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New species of a nivicolous myxomycete described from the Andes

In the recent issue of Mycologia, an article presenting a complex morphological and phylogenetical analysis of Didymium nivicola populations from their entire geographical range has been published. Statistical analyses of the herbarium collections of this species revealed a group of specimens characterised by distinct morphology and differences on the genetic level. This group represents a new species of nivicolous myxomycetes, Didymium pseudonivicola, which was described in detail in the above-mentioned article. Contrary to the ubiquitous D. nivicola, D. pseudonivicola has so far only been reported to occur in the Andes in Argentina and Chile. It is therefore the sixth species of nivicolous myxomycetes described from South America, the distribution of which is restricted to the world's longest mountain range. This discovery adds to our earlier data which altogether point at the Andes as a remarkable biodiversity and evolution centre for nivicolous myxomycetes.

The article is a part of Paulina Janik's doctoral dissertation prepared under the supervision of Anna Ronikier at the Molecular Biogeography and Systematic Group of the W. Szafer Institute of Botany PAS.

The original article:

{article title="Janik Szczepaniak Lado Ronikier - 2021 - Mycologia 113: 1327–1342"}[text]{/article}

Didymium pseudonivicola sporophores.
Photo: Carlos de Mier.

Spores and fragment of capillitium of Didymium pseudonivicola.
Photo: P. Janik.

The Andes.
Photo: A. Ronikier.