Microfungi of Île-des-Soeurs (Nun’s Island) 2017-2018, Montreal, Quebec (Canada)
Take bus # 168 from downtown Montreal to Île-des-Soeurs. You won’t regret it. A fifteen minute bus ride from the heart of downtown Montreal will deliver you to Carolinian woods, freshwater habitats, the St Lawrence river as well as some interesting urban environments. All nestled in the growing community on Île-des-Soeurs.
About 70 yr. ago Île-des-Soeurs was owned and solely inhabitated by the nuns (soeurs) of the Congrégation Notre‑Dame. For over 200 years they had maintained the land as agricultural but by the early 1960s they had left the Island and the province merged it with the municipality of Verdun. The opening of the Champlain bridge in 1962 lead to significant urban development and many Montrealers chose to move there because of the proximity to both nature and the city life of downtown. It is a relatively small island (3.74 sq km) and densely populated (18,000 as of 2011) yet it still retains its natural allure (Wikipedia, Nun’s Island, Wikipedia.org).
During 2017 and 2018 I spent two winters here (December to early April) and collected microfungi.
a) Domaine Saint-Paul – This area resembles a Carolinian woods where white oak, blue beech and shagbark hickory are abundant as well as sugar maple and red ash. The former three are near the northern limits of their distribution. The ground cover and herbaceous plants consist of extensive colonies of skunk cabbage, Trillium spp., jack-in-the-pulpit, Smilacina spp. and many Carex spp. Marie-Victorin (1995, 3rd edition) provides a broad discussion of the area in his section du triangle montrealais.
b) Freshwater ponds and the St. Lawrence River – Numerous small and large ponds are scattered in Domaine Saint-Paul and are especially evident during the spring snow melt. Around the shore of the St Lawrence river (Le fleuve) is a wonderful trail with easy access to the water’s edge. The fleuve is considered freshwater at this location.
c) Urban environment – The numerous streets and sidewalks are lined with basswood, ash and willow. The terrestrial part of the walking trail around the fleuve is considered urban. During 2018 the municipality implemented a cull of many ash trees that were infested with ash tree borer. The resulting piles of trunks and branches were left in open areas for several days before being “chipped”. These provided interesting collecting sites particularly branches that were previously high in the canopy and inaccessible.
Microfungi: No reports of microfungi from ÎLE-DES-SOEURS (Mycoquebec.org)
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Collections were made during December and May 2016/2018 following the same methods as outlined in the article on Microfungi of PEI (this website). All are deposited in the NB Museum.
The following is a list of species arranged by habitat (Domaine Saint-Paul, Freshwater or Urban). Some that I found interesting are described and illustrated at the end of this article as selected species and habitats.
a) List of Species
Habitat – Domaine Saint-Paul
|GENUS||SPECIES and ID REFERENCES||COLLECTION DATE||HABITAT - DOMAINE SAINT-PAUL
|Prosthecium||acrocystis (Peck) Barr. |
(Barr, 1978; Wehmeyer, 1941)
|March 5/18 on Île-des-Soeurs. Same species found on PEI June 9, 2011||a) Domaine Saint-Paul. On branch of Betula sp|
|maculiforme C.G. Nees ex Persoon. (Pirozynski, 1962)||March 16/18||a) &b) Domaine Saint-Paul - on wet wood near standing pond.|
|Splanchnonema||ampullaceum (Pers. Ex Fries) |
Shoemaker & Leclair. (Barr, 1982)
|May 5/18||a) Domaine Saint-Paul – on branch of live tree (Tilia sp.).|
|Neohendersonia||kickxii (Westd.) Sutton & Pollack. (Sutton, 2004)||March 6/18||a) Domaine Saint-Paul – on dead branch of live tree (Fagus sp.).|
|Cheirospora||botryospora (Mont.) Berk. & Br. (Sutton, 2004)||March 6/18||a) Domaine Saint-Paul - on dead branch of living tree (Fagus sp.).|
|Coryneum||cf carpinicola Sutton. (Sutton, 2004; Jiang et al., 2019)||March 6/18||a) Domaine Saint-Paul – on dead twig of dying tree. Possibly Carpinus caroliniana|
|cf alni Barr. (Barr, 1993)||May 2 or 5/18||a) Domaine Saint-Paul - on dead twig on living tree (Ostrya or Carpinus sp.).|
