Nine species of microfungi and eight basidiomycetes were assessed singly and in pairwise or three-way combination for their potential capacity for primary resource capture of agar media, sterile straw and sterile soil. When single species were ranked by extension rate, results on straw and soil agreed broadly with those from agar media, although the rates were much slower in straw. In pairwise and 3-way interactions on sterile soil, colonization proceeded as predicted from the mycelial extension rates of single species on agar, sterile soil and sterile straw, although extension of some species was significantly slower in combination than singly. There was some agreement between the outcome of pairwise interactions observed on 2% malt extract agar medium and sterile soil of four test species, and on straws in non-sterile soil of Agrocybe gibberosa. The four species could be ranked in combative order: A. gibberosa = Sphaerobolus stellatus ≫ Mucor hiemalis and Chaetomium globosum. Cord formation by basidiomycetes was more pronounced in soil than on agar media, and when in close proximity to other species. © 1993, British Mycological Society. All rights reserved.
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