepal Himalayas. Banko Janakari 20: 14–20.
  • Dhaou S.O., Abdallah F., Belgacem A.O., Chaieb M. (2010) The protection effects on floristic diversity in a North African pseudo-savanna. Pakistan Journal of Botany 42: 1501–1510.
  • Farr M.L. (1976) Flora Neotropica Monograph No. 16 (Myxomycetes). New York, New York Botanical Garden.
  • Gray C.L., Hill S.L.L., Newbold T., Hudson L.N., Börge L., Contu S., Hoskins A.J., Ferrier S., Purvis A., Scharlemann J.P.W. (2016) Local biodiversity is higher inside than outside terrestrial protected areas worldwide. Nature Communications 7: 12306.
  • Hammer Ø., Harper D.A.T., Ryan P.D. (2001) PAST: Paleontological statistics software package for education and data analysis. Palaeontologia Electronica 4: 1–9.
  • Kamono A., Kojima H., Matsumoto J., Kawamura K., Fukui M. (2009) Airborne myxomycete spores: detection using molecular techniques. Naturwissenschaften 96: 147–151.
  • Ko Ko T.W., Tran H.T.M., Stephenson S.L., Mitchell D.W., Rojas C., Hyde K.D., Lumyong S., Bahkali A.H. (2010) Myxomycetes of Thailand. Sydowia 62: 243–260.
  • Lado C. (2005–2017) NomenMyx: an on line nomenclatural information system of Eumycetozoa. Available at: [accessed 19 Dec. 2017].
  • Lado C., Estrada-Torres A., Stephenson S.L. (2007) Myxomycetes collected in the first phase of a north-south transect of Chile. Fungal Diversity 25: 81–101.
  • Macabago S.A.B., Dagamac N.H.A., dela Cruz T.E.E. (2010) Diversity and distribution of plasmodial myxomycetes (slime molds) from La Mesa Ecopark, Quezon City, Philippines. Biotropia 17: 51–61.
  • Macabago S.A.B., Stephenson S.L., dela Cruz T.E.E. (2016) Diversity and distribution of myxomycetes in coastal and mountain forests of Lubang Island, Occidental Mindoro, Philippines. Mycosphere 7: 18–29.
  • Macabago S.A.B., Dagamac N.H.A., dela Cruz T.E.E., Stephenson S.L. (2017) Implications of the role of dispersal on the occurrence of litter-inhabiting myxomycetes in different vegetation types after a disturbance: a case study in Bohol Islands, Philippines. Nova Hedwigia 104: 221–236.
  • Martin G.W., Alexopoulos C.J. (1969) The Myxomycetes. Iowa City, University of Iowa Press.
  • Martin G.W., Alexopoulos C.J., Farr M.L. (1983) The genera of Myxomycetes. Iowa City, University of Iowa Press.
  • Ndiritu G.G., Spiegel F.W., Stephenson S.L. (2009) Distribution and ecology of the communities of myxomycetes associated with major vegetation types in Big Bend National Park, USA. Fungal Ecology 2: 168–183.
  • Novozhilov Y.K., Zemlianskaia I.V., Schnittler M., Stephenson, S.L. (2006) Myxomycete diversity and ecology in the arid regions of the Lower Volga River Basin (Russia). Fungal Diversity 23: 193–241.
  • Novozhilov Y.K., Mitchell D.W. (2014) A new species of Comatricha (Myxomycetes) from southern Vietnam. Novosti Sistematiki Nizshikh Rastenii 48: 188–195.
  • Novozhilov Y.K., Stephenson S.L. (2015) A new species of Perichaena (Myxomycetes) with reticulate spores from southern Vietnam. Mycologia: 107: 137–141.
  • Novozhilov Y.K., Erastova D.A., Shchepin O.N., Shnittler M., Alexandrova A.V., Popov E.S., Kuznetsov A.N. (2017) Myxomycetes associated with monsoon lowland tropical forests in southern Vietnam. Nova Hedwigia 104: 143–182.
  • Økland T., Rydgren K., Økland R.H., Storaunet K.O., Rolstad J. (2003) Variation environmental conditions, understorey species number, abundance and composition among natural and managed Picea abies forest stands. Forest Ecology and Management 117: 17–37.
  • Orimaye J.O., Ogunyemi O.O., Okosodo E.F., Ojo V.A., Agbelusi T.O. (2016) Butterfly species diversity in protected and unprotected habitat of Ise Forest Reserve, Ise Ekiti, Ekiti State. Advances in Ecology 2016: 7801930.
