Processing of leaf litter is an important function in many environments and is influenced strongly by microorganisms. We investigated interactions between an aquatic hyphomycete, Tetrachaetum elegans, and two bacteria from the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides group, that were isolated from decaying leaves in a stream. Laboratory experiments were used to examine interactions, as indicated by growth, between bacteria and fungi on sugar maple (Acer saccharum) leaves. Responses to amendments with labile dissolved organic carbon (DOC) were also examined. Fungal biomass was not affected by glucose amendment or bacterial presence. Likewise, bacterial biomass did not respond consistently to the glucose amendment, nor did the fungus affect bacterial biomass. In general, we found little evidence of resource competition or facilitation, in contrast to other studies. Our experiments suggest that fungal–bacterial interactions are not always significant and may depend on environmental conditions and the types of microorganisms examined.
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