Wood-inhabiting fungal communities in woody debris of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.), as reflected by sporocarps, mycelial isolations and T-RFLP identification


  • Editor: Julian Marchesi

Johan Allmér, Department of Forest Mycology and Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, PO Box 7026, S-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden. Tel.: +46 18 672794; fax: +46 18 673599; e-mail: Johan.Allmer@mykopat.slu.se


Wood-inhabiting fungi play a key role in forest ecosystems and constitute an essential part of forest biodiversity. We therefore examined the composition and abundance of wood-inhabiting fungi by three methods: sporocarp counts, mycelial culturing and direct amplification of internal transcribed spacer terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism from wood combined with sequencing of reference rDNA. Seven-year-old slash piles left after a thinning were analyzed in a 50-year-old Norway spruce plantation. Fifty-eight fungal species were detected from the piled branches and treetops. More species were revealed by sporocarp counts and cultured mycelia than by direct amplification from wood. In principle, sporocarp monitoring may reveal all fruiting taxa, but it poorly reflects their relative abundance in the wood. In contrast, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism will record the most frequent fungal taxa in the wood, but it may overlook uncommon taxa. Culturing mycelia from wood gives a bias towards species favoured by the cultural medium. The results demonstrate the advantage and the limitations of these methods to be considered in analyses of fungal communities in wood.