Temporary forest ponds are depressions that annually cycle between non-inundated and inundated stages and are recognized as biodiversity hotspots for amphibians and other taxa. However, little is known about the microbial communities of temporary forest ponds and less is known about chytrids, an inconspicuous, early diverging lineage of fungi, present in such ponds. We sampled soil and water from a temporary forest pond in the Oakmulgee District of the Talladega National Forest. Chytrids were isolated from the samples using baits and standard isolating techniques. Isolated strains were identified using the monophyletic-species concept based on a molecular phylogeny inferred from an alignment of the nuclear large subunit rDNA. A total of 30 strains were isolated, which represented 7 species. Due to the limitations of a culture-based method in being able to culture all chytrids that are present, we have described only a portion of the chytrid community. This study, however, is foundational to future inventories that apply a multiphasic approach to further reveal chytrid diversity in this understudied and variable habitat.
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Vol. 15 • No. 3