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Harvard Forest Research Project 2022

  • Title: Distributions of macrofungi: quantifying ecosystem and climate drivers of fungal reproduction
  • Principal investigator: Serita Frey (
  • Institution: University of New Hampshire - Main Campus
  • Primary contact: Serita Frey (
  • Team members:
  • Abstract:

    We will examine the distributions of both asexual and sexual stages of macrofungi across the United
    States by combining fruiting body collections with co-located samples of fungal DNA in soils, litter, plant
    tissues, and the air, at eight NEON and LTER sites across the continent. Using the extensive climatic and
    geographic scope of the study, containing diverse plant communities and fire disturbances, we will test
    how environmental variables at multiple scales influence distributions of sexual and asexual stages of
    fungi. We will also determine whether occurrence of a fungus in one stage (e.g. fruiting bodies) is
    predictive of its occurrence in other subsrates at a site (e.g. soils, air, or plant tissues), allowing improved
    sampling schemes for fungi. Together, this study will build the most complete picture to date of how
    macrofungal communities and their phylogenetic relationships change across climate gradients, thus
    building capacity to predict changes in fungal distributions and ecosystem processes under changing