Bacteria in decomposing wood and their interactions with wood-decay fungi

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Abstract

The fungal community within dead wood has received considerable study, but far less attention has been paid to bacteria in the same habitat. Bacteria have long been known to inhabit decomposing wood, but much remains underexplored about their identity and ecology. Bacteria within the dead wood environment must interact with wood-decay fungi, but again, very little is known about the form this takes; there are indications of both antagonistic and beneficial interactions within this fungal microbiome. Fungi are hypothesised to play an important role in shaping bacterial communities in wood, and conversely, bacteria may affect wood-decay fungi in a variety of ways. This minireview considers what is currently known about bacteria in wood and their interactions with fungi, and proposes possible associations based on examples from other habitats. It aims to identify key knowledge gaps and pressing questions for future research.

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