Fungi in Biofilms of Highly Acidic Soils
Acidophilic fungi colonize highly acidic environments (including soils), where other closely taxonomically related fungi cannot grow. Currently known fungal species inhabiting highly acidic sites can be regarded as extreme or moderate acidophiles with broad ecological amplitude. No obligate acidophilic fungus has been described to date. The most abundant biological structures encountered in highly acidified water environments are the microbial communities forming biofilms, which reflects the notion of biofilm formation as adaptation to extreme conditions (here the extreme acidity). Because the majority of soil microorganisms are living in the biofilm, significant analogies in ecology of acidophilic organisms inhabiting the soil and organisms inhabiting biofilms in other acidic environments (streamers, slimes, mats, snottites) are probable. Observations of extremophilic fungal taxa in acidic soils and other acidic environments suggest that it is the acidity of the environment and not its type what substantially determines the community of the inhabiting fungi. Acidophily of fungi (including those living in acidic soils) is probably connected with their life strategy as biofilm inhabitants and represents a general ecological phenomenon that merits serious scientific study.
KeywordsAcidity Biofilm Soil Extremophilic fungi Diversity
Footnote: This text has been created within the frame of the project 17-09946S supported by the Czech Science Foundation. We would like to thank Dr. Miroslav Kolařík (Institute of Microbiology ASCR, The Czech Republic) for providing microscopic photos.
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