Dead wood, living legacies: habitat for a host of fungi.Author(s): Sally Duncan; Jonathan Thompson
Source: Science Findings 66. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 5 p
Publication Series: Science Findings
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
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DescriptionThe web of life that exists below ground and out of sight may be the final frontier for forest ecologists. Among the many unknowns in this realm are the thousands of species of so-called ectomycorrhizal fungi, those fungi that have mutual-need associations with both trees and mammals.
The richness and diversity of ectomycorrhizal fungi species contribute directly to biodiversity, and also have a significant impact on forest function through their interactions with other species. These fungi are extremely difficult to survey and identify; however, recent Station research has established better understanding of how fungi interact with forests of all ages.
The results suggest that fungi species change as forests age, and that unique species assemblages are found in each stage of forest development. In addition, the findings are providing data to address critical conservation biology questions such as how well legacy structures provide for aspects of biodiversity. Such knowledge is essential for making sound management decisions about the conservation of forest species, the organisms they support, and forest ecosystem sustainability.
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CitationDuncan, Sally; Thompson, Jonathan. 2004. Dead wood, living legacies: habitat for a host of fungi. Science Findings 66. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 5 p
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