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Title Estimation of fungus-growing termites and their symbiotic fungi (Termitomyces sp.) diversity and abundance through a gradient of land use in the LAMTO region (Côte d’Ivoire)

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Author(s) Koné, N. A.(1); Konaté, S.(1); Daouda, K.(2); Linsenmair, K.E.(3)

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Institution(s) (1) University of Abobo-Adjamé, UFR Sciences de la Nature et de l’environnement Centre de Recherche en Ecologie, Station de Recherche en Ecologie de Lamto 02 BP 801 Abidjan 02 (Côte d’Ivoire); (2) University of Cocody-Abidjan, UFR Biosciences, Laboratoire de Physiologie Végétale; (3) Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology, University of Wurzburg

Keywords fungus-growing termites, mound size, symbiosis, Termitomyces, diversity, sporocarps.

Abstract In Côte d’Ivoire, studies on fungi are generally devoted to animal and plant pathogens. This situation contrasts with the medicinal and nutritional importance of edible mushrooms. Fungi of the genus Termitomyces produce sporocarps on the mounds of their symbiotic termites. Biological factors that govern and determine the seasonal fructification of these fungi are unsatisfactorily documented and the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. This study aims to (1) characterize Termitomyces fructification sites in the LAMTO region, (2) assess Termitomyces and their symbiotic termites biodiversity along a gradual land use disturbance level and finally, (3) analyse the influence of the size of termite mounds on the productivity of Termitomyces sporocarps. Mounds located in three sites (strictly protected forest, rural forest and cocoa plantation) were followed during the period of sporocarp production. Termites and fungi were collected and identified to genus and species level, respectively. Termitomyces were predominantly found in densely wooded areas. Results also revealed that in the LAMTO region, five main genera of fungus-growing termites (Odontotermes, Ancistrotermes, Pseudacanthotermes Macrotermes and Microtermes) and seemingly only three Termitomyces species (Termitomyces letestui Heim, 1942; Termitomyces schimperi Heim, 1952 and Termitomyces sp1) which could be the main symbiont of the termite genus Pseudacanthotermes, Odontotermes and Ancistrotermes respectively. Biodiversity and relative abundance of fungus-growing termites decreased with increasing anthropogenic disturbance level and the amount of sporocarps harvested on mounds is correlated to their size and the land use type of the fructification site.

Congress Topic Land use, impact and value

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Ref. No. 625