Forest fire drives long-term community changes of wood-decaying fungi in a boreal forest archipelago
Abstract: Conservation of wood-decaying fungi requires improved knowledge about the long-term effects of forest management; regarding habitat loss, fragmentation and fire suppression. To better understand such effects, I examined the influence of area, isolation, fire history and forest stand characteristics on communities of wood-decaying fungi. Species richness and composition were studied along a gradient of 22 forested islands varying in size (0.16 to 17.58 ha) and fire history (spanning 5000 years) in a boreal forest archipelago in northern Sweden. A total of 490 records of 41 polypore species were found in 33 circular plots, each 0.1 ha in size. Species richness and the number of red-listed species were analyzed using generalized linear models (GLMs), while species composition was examined using non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) ordination. The species composition was clearly different between recent-fire (< 300 years since last fire) and old-fire (≥ 300 years since last fire) islands, mirroring the shift in tree species composition as pine-associated fungal species were replaced by spruce-associated fungal species. The volume of logs was the only variable influencing the species richness, although the diversity of logs showed a clear trend of also influencing species richness positively. The results demonstrate the importance of having both recent-fire and old-fire forests as landscape-level habitats and species pools, where fire naturally would constitute a key role for maintaining forest biodiversity in the boreal forest landscape. The results also stress the importance of dead wood for species richness at the individual forest stands.
AT THIS PAGE YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE ESSAY. (follow the link to the next page)