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Amorbach, Germany

Griffith G.W.,Aberystwyth University | Woods R.G.,Aberystwyth University | Easton G.L.,Aberystwyth University | Halbwachs H.,Bavarian Mycological Society
Fungal Ecology | Year: 2014

Hygrocybe and the other macrofungal taxa associated with low nutrient grasslands have intrigued mycologists because of the uncertainty of their trophic status. Various lines of evidence have suggested that they may be biotrophic, rather than saprotrophic. However, the mechanism of such an association is not yet established. We conducted simple field experiments aiming to shed some more light into the nutritional biology of these fungi. Application of selective biocides to small areas of turf where Hygrocybe spp. had previously fruited revealed that removal of all vegetation (glyphosate) inhibited subsequent fruiting, as did removal of grasses (Fusilade), whereas removal of herbs (Agritox) or mosses (FeSO4) had no effect. These findings are in line with a biotrophic association with grasses but the mechanism of such an interaction still eludes discovery. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and The British Mycological Society. Source


Bassler C.,Bavarian Forest National Park | Muller J.,Bavarian Forest National Park | Svoboda M.,Czech University of Life Sciences | Lepsova A.,Pecin 16 | And 3 more authors.
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2012

Rapid destruction of forest habitats has led to the establishment of protected areas in formerly managed forests with the aim of restoring biodiversity. Conservation in spruce-dominated reserves is often contradicted by salvage logging after insect outbreaks. Here we study the community characteristics of wood decaying fungi in a high montane Norway Spruce forest with three different management types: (1) a formerly managed area disturbed by a large-scale bark beetle outbreak, (2) an area with continuous salvage logging, and (3) an old-growth forest. Bark beetle activity in the disturbed area resulted in downed wood amounts comparable to those of the old-growth forest. However, species accumulation curves for the disturbed forest were more similar to those of the logged forest than to those of the old-growth forest. This arose because of differences in the diversity of wood decay classes; wood decay in the disturbed forest was more homogeneous. Logs in the disturbed forest originated almost exclusively from bark-beetle-infested trees, but the causes of tree mortality in the old-growth forest were manifold. Although most red-listed species were clearly confined to old-growth forest, Antrodiella citrinella was most abundant in the disturbed forest. Our analysis furthermore showed that the between stand scale is the most effective unit for diversity wood-decaying fungi. We therefore suggest a conservation strategy for preserving old-growth forests and establishing protected forest stands to enhance structural heterogeneity in spruce-dominated forests. For this, a careful screening of protected areas throughout Europe is necessary to provide managers with guidelines for conservation. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source


Bassler C.,Bavarian Forest National Park | Halbwachs H.,German Mycological Society | Karasch P.,Bavarian Mycological Society | Holzer H.,Bavarian Mycological Society | And 5 more authors.
Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2016

Organisms have evolved a fascinating variety of strategies and organs for successful reproduction. Fruit bodies are the reproductive organ of fungi and vary considerably in size and shape among species. Our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the differences in fruit body size among species is still limited. Fruit bodies of saprotrophic fungi are smaller than those of mutualistic ectomycorrhizal fungi. If differences in fruit body size are determined by carbon acquisition, then mean reproductive traits of saprotrophic and ectomycorrhizal fungi assemblages should vary differently along gradients of resource availability as carbon acquisition seems more unpredictable and costly for saprotrophs than for ectomycorrhizal fungi. Here, we used 48 local inventories of fungal fruit bodies (plot size: 0.02 ha each) sampled along a gradient of resource availability (growing stock) across 3 years in the Bavarian Forest National Park in Germany to investigate regional and local factors that might influence the distribution of species with different reproductive traits, particularly fruit body size. As predicted, mean fruit body size of local assemblages of saprotrophic fungi was smaller than expected from the distribution of traits of the regional species pool across central and northern Europe, whereas that of ectomycorrhizal fungi did not differ from random expectation. Furthermore and also as expected, mean fruit body size of assemblages of saprotrophic fungi was significantly smaller than for assemblages of ectomycorrhizal species. However, mean fruit body sizes of not only saprotrophic species but also ectomycorrhizal species increased with resource availability, and the mean number of fruit bodies of both assemblages decreased. Our results indicate that the differences in carbon acquisition between saprotrophs and ectomycorrhizal species lead to differences in basic reproductive strategies, with implications for the breadth of their distribution. However, the differences in resource acquisition cannot explain detailed species distribution patterns at a finer, local scale based on their reproductive traits. © 2016 Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source


Bassler C.,Bavarian Forest National Park | Heilmann-Clausen J.,Copenhagen University | Karasch P.,Bavarian Mycological Society | Brandl R.,University of Marburg | Halbwachs H.,Bavarian Mycological Society
Fungal Ecology | Year: 2015

Currently we have only a limited understanding of the evolutionary and ecological significance of reproductive traits of fungi. We compared data on fruit body size, spore size and shape between saprotrophic and mutualistic (ectomycorrhizal) fungi in Northern and Central Europe. Lifestyle and reproductive traits showed strong phylogenetic signals. A phylogenetically informed analysis demonstrated that saprotrophs produce on average smaller fruit bodies than mutualistic species. The two guilds, however, do not differ in spore size. Overall this suggests that fruit bodies of ectomycorrhizal fungi produce on average more spores than saprotrophic fungi. We argue that this difference is related to resource availability: ectomycorrhizal fungi receive carbon from their hosts and, therefore, evolution favours large fruit bodies, whereas the fruit body size of saprotrophic fungi might have responded to resource availability and the distribution and size of resource patches. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and The British Mycological Society. Source


Halbwachs H.,Bavarian Mycological Society | Dentinger B.T.M.,Jodrell Laboratory | Dentinger B.T.M.,Aberystwyth University | Detheridge A.P.,Aberystwyth University | And 2 more authors.
Fungal Ecology | Year: 2013

The trophic strategy of the globally distributed waxcaps (Hygrophoraceae) is uncertain. Some clues point to a biotrophic mode, particularly the 13C and 15N (stable isotopes) signatures. The observation of dense basal hyphae of Hygrocybe fruit bodies being tightly attached to live fine roots may be indicative of a plant-derived nutritional habit. To further scrutinize this fungus-plant association, stipe base samples and attached plant fragments were examined histologically. Waxcap hyphae were found growing inside live fine roots of associated vegetation. Amplification and sequencing of waxcap DNA from living root tissues using species-specific PCR primers also confirmed their presence in live plant roots. We therefore conclude that this group of fungi has a biotrophic lifestyle with plants. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and The British Mycological Society. Source

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