Phyllosphere fungi show high species diversity and fulfill important ecological functions not only in natural forests but also in plantations. We sought to estimate the species diversity and community structure of phyllosphere fungi from tropical tree plantation plots in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. We conducted a massively parallel amplicon sequencing analysis of fungi collected from the leaves of Shorea leprosula (Dipterocarpaceae), an ecologically and commercially important tree species. Phyllosphere fungal compositions and spatial variability were investigated for 31 S. leprosula trees across four plots within a plantation stand. In total, 488 fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were recognized in 153,194 ribosomal internal transcribed spacer reads at 95% OTU identity level. Rare OTUs accounted for the majority of fungal diversity detected in the study site; 200 OTUs (41%) comprised fewer than 10 reads and 465 OTUs (95%) were found in fewer than half of the samples. Fungal OTU compositions of S. leprosula trees were differentiated within a narrow area of the plantation and even between plots that were separated by 15 m. These findings indicate that highly diverse fungal OTUs form spatially structured communities even within a tropical plantation stand of single tree species.
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