Microfungus communities of white spruce and trembling aspen logs at different stages of decay in disturbed and undisturbed sites in the boreal mi×edwood region of Alberta

  • Lumley T
  • Gignac L
  • Currah R
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Abstract

Fallen logs of trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) and white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) at various stages of decomposition were sampled from undisturbed and 1-, 14-, and 28-year-old post-fire and post-harvest sites in northern Alberta and studied for differences in the associated microfungus communities. Wood samples were plated directly onto each of six different media and, from these, fungal species were identified and enumerated over a 24-month period. Approximately 10 000 isolates were obtained, representing 292 species of filamentous microfungi, including 41 ascomycetes, 29 zygomycetes, and 222 mitosporic fungi. The most commonly isolated species were Trichoderma viride (Gray) Pers., Rhinocladiella atrovirens Nannf., Penicillium pinophilum Hedgcock, and Mortierella ramanniana (Moller) Linnem. Cluster analysis and ordination of microfungus communities in logs showed that the tree species of the log had the greatest influence on the species composition of communities. Fungus community composition was also correlated with the stage of decomposition. Species richness was highest in logs from undisturbed sites and lowest in logs from the most recently disturbed sites. Species diversity (Shannon-Weaver) was only slightly higher at undisturbed sites than at disturbed sites. The most significant environmental factor was log moisture, which increased proportionately with stage of decomposition and was significantly correlated with climatic factors.

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Authors

  • Trevor C. Lumley

  • L. Dennis Gignac

  • Randolph S. Currah

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