Interspecific carbon exchange and cost of interactions between basidiomycete mycelia in soil and wood

  • Wells J
  • Boddy L
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Abstract

1.?The outcome of interactions between wood decay basidiomycete fungi is affected by the size of territory held by a mycelium. We investigated the outcomes of interactions between the cord-forming saprotrophs Phanerochaete velutina (DC: Pers.) Parm., Phallus impudicus (L.) Pers. and Hypholoma fasciculare (Huds: Fr) Kumner over 152–155 days, determined as ability to capture or share territory in soil and wood, in terms of decay partitioning and the carbon cost of interactions.\r
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2.?The outcome of interactions in wood alone differed from those in which the fungi competed for an opponents’ inoculum in soil microcosms. Competitive ability (the ability to capture or co-occupy an opponent’s inoculum) varied according to species and inoculum age. In wood block pairings in the absence of soil there was evidence that P. velutina opportunistically utilized C previously mobilized within an opponent’s inoculum.\r
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3.?In soil systems, short-term (28-day) respiratory losses of preloaded 14C (supplied as glucose) indicated that interaction could have a substantial C cost, depending on the resource quality of the opponents’ inocula. Phallus impudicus inocula accumulated 14C from opponents’ mycelia during ‘deadlock’ interactions, although reciprocal interspecific 14C transfer was not observed.\r
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4. ?Saprotrophic cord-forming basidiomycetes are considered to be highly conservative of acquired nutrients, representing a significant nutrient reservoir in woodland ecosytems. Here we demonstrate that a potential major pathway for nutrient mineralization by this group is nutrient loss during competitive interactions in soil.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Carbon
  • Mycelial cords
  • Saprotrophic basidiomycetes
  • Wood decay

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