  • Paillet Y., Bergès L., Hjälten J., Ódor P., Avon C., Bernhardt-Römermann M., Bijslma R.-J., De Bruyn L., Fuhr M., Grandin U., Kanka R., Lundin L., Luque S., Magura T., Matesanz S., Mészáros I., Sebastià M.-T., Schmidt W., Standovár T., Tóthmérész B., Uotila A., Valladares F., Vellak K., Virtanen R. (2009) Biodiversity differences between managed and unmanaged forests: meta-analysis of species richness in Europe. Conservation Biology 24: 101–112.
  • Pecundo M.H., Dagamac N.H.A., Stephenson S.L., dela Cruz T.E.E. (2017) First myxomycetes survey in the limestone forest of Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Palawan, Philippines. Nova Hedwigia 104: 129–141.
  • Poulain M., Meyer M., Bozonnet J. (2011) Les Myxomycètes. Fédération mycologique et botanique Dauphiné-Savoie. France, Sevrier.
  • Redeña-Santos J.C., Dunca J.A.U., Duong V.T., Dagamac N.H.A. (2017) Myxomycetes occurring on selected agricultural leaf litter. Studies in Fungi 2: 171–177.
  • Rojas C., Stephenson S.L. (2008) Myxomycete ecology along an elevation gradient on Cocos Island, Costa Rica. Fungal Diversity 29: 117–127.
  • Schickmann S., Urban A., Kräutler K., Nopp-Mayr U., Hackländer K. (2012) The interrelationship of mycophagous small mammals and ectomycorrhizal fungi in primeval, disturbed and managed Central European mountainous forests. Oecologia 170: 395–409.
  • Schnittler M. (2000) Foliicolous liverworts as a microhabitat for Neotropical Myxomycetes. Nova Hedwigia 72: 259–270.
  • Schnittler M., Unterseher M., Tesmer J. (2006) Species richness and ecological characterization of myxomycetes and myxomycete-like organisms in the canopy of temperate deciduous forest. Mycologia 98: 223–232.
  • Schnittler M., Novozhilov Y.K., Romeralo M., Brown M., Spiegel F.W. (2012) Myxomycetes and Myxomycete-like organisms. In: Frey W. (ed.) Engler’s syllabus of plant families: 12–88. Stuttgart, Borntrager.
  • Schnittler M., Dagamac N.H.A., Novozhilov Y.K. (2017) Biogeographical patterns in myxomycetes. In: Stephenson S.L, Rojas C. (eds) Myxomycetes: biology, systematics, biogeography, and ecology: 299–331. The Netherlands, Elsevier.
  • Sedberry G.R.,Carter H.J., Barrick P.A. (1999) A comparison of fish communities between protected and unprotected areas of the Belize reef ecosystem: implications for conservation and management. Proceedings of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute 45: 95–127.
  • Stephenson S.L., Stempen H. (1994) Myxomycetes: a handbook of slime molds. Portland, OR, USA, Timber Press Inc.
  • Stephenson S.L., Kalyanasundaram I., Lakhanpal T. (1993) A comparative biogeographical study of myxomycetes in the mid-Appalachians of eastern North America and two regions of India. Journal of Biogeography 20: 645–657.
  • Stephenson S.L. (2003) Myxomycetes of New Zealand. Hong Kong, Fungal Diversity Press.
  • Stephenson S.L., Schnittler M., Novozhilov Y.K. (2008) Myxomycete diversity and distribution from the fossil record to the present. Biodiversity and Conservation 17: 285–301.
  • Tran H.T.M., Stephenson S.L., Novozhilov Y.K. (2017) Myxomycetes of Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh Publisher.
  • van Hooff J.P.M. (2009) Cribraria tecta, a new myxomycete from Vietnam. Boletín de la Sociedad Micológica de Madrid 33: 129–136.
  • Viana D.S., Gangoso L., Bouten W., Figuerola J. (2016) Overseas seed dispersal by migratory birds. Proceedings of the Royal Society B Biological Science 283: 20152406.
  • Wichman M.C., Alexander M.J., Soons M.B., Galsworthy S., Dunne L., Gould R., Fairfax C., Niggeman M., Hails R.S., Bullock J.M. (2009) Human-mediated dispersal of seeds over long distances. Proceedings of the Royal Society B Biological Science 276: 523–532.