Effects of different forest management types, species of deadwood and geographical regions on wood-inhabiting fungal diversity and community structure
Despite the importance of fungi for the functioning of forest ecosystems, the drivers causing changes in fungal diversity and community structure in the substrate deadwood are still poorly understood. Interactions of the different drivers may be important and could affect fungal diversity and community structure. The main objective of our study is to investigate the complex effects of different forest management types, species of deadwood and geographical regions and also the interaction among these three drivers on wood-inhabiting fungal diversity and community structure using a DNA fingerprint method (fungal automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis, F-ARISA). Specifically, this experiment includes thirteen deadwood species under three different forest management types (managed age-class European beech, managed age-class conifers, unmanaged age-class European beech; n = 9 each) located in plots of the German Bidioversity Exploratories Schorfheide-Chorin (North-Eastern Germany), Hainich-Dün (Central Germany) and Swabian Jura (South-Western Germany).
We carried out a preliminary study with three replicates on thirteen deadwood tree species within semi-natural European beech (Fagus sylvatica) forests in the Hainich-Dün Exploratory. Overall, a total of 173 fungal OTUs were detected. Significant effects of deadwood species on fungal OTU richness (P = 0.03) were observed. The fungal OTU richness ranged from 4 in Quercus sp. and Prunus sp. to 23 in Carpinus sp. Different deadwood species appeared to have different fungal community structure (Bray-Curtis similarity: 0 - 0.66) and composition (Jaccard similarity : 0.03 - 0.30). Deadwood types (deciduous vs. coniferous) did not significantly affect fungal richness and diversity (P > 0.05) but significantly affected on fungal community structure (NPMANOVA based on Bray-Curtis similarity with 9999 permutations, P = 0.0056) and composition (NPMANOVA based on Kulczynski index with 9999 permutations, P = 0.047). We conclude that different species of deadwood do affect richness and community structure and composition of wood-inhabiting fungi in semi-natural beech forests. However, it is important to investigate also the effect of different management types and geographical regions before drawing general conclusions, something which this long-term experiment enables to do.