Conservation of wood-inhabiting fungi is complicated

December 5, 2018, University of Jyväskylä
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Many wood-inhabiting fungi suffer from the changes caused by forest management. For that reason, the different fungal groups and tree species should be better addressed in the conservation planning. New information about the wood-inhabiting fungi of boreal forest helps to assess the effects of forest management more precisely than before.

Recommendations for conservation should be at least group specific

In her ecology and evolution biology Ph.D. thesis, Jenna Purhonen from University of Jyväskylä (Finland) studied, what kind of relationship there was between forest naturalness as well as the quality of dead wood and the diversity of different fungal groups inhabiting standing dead pines, and large grounded dead wood of birches, Norway spruce, Scotch pine and European aspen. Based on the results, it can be estimated on what kind of or species groups forest management has positive or negative effect.

"Different fungal groups had different responses to forest management history and the response of a certain depended on the in question. Broadleaved dead wood had communities with higher species richness than coniferous dead wood. However, the species inhabiting conifers suffered most from the management. Thus, the conservation of wood-inhabiting fungi should be at least group specific," Purhonen explains.

Unnoticeable is also important

Jenna Purhonen studied also the most poorly known fungal groups.

"I sampled also the smallest species visible to the and thus got new information from many unnoticeable sac fungi, corticioids and heterobasidiomycetes. This is important, as the current knowledge about the effects of is based mostly on species that are easy to detect, like polypores," Purhonenpoints out.

Jenna Purhonendefends her doctoral dissertation "Dead wood and fungi: detection, diversity and conservation in boreal forests" on Friday14th of December 2018 at 12:00in the lecture hallYAA303at Ylistönrinne. The opponent is Associate professor Mari T. Jönsson (ArtDatabanken, Sweden) and custos is Docent Panu Halme (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in English.

Explore further: Dead trees are alive with fungi

More information: Dead wood and fungi : detection, diversity and conservation in boreal forests.

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