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

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Author list: Edman, Mattias

Publication year: 2017

ISSN: 0168-6496

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/femsec/fix002

URL: https://doi-org.proxybib.miun.se/10.1093/femsec/fix002

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Abstract

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 effects that decomposer diversity (species richness and assemblage composition) have on wood decomposition when the climatic variables and substrate quality vary simultaneously. We used two temperature (16 and 21°C) and two humidity (70% and 90%) levels at two wood qualities (wood from managed and old-growth forests) of Pinus sylvestris. In a nine-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 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 - and assemblage composition - specific properties to improve predictive capacity in regard to decomposition related carbon dynamics.


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