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Fire, hypogeous fungi and mycophagous marsupialsAuthor(s): James M. Trappe; Andrew W. Claridge; Ari Jumpponen
Source: Mycological Research, Vol. 109, p. 516-518
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
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DescriptionIn their interesting research on post-fire foraging behaviour of northern bettongs (Bettongia tropica) in tropical Queensland, Australia, Vernes et al. (2004) used forage-diggings of their study animals to locate plots for estimating biomass of hypogeous fungi on prescribed-burnt sites in comparison with unburnt control sites. They concluded that within a few weeks after each experimental fire, biomass on burnt sites peaked at very high levels compared with unburnt sites, and then decreased markedly to very low levels within 2-3 months post-fire. The peak in biomass on burnt sites was largely due to increased biomass of species within the family Mesophelliaceae...' They noted that '...the density of B. tropica forage-diggings did not increase after fire, suggesting that the intensity of foraging did not change. However, the rate at which B. tropica foraged for sporocarps (diggings made per metre travelled) was significantly higher on burnt ground compared with adjacent unburnt ground, suggesting that foraging efficiency increased following fire, presumably due to increased biomass of sporocarps'. Vernes et al. reasoned that the post-foraging biomass in the plots centered at forage-digging sites reflected real changes in the availability of the fungal resource 'as perceived by B. tropica'.
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CitationTrappe, James M.; Claridge, Andrew W.; Jumpponen, Ari. 2005. Fire, hypogeous fungi and mycophagous marsupials. Mycological Research, Vol. 109, p. 516-518
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