Table 2

The mean (± 1 se) values for culturable fungi and bacteria in laboratory and field fungal gardens
Laboratory gardens All laboratory gardens All field gardens
Elown=9 Ehighn=9 n=18 n=19
% symbiont fungi1 11(5) 51(9) *** 31(7) 34(8)
% non-symbiont fungi2 95(6) *** 64(6) 80(6)*** 37(5)
Non-symbiont fungal diversity3 0.45(0.06) 0.63(0.04)** 0.54(0.04) 0.88(0.03)***
% bacteria4 7(3) 9(3) 8(2) 43(4)***

* P<0.05, **P<0.01, ***P<0.001 using a t test.

1. The mean percentage of fungal isolates from the garden that produced a colony of the ants’ fungal garden symbiont.

2. The mean percentage of fungal isolates from the garden that produced a fungal colony that was not the ants’ symbiont. These non-symbionts included fungi known to be endophytes, soil fungi, and parasites of the ants’ symbiont.

3. Diversity was estimated as the number of morphospecies per isolate on a plate with fungal garden isolates. Values range from 0 to 1, with 1 as the highest diversity level in a case where each isolate is a unique morphospecies.

4. The mean percentage of fungal isolates from the garden that produced a bacterial growth.

Van Bael et al.

Van Bael et al. BMC Ecology 2012 12:23   doi:10.1186/1472-6785-12-23

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