Distribution Patterns of Wood Decay Basidiomycetes at the Landscape to Global Scale

Jacob Heilmann-Clausen and Lynne Boddy

Contents

1.

Introduction

264

2.

Continents, Glaciations, Bioregions: What do we know about their

Relevance for Distribution Patterns of Wood-Decay Fungi?

264

3.

Climate as a Factor Affecting Distribution of Wood-Decay Fungi

265

4.

Impact of Man on Current Distribution of Wood-Decay Fungi in

Europe

266

4.1 Changes in Habitat Availability

266

4.2 Local Scale Effects

267

4.3 Fragmentation Effects

270

4.4 Combined Effects of Changes in Habitat Composition and

Fragmentation

271

References

273

Abstract Distribution patterns of fungi and other organisms are influenced by several factors over various scales in time and space. With their microscopic, often wind-dispersed spores, fungi are potentially able to disperse between continents, and many wood-inhabiting fungi with broad host ranges have been thought to have more or less global distribution patterns. With increased insight in fungal taxonomy outside Europe, and the use of molecular methods and mating experiments, it is becoming increasingly clear that many species, previously thought to have a wide distribution, actually circumscribe several biological taxa, each with a much more restricted distribution. Thus, continental drift, glaciations and other long-term geological and geographical factors have more impact on the current distribution patterns of fungi than believed earlier. At the continental scale, climate and host tree distribution patterns are important factors influencing the distribution of wood-inhabiting species, and climate change is likely to affect the distribution patterns of wood-inhabiting fungi considerably in the coming centuries. In the short time, man has had a strong impact on the abundance and distribution of dead wood habitat types, and this has clearly affected

British Mycological Society Symposia Series © 2008 The British Mycologica! Society

Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

current distribution and frequency of many species. Most importantly, species strictly associated with large decaying logs have decreased in many parts of Europe, while common species associated with coniferous wood have expanded in many regions, due to widespread planting of coniferous trees, where such species are naturally absent or infrequent.

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