Conclusion

The interactions between Basidiomycota and invertebrates take various forms. Direct benefits may be associated with food and habitat resources, and in some cases, protection; the fungi may also kill some fauna. More indirect effects relate to changes in nutrient distribution, rate of decomposition and effects of both fungal and invertebrate community structures. Chemicals emanating from Bas-idiomycota may also have marked influence on invertebrate foraging strategy and behaviour. Modern techniques (e.g. image analysis, stable isotope studies) allow us to study these interactions in some detail; there remains, however, a dearth of studies which specifically explore the consequences of these interactions on a number of ecosystem processes. This is in marked contrast to our knowledge and understanding of the role, for example, of invertebrate herbivory on plant productivity, transpiration and decomposition rates (Crawley, 1983; Strong et al., 1984). Similarly, although limited speculation is possible on how these interactions, and the consequential effects on nutrient cycling, decomposition and soil fertility, will be affected by predicted climate change scenarios, it remains an area demanding scientific attention.

0 0

Post a comment