Population Demography

The basic entities for population dynamics can be described by

where P is the population size, B the birth rate, I the immigration, D the death rate and E the emigration. However, in basidiomycetes, B can be equated to spore dispersal within the population, I to spore recruitment from outside, D is the actual death of mycelia and emigration E must be omitted as the entire biomass of a fungus does not usually move out of an area. An exception is loss of entire resource units, for example logs washed away by rivers. Not surprisingly, there are few demographic studies of fungal populations (Worrall, 1999; Gustafsson, 2002). To perform demographic studies thoroughly, information on the dynamics of mycelial establishment and development, sporocarp dynamics including lifespan, actual spore releases, mycelial turnover rates in various types of resources and spore dispersal gradients are needed. The growing interest in fungal conservation biology (Chapter 18) urges this approach.

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