Stand-replacing wildfires alter the community structure of wood-inhabiting fungi in southwestern ponderosa pine forests of the USA

Valerie J. Kurth, Nicholas Fransioli, Peter Z Fule, Stephen C. Hart, Catherine A Gehring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Increases in stand-replacing wildfires in the western USA have widespread implications for ecosystem carbon (C) cycling, in part because the decomposition of trees killed by fire can be a long-term source of CO2 to the atmosphere. Knowledge of the composition and function of decay fungi communities may be important to understanding how wildfire alters C cycles. We assessed the effects of stand-replacing wildfires on the community structure of wood-inhabiting fungi along a 32-yr wildfire chronosequence. Fire was associated with low species richness for up to 4 yr and altered species composition relative to unburned forest for the length of the chronosequence. A laboratory incubation demonstrated that species varied in their capacity to decompose wood; Hypocrea lixii, an indicator of the most recent burn, caused the lowest decomposition rate. Our results show that stand-replacing wildfires have long-term effects on fungal communities, which may have consequences for wood decomposition and C cycling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-204
Number of pages13
JournalFungal Ecology
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2013

Fingerprint

Pinus ponderosa
wildfires
wildfire
coniferous forests
community structure
fungus
fungi
chronosequences
chronosequence
decomposition
species diversity
decay fungi
decayed wood
degradation
fungal communities
long term effects
species richness
incubation
atmosphere
ecosystems

Keywords

  • C cycling
  • Fungal diversity
  • Fungal species richness
  • ITS1F-ITS4
  • Molecular methods
  • Mycelial isolation
  • Wood decomposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Ecology

Cite this

Stand-replacing wildfires alter the community structure of wood-inhabiting fungi in southwestern ponderosa pine forests of the USA. / Kurth, Valerie J.; Fransioli, Nicholas; Fule, Peter Z; Hart, Stephen C.; Gehring, Catherine A.

In: Fungal Ecology, Vol. 6, No. 3, 06.2013, p. 192-204.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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