Assemblage composition of fungal wood-decay species has a major influence on how climate and wood quality modify decomposition

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


The interactions among saprotrophic fungal species, as well as their interactions with environmental factors, may have a major influence on wood decay and carbon release in ecosystems. We studied the effect that decomposer diversity (species richness and assemblage composition) has on wood decomposition when the climatic variables and substrate quality vary simultaneously. We used two temperatures (16 and 21°C) and two humidity levels (70% and 90%) with two wood qualities (wood from managed and old-growth forests) of Pinus sylvestris. In a 9-month experiment, the effects of fungal diversity were tested using four wood-decaying fungi (Antrodia xantha, Dichomitus squalens, Fomitopsis pinicola and Gloeophyllum protractum) at assemblage levels of one, two and four species. Wood quality and assemblage composition affected the influence of climatic factors on decomposition rates. Fungal assemblage composition was found to be more important than fungal species richness, indicating that species-specific fungal traits are of paramount importance in driving decomposition. We conclude that models containing fungal wood-decay species (and wood-based carbon) need to take into account species-specific and assemblage composition-specific properties to improve predictive capacity in regard to decomposition-related carbon dynamics.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles