Wood Decay Basidiomycetes in Boreal Forests Distribution and Community Development

Jan Stenlid, Reijo Penttila and Anders Dahlberg

Contents 1. Introduction 239

2. The Importance of Boreal Wood 241

3. The Decay Community Complex 242

4. Geographic Distribution Zones 243

5. Approaches for Studying the Community 247

6. Community Development in Wood Resource Units 250

7. Stand and Landscape Level 252

8. Disturbance Regimes 253 Acknowledgements 256 References 256

Abstract Dead wood and wood-inhabiting fungi are of key importance for biodiversity in boreal forests, and also for global CO2 dynamics. Of more than 10,000 non-lichenised fungal species in Fennoscandia, over 2,500 are wood-inhabiting. Anthropogenic influences such as forest harvesting and fire suppression have reduced the availability of dead wood in forests, resulting in many wood-decay fungi being considered threatened. Classic inventory approaches have been complemented by pure culture studies of mycelia and recently by molecular detection methods. Nutrient cycling and interspecific interactions play important parts in the development of fungal communities. Boreal fungal communities are, in general, less diverse and more similar on a global scale compared to communities from the temperate regions.

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