Nemania maritima Ju & Rogers
or with a few perithecia enclosed, at times coalescent in linear groups or multiperitheciate
and effused up to 9 x 3 mm, when young immersed to half-erumpent, coated with or surrounded
by a waxy whitish tissue, later nearly superficial, subglobose, 0.5-0.7 mm diam,
carbonaceous; surface dark brown to blackish brown, finely roughened; interperithecial
tissue black, host tissue irregularly blackened beneath the stromata. Perithecia
subglobose, 0.4-0.6 mm diam. Ostioles coarsely papillate, conical, shiny
Asci cylindrical, short-stipitate, the spore-bearing parts 51-75 µm
long x 7-8 µm broad, the stipes 27-31 µm long, with apical apparatus
amyloid, somewhat triangular, 1.3-1.5 µm high x 2 µm broad. Ascospores
9.5-12 (-13) x 4.8-5.5 µm, pale brown, ellipsoid nearly equilateral with broadly
rounded ends, frequently suballantoid, 1-2-seriate in the ascus, with a short
fairly conspicuous germ slit 3.5-4 µm long.
Specimens examined: FRANCE: Pyrénées Atlantiques (64):
Anglet plage, Chiberta, 10 Mar. 1996, FC-431, leg. F. Candoussau, on Baccharis halimifolia.
Vendée (85): Jard s/ Mer, plage
de Ragounite, 04 Jun. 2003, JF-03102,
leg. Paul Leroy, on Quercus ilex; La Tranche s/ Mer, plage de La Terrière,
30 Avr. 2000, PL-00617 F, leg. Paul Leroy, on Quercus ilex; same location,
03 Jun. 2003, JF-03075, on a dead stump of Quercus ilex; same location
and date, JF-03076, on Populus nigra. TAIWAN: Taipei Co.,
Pa-li, 4 Dec. 2000, Ju, Y-M. 89120401, on dead wood of Kandelia candel
Notes: A first collection of this fungus (as FC-431) had been
suspected, based on morphological features, to be conspecific with N.
maritima, a taxon recently described from mangroves in Taiwan (Ju
& Rogers, 2002), but owing to the peculiar ecology of the latter and the
lack of cultural data about the former, its identification was still pending.
Several recent collections allowed to confirm the predilection of this taxon
for coastal environment, and a fresh specimen was sent to Dr. Ju
(Taipei University, Taiwan) who kindkly accepted to culture it. He observed that
it readily produced the teleomorph in culture, without producing an anamorph,
just like N. maritima. This last feature is highly characteristic, and
combined with the similar morphological and ecological characters, allowed Dr.
Ju to identify the french fungus as N. maritima.
Nemania maritima has been recently recorded from Hong Kong and Thailand
(Ju, pers. comm.) and is likely to be present in all mangroves and
tropical coastal vegetations, but our record is the first from a temperate region. As
it is restricted to the narrow edge of the coastal forest which is
in contact with the sea shore, this fungus is likely to require the presence
of a salted environment. Its distribution along the European coasts remains
to be assessed, in particular regarding its north extension.
We were recently informed of records of N. maritima in Denmark
and England (Laessĝe, 2003), still with
the same ecology restricted to beaches and saline environment. The distribution of this species
is thus proved to be much wider than previously thought, regardless of latitude.
It may be found on dead branches on the ground, but it is much more frequent
on the sapwood of dead stumps of Quercus ilex, while a collection
on dead wood of Populus nigra shows it is not host-specific.
Laessĝe (2003) reported it on decorticated wood
of Alnus, Fagus, Fraxinus, Populus Quercus and Ulmus.
In the field, this taxon could be easily confused with N.
confluens which has similar uniperitheciate stromata more or less immersed
in the substrate. However, it differs from N. confluens
in its shiny black conical ostioles and microscopically in having much shorter and paler ascospores with broadly
rounded ends and
a short germ slit.