|Asteromassaria||cf macrospora (Desm.) v. Hohn. (Barr M.E., 1982); Shoemaker & LeClair, 1975)||March 6/18||a) Domaine Saint-Paul - on dead twig on living tree (unknown, possibly Fagus sp.|
|Splanchnonema||argus (Berk. & Br.) O. Kuntze. (Barr, 1982)||March 6/18||a) Domaine Saint-Paul - on dying twigs of living tree (Fagus sp.)|
|Cryptosporella/Winterella (Ophiovalsa)||wehmeyeriana (J. Reid & C. Booth) L.C. Mejia & Castleb. (Meija et al., 2011; Reid J and Booth C, 1987)||March 16/18||a) Domaine Saint-Paul – on small twig on live tree (Tilia sp.)|
|Massariovalsa||sudans (Berk. & Curtis) Sacc. (Wehmeyer, L.E. 1941)||March 26/18||a) Domaine Saint-Paul - on twigs on recently fallen tree, 2-3 yr (Acer saccharum/rubrum)|
Habitat – Freshwater and Fleuve
|GENUS||SPECIES and ID REFERENCES||COLLECTION DATE||HABITAT - FRESHWATER AND FLEUVE
|Phomatospora||cf luteotingens Fournier & Lechat. (Fournier & Lechat, 2010)||April 9/18||b) Freshwater – On submerged wood in Le fleuve.|
|caesium Nees. (Hughes, 1951)||March 18/18||b) Freshwater – On shore of Le fleuve. On wet wood|
|radiata (Ellis & Everhart) Nag Raj. (Nag Raj, 1993)||May 3/18||b) Freshwater – On shore of Le fleuve. On wet wood (possibly Celtis occidentalis).|
|Psuedohalonectria||sp.||March 15/18||b) Freshwater – On submerged wood in Le fleuve.|
|Bloxamia||truncata Berk & Br. (Nag Raj, 1975)||April 6/18||b) Freshwater - shore of Le fleuve. On submerged wood.|
|Minutisphaeria||cf japonica Kaz., Tanaka, Raja Shearer. (Raja et al. 2013, 2015)||April 19/18||b) Freshwater – shore of Le fleuve. On submerged wood.|
|Naidella||fluitans Maranova & Bandoni. (Maranova & Bandoni, 1987)||March 16/18||b) Freshwater – shore of Le fleuve. On submerged wood.|
|Camposporium||pellucidum (Grove) Hughes. (Ellis, 1971 and Matsushima, 1971)||March 17/18||b) Freshwater – shore of Le fleuve. On submerged wood.|
|Dictyosporium||cf bulbosum Tzean & Chen. (Goh et al. 1999)||March 16/18||b) Freshwater - shore of Le fleuve. On wet wood.|
|Trichocladium||lignicola Schmidt. (Ellis, 1971).||March 20/18||b) Freshwater - shore of Le fleuve. On wet wood.|
|cf brachypus (Ell. & Ev.) Hughes. (Ellis, 1971; Wang, 2010 as Ellisembia brachyus)||March 28/18||b) Freshwater- shore of Le fleuve. Unknown wood developed in moist chamber after 3-4 days.|
Habitat – Urban
|GENUS||SPECIES and ID REFERENCES||COLLECTION DATE||HABITAT - URBAN
|Helminthosphaeria||cf ludens (Morgan) Huhndorf & Miller. (Miller et al., 2014)||Sept 18/16||c) Urban - walking trail. In wounded area of dead branch on living tree (Fraxinus sp.)|
|Coryneum||cf brachyurum Link. (Sutton, 2004; Barr, 1978).||Dec 5/18||c) Urban Environment – walking trail beside Le fleuve. On branch of live tree (Betula sp.)|
|Encoelia||cf fascicularis (Alb. & Schw.) Karsten. (Hansen, Lise & Henning Knudsen, 2000)||Jan 29/18||c) Urban Environment – beside sidewalk. On branches recently cut lying on the ground (maybe Fraxinus or a cultivated shrub).|
|simplex (Nits. Ex Otth.) Petrak. (Rappaz, 1995)||Jan 30/18 and March 25/18||a) Domaine Saint-Paul and c) Urban Environment on Tilia sp|
|cf traversianum (Peyronel) Ellis. (Reblova et al. 2020)||Jan 26/18||c) Urban Environment – near sidewalk in pile of cut logs from ash tree borer cull. On exposed decorticated branch (Fraxinus sp.).|
|cf australe (Slippers, Crous & M.J. Wingf.) Crous, Slippers & A.J.L. Phillips. (Crous et al. 2006)||Feb 26/18||c) Urban Environment – on branch of live tree near apartment (possibly Fraxinus or Tilia sp.).|
|cf fraxini Crous. (Crous et al. 2012)||Jan 26/18||c) Urban Environment - on dead twigs on trees cut down to rid ash tree borer Mtl bylaw. Twig probably from high in canopy now on ground|
|Ophiognomonia||melanostyla (D.C.:Fr.) Berl. (Sogonov et al. 2008).||May 3/18||c) Urban Environment – on fallen leaves beside apartment.|
|Decaisnella||cf mesascium (De Not.) Barr. (Barr, 1990 and Ascofrance website)||Feb 26/18||c) Urban Environment – on fallen twig on ground near Île-des-Soeurs library and La Socca restaurant.|
|Trybliopsis||pinastri (Pers. Ex Fr.) Karsten. (Livesay & Minter, 1994)||Jan 25/18||c) Urban Environment – on planted tree beside apartment. On dead twigs of live tree (Abies or Picea sp.).|
|Diaporthe||fibrosa (Pers.) Fuckel. (Wehmeyer, 1941)||Jan 25/18||c) Urban Environment – on shrub beside apartment. On dead twigs of live shrub (Rhamnus sp.).|
