Effects of mushroom size on the structure of a mycophagous arthropod community: Comparison between infracommunities with different types of resource utilization


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The effects of the size of a patchy resource on the structure of a mycophagous arthropod community were examined by comparing numerical responses to the size of individual mushrooms between visitor and dweller communities. A total of 17 fungal genera in nine families were identified during the 13 month survey period. A total of 35 arthropod families from nine orders were recorded, with the Hypogastruridae (Collembola) forming 97% of the number of individuals in the visitor community. The response of the visitor community (i.e. number of families, number of individuals, density per mushroom size and diversity) to mushroom size varied in each survey month according to hypogastrurid density. The response of the community composition to mushroom size also varied monthly with hypogastrurid density. In the dweller community, 12 families in three orders were recorded, and one coleopteran and five dipteran families accounted for 90% of the number of individuals. Although the density of dwellers in a mushroom varied between months, the response of the community properties to mushroom size was consistent throughout the survey period. Community composition varied monthly with mushroom size. These results suggest that the size of individual mushrooms is likely to have a greater effect on the structure of dweller communities than visitor communities. Thus, the characteristics of a patchy resource may exert different impacts on the structure of different arthropod communities utilizing the same resource, but in a different manner.