The roles of endolithic fungi in bioerosion and disease in marine ecosystems. I. General concepts

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Journal Article
Mycology, 2017, 8 (3), pp. 205 - 215
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© 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Endolithic true fungi and fungus-like microorganisms penetrate calcareous substrates formed by living organisms, cause significant bioerosion and are involved in diseases of many host animals in marine ecosystems. A theoretical interactive model for the ecology of reef-building corals is proposed in this review. This model includes five principle partners that exist in a dynamic equilibrium: polyps of a colonial coelenterate, endosymbiotic zooxanthellae, endolithic algae (that penetrate coral skeletons), endolithic fungi (that attack the endolithic algae, the zooxanthellae and the polyps) and prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms (which live in the coral mucus). Endolithic fungi and fungus-like boring microorganisms are important components of the marine calcium carbonate cycle because they actively contribute to the biodegradation of shells of animals composed of calcium carbonate and calcareous geological substrates.
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