Cord-forming basidiomycetes are important decomposers of dead wood in forest ecosystems but the impact of mycophagous soil invertebrates on their mycelia are little known. Here we investigate the effects of different grazing intensities of Collembola (Folsomia candida) on mycelial foraging patterns of the saprotrophic cord-forming basidiomycetes Hypholoma fasciculare, Phanerochaete velutina and Resinicium bicolor growing from beech (Fagus sylvatica) wood block inocula in dishes of non-sterile soil. Mycelial extension rate and hyphal coverage decreased with increased grazing intensity. R. bicolor was most affected, high grazing density resulting in only a few major cords remaining. Grazing of H. fasciculare often resulted in points of more rapid outgrowth as cords with a fanned margin. In grazed mycelia of P. velutina the main cords had fanned tips and lateral cords became branched. These results suggest that mycophagy by Collembola may hinder the growth of cord-forming fungi in woodlands, which might impact on the ability of these fungi to forage for and decompose dead organic material. © 2006 The British Mycological Society.
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