|Cryptovalsa||rabenhorstii (Nits.) Sacc. (Berlese Vol 3)||December 3/17||c) Urban Environment – on unknown fallen branch beside apartment. Possibly Acer, Fraxinus or Ulmus sp.).|
|Lophiostoma||quadrinucleatum var triseptatum (Peck) Chesters & Bell. (Chesters & Bell, 1970)||Sept 15/16||c) Urban Environment – walking trail|
|Acrospermum||graminum Lib. (Webster, J. 1956; Ellis & Ellis. 1997)||March 30/18||c) Urban Environment – walking trail beside Le fleuve. On dead grass stems (Phleum sp.).|
|cf maculans (Fabre) Barr. (Barr, 2003)||April 9/18||c) Urban Environment - walking trail beside Le fleuve. On decorticated twigs on live tree (Populus sp.).|
|Ophiobolus||herpotrichus (Fr.) Sacc. (Shoemaker, 1976)||April 6/18||c) Urban Environment - walking trail beside Le fleuve. On unknown dead grass stems.|
|Barrmaelia||macrospora (Nitschke) Rappaz. (Rappaz, F. 1995; Voglmayr et al. 2018).||Sept 15/16||c) Urban Environment – walking trail. On dead decorticated branch (Populus sp.).|
A. HABITATS –
- Microfungi of Domaine Saint-Paul (Photos) – Numerous microfungi were collected on dead fallen twigs and branches of Carya, Carpinus, Acer and Quercus spp. Two species, Neofusicoccum cf australe (Photos) and Asteromassaria cf alni (Photos), may be new records for Canada.
- Microfungi from freshwater habitats (Photos) – Many species similar to those found in PEI were identified but possibly represent new records for Quebec. Of particular note are Sporidesmium cf brachypus (Photos), Gonytrichum caesium (Photos) and Circinotrichum macularis (Photos) which have not previously been reported from freshwater habitats in North America. (Shearer and Raja (2010) Freshwater Ascomycetes Database: http://fungi.life.illinois.edu/ (accessed on Jan 6/2020)
- Microfungi from urban environments (Photos) – The ash tree cull provided woodpiles with some interesting coelomycetes, particularly Polynema radiatum (Photos) and Pseudolachnea cf fraxini (Photos). Both of which are rarely reported. Thyridaria (Lophiostoma) maculans (Photos) is also of interest as it may represent a new record for Canada and possibly North America.
B. COLLECTION TIME
One can find a significant number of identifiable fungi during the winter. Malloch (winter fungi nb museum mycology web pages) records over 70 species collected in Ontario and New Brunswick and the present work yielded over forty for Île-des-Soeurs. Although the weather is often cold and snowy, Canadian winters are punctuated with short thaws and warmer periods which may allow fungi to get a quick start on the spring season. I suspect that most of the Île-des-Soeurs collections developed in this stop/start fashion. Of particular interest were the following four as they are rarely reported (Mycoportal.org).
- Asteromassaria alni (Photos) and macrospora – Both species produce anamorphs and teleomorphs. Almost all collections listed on Mycoportal occurred during the winter and early spring. Those that differed could have been collected at high altitudes or perhaps the teleomorph was predominant during the colder periods and the anamorph more common during a warmer time of year.
- Leptomassaria simplex (Photos) – No anamorphs have been associated with this species. All collections in Europe were made during late winter or early spring. The sole North American record is from Georgia at the end of June, 1940. While Georgia in June is hardly winter-like, the location is recorded as near Neal’s Gap which is at an altitude of over 4000 ft and therefore possibly quite cool.
- Thyridaria/Lophiostoma maculans (Photos)– No anamorphs are recorded for this species. The only reports of this species are from France (Mycoportal.org and Ascofrance.com). The latter was collected in April 2011.
- Polynema cf radiatum (Photos) – The only report for this species was by Nag Raj (Appendaged Coelos, 1993) and was collected on Dec 2 in 1887.Perhaps these species are infrequently collected because we look at the wrong time of year.
The rich and diverse environment found on Île-des-Soeurs, so close to a large metropolitan area, should not go unexplored. There are few such places left in Canada.
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