Introduction

Several factors influence fungal distribution patterns at geographical scales from landscapes to continents, and these are reviewed here. Some relate to the conditions for fungal establishment and growth as influenced by climate and host tree distribution, and others relate to dispersal dynamics at various scales in time and space. Over geological time continental drift and glaciations have influenced distribution patterns of species and species groups, and have allowed allopatric speciation in populations that become geographically isolated. In the shorter time perspective man has caused very significant changes to the distribution, abundance and composition of dead-wood habitats at various geographical scales, and consequently to communities of wood-decay fungi.

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