Micromycetes from the Saline Arubotaim Cave: Mount Sedom, The Dead Sea Southwestern Shore, Israel


Isabella Grishkan, Eviatar Nevo, Solomon P Wasser
Journal of Arid Environments Volume 57, Issue 4, June 2004, Pages 431-443


We examined the soil microfungal community of the saline Arubotaim Cave, Israel. A total of 68 species from 28 genera were isolated. The most prominent features of the cave mycobiota were: the prevailing number of melanin-containing micromycetes; the abundant presence of the Aspergillus species; a comparatively large share of sexual ascomycetes; and the spatial and temporal variation of the mycobiota composition. Nine species were considered as a characteristic micromycete core for the cave. Many of the micromycetes isolated are distributed worldwide. This confirms the conclusion of many mycologists working in areas with saline and arid soils that there is no specific halophilous mycobiota characteristic for these soils.