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FUNWOOD - The effect of forest management intensity on the diversity of wood-decaying fungi and dead wood decomposition

Summary

 

Dead wood (coarse woody debris, CWD) is a key habitat element in all forest ecosystems. Dead wood is decayed by various types of organisms such as insects, bacteria and fungi. Fungi, chiefly Basidiomycota and a few Ascomycota, play a dominant role. Here, we intend to investigate the influence of tree species and fungal diversity along a forest management intensity gradient on wood decay and ecosystem processes such as gaseous CO2 emissions and nitrogen fixation. Most studies on dead wood decomposition have focused on old-growth forests, where large amounts of dead wood and concomitantly diverse and species-rich fungal communities occur. However, whether the decomposition patterns in dead wood are altered through patterns in fungal colonization which are related to the forest management (intensity, landscape context) and tree species identity is largely unknown. The BELongDead experiment provides the chance to analyse these processes in dead wood of 13 tree species in differently managed forest types. We hypothesize that forest management intensity and species identity of dead wood influences richness and diversity of wood decaying fungi. In turn fungal diversity influences wood decomposition rates in the form of density loss and CO2 emissions. In addition, we assume that increasing N deposition reduces asymbiotic N-fixation in wood and lowers the resource partitioning for N among wood decaying fungal species.

 

The project is a research grant in the context of the Biodiversity Exploratories funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

 

Supervisor: Prof. Dr.  Jürgen Bauhus
Researcher: Kristin Baber, Tiemo Kahl
Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Duration: Since 02/2009 bis 2017

Partner:

Prof. Dr. Francois Buscot, UFZ Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Sciences, Department of Soil Ecology, Halle
  Prof. Dr. Martin Hofrichter, International Graduate School of Zittau, Unit of Environmental Biotechnology, Zittau
  Dr. Dirk Krüger, UFZ Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Sciences, Department of Soil Ecology, Halle

 

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