Predecessor Successor Relationships

All species involved in wood decomposition alter the wood, though changes vary depending on species and conditions. For example, structural compounds, e.g. cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, are removed to different extents, resulting in different types of rot, e.g. brown rot, white rot and soft rot (Rayner and Boddy, 1988; Chapter 2). Also, stimulatory and inhibitory secondary metabolites are produced, that can remain active even after death of the fungus (HeilmannClausen and Boddy, 2005). Not surprisingly, therefore, earlier decay agents may influence subsequent community development. Some specific early decay fungi of coniferous wood appear to have a large influence on which later stage decay fungi become established (Renvall, 1995; Holmer et al., 1997; Chapter 12), and likewise predecessor-successor relationships seem to occur in angiosperm wood. For example, Antrodiella hoehnelii almost always follows Inonotus nodulosus and I. radiatus, while Hericium coralloides is typically a successor of Inonotus obliquus, I. cuticularis or F. fomentarius in Scandinavia and Central Europe (Niemela et al., 1995; Heilmann-Clausen and Christensen, 2004). In most cases the mechanisms underlying predecessor-successor relationships are poorly known, but for Lenzites betulina following Trametes versicolor a temporary parasitic relationship occurs (Rayner et al., 1987; Chapter 7). More permanent parasitic relationships occur in several Tremella species parasitizing various wood-inhabiting fungi (e.g. Zugmaier et al., 1994).

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