The diet of the Red-legged Pademelon Thylogale stigmatica has previously been described as comprising a range of dicotyledonous and monocotyledonous plants, rainforest fruits, seeds, and some fungi. We collected T. stigmatica faecal samples from a rainforest-open forest ecotone in northeastern Australia and analysed them for the presence of fungal spores. Of the 20 samples collected, 12 contained spores of several types of hypogeous fungi, with the number of spore types per sample ranging from 1-7, with a mean of 5. Twenty fungal spore types were recognised in total; seven of these could be attributed to hypogeous (‘truffle-like’) ectomycorrhizal genera, and most others had spore morphologies suggestive of a hypogeous habit. This is the first report of consumption of ectomycorrhizal hypogeous fungi by the genus Thylogale, and as such, adds important new information on the role these forest-dwelling wallabies might play in dispersing hypogeous fungi across the dynamic interface between rainforest and open forest in eastern Australia.
Hypogeous fungi in the diet of the red-legged pademelon Thylogale stigmatica from a rainforest-open forest interface in northeastern Australia
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Karl Vernes, James Trappe; Hypogeous fungi in the diet of the red-legged pademelon Thylogale stigmatica from a rainforest-open forest interface in northeastern Australia. Australian Zoologist 1 December 2007; 34 (2): 203–208. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2007.019
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