One hundred tree species from 4 different forest types (25 from each forest) of the Western Ghats were studied for the occurrence of Pestalotiopsis as foliar endophytes. Morphological and ITS sequence study confirmed that species of Pestalotiopsis are generalist endophytes infecting taxonomically unrelated tree hosts. Furthermore, a single tree species harboured more than one species of this endophyte. Considering the leaf as a microhabitat, such a wide ecological amplitude of Pestalotiopsis as a foliar endophyte appears to be the result of accumulation of a suite of traits which are governed by the environment. This could be one of the reasons for the existence of generalist fungi among endophytes transcending host taxonomic and habitat restrictions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Ecological Modelling
- Plant Science