Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Distribución de la población y la variabilidad de la capa mucosa de Calastoma cinnabarium en el Bosque Nuboso de Monteverde, Costa Rica



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Publication Date

August 2006


Comprising an entire kingdom to themselves, fungi have been poorly studied relative to their diversity and importance across ecosystems. Calastoma cinnabarium is one of these widely distributed but understudied mushrooms found throughout the Americas. The purpose of this study was to examine its elevational distribution at Monteverde, Costa Rica and adaptive value of its distinctive mucosal-sheath to investigate its possible role in moisture regulation. Population censuses were conducted along an elevational gradient through two life zones in the Monteverde Cloud Forest in parallel with a study determining mucosal-sheath mass to cap size diameter. Additionally, the adaptive value of mucosal-sheathing was examined through the removal and subsequent 16-day exposure to high elevation environmental conditions. Population size was not significantly correlated with elevation (R2 = 0.077, p-value = 0.315, n = 15). Mucosal-sheath mass to cap diameter ratio varied significantly between elevations (F-value = 4.89, p-value = 0.001, df = 4, n = 128) and supported the prediction that it serves to prevent desiccation at lower elevations. The mucosal sheath was found to confer a fitness advantage to C. cinnabarium by helping it cope with abiotic factors such as moisture and temperature, but not for biotic conditions, such as fungivory (2 = 6.15, p-value = 0.046, df = 2, n = 40). Results from this experiment reinforce the notion of high fungal environmental specificity and shows how this constraint drives specialized morphology.


Comprendiendo un reino en si mismos, los hongos han sido poco estudiados en relación a su diversidad e importancia a lo largo de los ecosistemas. Calastoma cinnabarium es uno de estos hongos ampliamente distribuidos y muy poco estudiados que se encuentran en todo el continente americano. El propósito de este estudio fue examinar la distribución altitudinal y el valor adaptivo de la capa mucosa de C. cinnabarium con el fin de investigar su posible papel en la regulación de la humedad.


Mushrooms, Cloud forest ecology, Plants--Adaptation, CIEE Summer 2006

Palabras claves

Hongos, Ecología del bosque nuboso, Plantas--Adaptación, CIEE Verano 2006


10 pages

Geographic Location

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve (Costa Rica); Monteverde (Puntarenas, Costa Rica)

Ubicación geográfica

Reserva Biológica Bosque Nuboso Monteverde (Costa Rica)

Holding Location

Monteverde Institute


English; Spanish

Media Type



Digital Only





Population distribution and variability of mucosal-sheath mass of Calastoma cinnabarium in the Cloud Forest of Monteverde, Costa Rica, August 2006



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